“Romane Tales” coloring book

As part of the project “Protecting the Rights of Roma Children in Russian Schools”, this coloring book “Romane Tales” was published in two dialects of the Romani language. This publication is a compilation of translations into the Romani languages (Russian-Roma and Сăldărari dialects) of the famous Russian fairy tales (“Turnip”, “Kolobok”, “Geese-Swans”, “Teremok”, “Masha and the Bear”) and one Roma fairy tale.

Since the Romani languages exists almost exclusively verbally, the scope of its usage is limited to communication at home primarily, and many Roma people have difficulty reading and writing texts in their native language. Thus, the development of the language is partly inhibited, and given the dominance of the Russian language in the main spheres of life, the original Romani words are often supplanted by Russian borrowings. We hope that this handbook will be useful not only for teaching of Roma children, but will also help to preserve and develop the Romani language. The book helps to make children’s vocabulary active, it will show them that their native language also exists in written form.

The tales presented in this book have been edited by Lyudmila Elert, a school teacher from Novosibirsk, with the participation of her Roma students, as well as by K. Kozhanov and Ya. Muradynsky (earlier publications). One of the tales, “Turnip”, was taken from the 1937 edition. Lev Cherenkov provided valuable advice and recommendations on how to improve the earlier translations. The book was edited by Olga Abramenko.

The book is intended for pre-school children and children of primary school age, their teachers and parents. Contour illustrations can be circled and colored, it helps to develop motor skills and artistic abilities. Questions and tasks are aimed at the development of speech and writing in Russian and Romani languages. The tasks can be performed independently or with the help of adults. Translation of questions, tasks and comments can be found at the end of the book. This publication features contour illustrations intended for coloring, as well as tasks that children can perform independently or with the help of adults. The manual introduces an element of native language in the process of mastering letters by Roma children, helps to develop drawing, reading and writing skills.