Caló language

Native toSpain, Portugal, south of France, Latin America
Native speakers
up to 400,000 in Brazil (2014)[1]
40,000 in Spain (1980)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3rmq
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Caló (Spanish: [kaˈlo]; Catalan: [kəˈlo]; Galician: [kaˈlɔ]; Portuguese: [kɐˈlɔ]) is a language spoken by the Spanish and Portuguese Romani. It is a mixed language (referred to as a Para-Romani language in Romani linguistics) based on Romance grammar, with an adstratum of Romani lexical items[4] through language shift by the Romani community. It is often used as an argot, a secret language for discreet communication amongst Iberian Romani. Catalan, Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish caló are closely related varieties that share a common root.[5]

Spanish caló, or Spanish Romani, was originally known as zincaló. Portuguese caló, or Portuguese Romani, also goes by the term lusitano-romani; it used to be referred to as calão, but this word acquired the general sense of jargon or slang, often with a negative conotation (cf. baixo calão, 'obscene language', lit. low-level calão).


Calé is the endonym of the Romani people in Iberia, and caló means "the language spoken by the calé. However, the calé are commonly known in Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries by the exonyms ciganos and gitanos.

In caló and other varieties of Romani, kalo means "black or "absorbing all light",[6] hence closely resembling words for "black" and/or "dark" in Indo-Aryan languages (e.g. Sanskrit काल kāla "black", "of a dark colour"). Hence caló and calé may have originated as ancient exonyms. For instance, the name of the Domba people, from whom the Romani, Sinti and Kale people are now believed to have emerged,[7] also implies "dark-skinned" in some Indian languages.[8]

Other Languages
asturianu: Idioma caló
تۆرکجه: کالو دیلی
brezhoneg: Kaloeg
català: Caló
Cebuano: Caló
español: Idioma caló
estremeñu: Luenga caló
euskara: Kalo
فارسی: زبان کالو
français: Caló
galego: Caló
italiano: Lingua caló
lietuvių: Calo
македонски: Кало
Nederlands: Caló
Piemontèis: Lenga caló
Plattdüütsch: Caló
polski: Caló
português: Caló
Romani: Kalo
Simple English: Caló
српски / srpski: Кало
suomi: Caló