All students of the Romani language, especially of the Kalderash dialect, are indebted to Ronald Lee for putting together this very thorough coverage of Kalderash Romani. I am from the era when many older Vlax Rroma did not believe in sharing the language,or anything else,with outsiders. Hundreds of years of oppression in the the Balkans had created this attitude, when the only protection that the Rroma had against a hostile world was their language. Much has changed in the
past 50 years, when,as a boy, I heard the language spoken by older Rrom who spoke almost exclusively in Rromanes.
Ronald Lee addresses every aspect of Romani grammar and does an excellent job of illustrating points of grammar in sentences. A student who uses this book, especially if used together with Ian Hancock's "Handbook of Vlax Romani," will have a good foundation in the language. Of course, Romani,as any language, should be heard spoken by a native speaker.
That said, I wish to remind the reader that there are several types of Kalderash spoken in the U.S. and Canada:the Serbian, the Russian, and the Argentine (Arxentino) are the most prevalent. Each of these dialects have minor differences of vocabulary that present no obstacle to the learner. For example, "shoe" is "tsokola" or "tsokoli" to
a Serbian, but "papuka" to a Russian.However, ALL Kalderash understand "tsokola/tsokoli." Also, in the U.S. and Canada many English words have infiltrated Romani, giving "rumo" and "floro" as the common equivalents for "room" and "floor." Words like "soba" (room) are now called "old words" by many Rroma, although many "old words" are actually Serbian, Romanian, etc.
This book, as well as Ronald Lee's Kalderash and English dictionaries, is a blessing to the student of Romani.