Engadin Scuol

Allegra

The Romansh language

35,000 Romansh people, countless dialects, five vernaculars, one language and a culture defined by farming, craftsmanship and trade. Allegra illa Rumantschia.

The Romansh language

Romansh is the fourth official national language in Switzerland. Around 35,000 residents of the canton of Graubünden speak Romansh in various dialects and official vernaculars. The former independence and isolation of the Graubünden valleys led to the development of five vernaculars Sursilvan (Vorderrhein), Sutsilvan (Hinterrhein), Surmiran (Oberhalbstein, Albula), Puter (Upper Engadin), as well as the Vallader dialect spoken in Lower Engadin and Val Müstair. 

Rumantsch Grischun

The administrative effort involved in accommodating five different, officially recognised vernaculars compared to the small number of Romansh in Switzerland’s overall population led to the creation of guidelines for a common standard language called Rumantsch Grischun in 1982. Since the introduction of Rumantsch Grischun as the official language used by administrative authorities and in schools, there have been frequent discussions and disagreements between the proponents and opponents of the standard language. The main aim is still to maintain Romansh as a living language and a cultural asset that supports the region’s identity. 

Usage within the region

The Romansh language is spoken, lived and actively fostered in Lower Engadin. As a major part of the regional culture, Romansh is not only used in songs and books, but also everywhere in the streets and schools. There is even a law stating that the signage on shops and businesses must be in Romansh, for instance. School children are taught exclusively in Romansh until Grade Three. After that, German is the first foreign language introduced, followed by French and English (from the Grade Five) or Italian. In addition to everyday usage, the Romansh language (Rumantsch Grischun and/or individual vernaculars) is officially used as the language of instruction in schools and is taught as a subject, and also appears on local signage and in regional media and publications.

Examples of media

 

Experience & learn the romanish language

  • Lia Rumantscha, Umbrella organization promoting the Romansh language and culture, including online shop for Romansh literature and music. www.liarumantscha.ch
        
  • Pledari Grond, great online dictionary for Rumantsch Grischun and the individual idioms www.pledarigrond.ch 

 

Allegra - everyday expressions: Idiom «Vallader»

allegra      „grüezi“, hi
a revair  Bye
bun di     Good morning
buna saira  Good evening
buna not     Good night
bellas vacanzas Nice holidays
grazcha fich   Many thanks
bun viadi   Nice trip
il bogn   the bath
l’abitaziun    the apartment
la bacharia  the butcher shop
la banca   the bank
la butia      the shop/store
la furnaria    the bakery
la garascha    the garage
la posta    the post office
l’ospidal  the hospital
l’ustaria     the restaurant
la via    dthe street
na     no
schi/hai    yes
s-chüsa       sorry
lündeschdi   Monday
mardi     Tuesday
marcurdi       Wednesday
gövgia    Thursday
venderdi     Friday
sonda   Saturday
dumengia   Sunday

 

Our music hint for Romansh-fans
The local music band «Rebels» from Zernez sings mostly in her mother tongue. In this song they sing of old memories, «veglas sbranzlas».
Listen here

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