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Romansh (rumantsch)

Romansh is a Romance language spoken by 50-70,000 people in the Swiss canton of Grisons (Graubünden). It is one of the four national languages of Switzerland and has semi-official status.

Romansh, which is also known as Rumantsch, Romansch or Romanche or Rhaeto-Romansch, is not in fact a single language but rather a cluster of closely-related dialects. A standardised written form, known as Rumantsch Grischun (Graubünden Romansh) was created in 1982 by Heinrich Schmid, a linguist from Zurich, though it isn't particularly popular with speakers, who prefer to use their own dialects and often use German to communicate with speakers of different dialects.

Romansh first appeared in print in 1552 in a catechism by Jacob Bifrun called Christiauna fuorma, which he wrote in the Engadine dialect. A Romansh translation of the New Testament was published in 1560.

Today Romansh is used to some extent in schools and the media.

Romansh alphabet

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i J j L l M m
a be tse de e ef ghe ha i jot/i lung el em
N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v X x Z z  
en o pe ku er es te u ve iks tset  

The letters k (ka), w (ve dubel), and y (ipsilon / i grec) are only used in foreign loanwords.

Romansh pronunciation (Rumantsch Grischun)

Romansh pronunciation

Notes on Romansh pronunciation

Sample text in Romansh

Tuots umans naschan libers ed eguals in dignità e drets. Els sun dotats cun intellet e conscienza e dessan agir tanter per in uin spiert da fraternità.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample of spoken Romansh

Information about Romansh | Useful phrases in Romansh | Numbers in Romansh | Tower of Babel in Romansh


Information about Romansh

Romansh lessons

Romansh phrases

Romansh dictionaries

Radio e Televisun Rumantscha

Romance languages

Aragonese, Aranese, Aromanian, Asturian, Catalan, Corsican, Dalmatian, Emilian-Romagnol, Extremaduran, Fala, Franco-Provençal, French, Friulian, Galician, Gallo, Genoese, Guernésiais, Istriot, Italian, Jèrriais, Ladino, Ladin, Lombard, Megleno-Romanian, Mirandese, Moldovan, Monégasque, Occitan, Picard, Piedmontese, Portuguese, Romanian, Romansh, Sardinian, Sicilian, Spanish, Venetian, Walloon

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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