Annemarie Sorescu-Marinković, PhD


I am a linguist and anthropologist working as a senior scientific associate at the Institute for Balkan Studies in Belgrade, and holding a PhD in philological sciences from the University of Babeș-Bolyai in Cluj-Napoca.

I was born in Romania and spent my childhood in a small village in the south of the country. My grandmother used to treat my headaches not with medicine, but charms against the evil eye, and take me with her to every funeral or village get-together. Until the age of seven I have never watched TV, but I knew all about medicinal plants, poultry and cattle. Then I moved to the city, started school and the magic ended.

Later, I learned about folklore and the language of different regions of Romania during my studies at the Faculty of Philology in Timișoara. In 2003, I moved to Serbia, where in the beginning I taught Romanian at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade, then got employed at the Institute for Balkan Studies. When I first visited Eastern Serbia (the so-called Timok region), during a field trip with my colleagues from the Institute, and heard the Vlach Romanians living there speaking their native idiom, I had the feeling of being thrown back in time in my magical, cherished childhood. That moment, I knew exactly what my life-long research topic would be.

Therefore, I wrote my PhD thesis on the language and folklore of Vlach Romanians in Eastern Serbia, and published a book about it. In order to collect material for my thesis, I spend several months in the region every year between 2003 and 2010, listening to the fascinating stories of these people, writing down their beautiful language, taking part in their archaic customs and making friends for life. After this date, I continued going there on every occasion. During time, I had the opportunity to witness the timid introduction of the Vlach Romanian variety in schools, its debated standardization and the subsequent change of the linguistic landscape of the region. Born and raised in Romania, I am inevitably an outsider, but one who speaks and feels like an insider, and who has learned as much as one could possibly do from them.

Since 2019 I started being actively involved in translating and editing Vlach Romanian interviews. It is my strong believe that raising awareness about this vanishing non-standard Romanian variety is of crucial importance in preserving it. As a researcher, I consider it my mission to give voice to the community I study, to empower and encourage the speakers to use their language and transmit it to the younger generations.

Sabrina Tomić, MA

COMMUNITY CONSULTANT - Romanian in Eastern Serbia

I am a student in Interdisciplinary East European Studies, in the past I have graduated Slavic and Romance languages at the University of Vienna where I dealt with the Serbian-Romanian language contact.

I was born in Rakova Bara, a Romanian village in the Timočka Krajina and since ever I am used to speaking my mother tongue rumînjašće within family and among the romanian communities. During my training time within VLACH, I have provided transcriptions for the Romanian spoken in Eastern Serbia and contributed to the representation of its varieties in a written, academic form which can be useful for all the scholars involved in comparing Romanian language varieties and analyzing their transmitted cultural goods.

By this, I hope to contribute to the prestige of this Romanian variety and thus encourage the usage in oral and written form especially by young generations among which the language in on the verge of extinction.