Il Pitschen Prinzi, in Romansh.

Romansh, or Rumantsch, is a Romance language spoken predominantly in the Swiss canton of Graubünden (Grisons). It is one of Switzerland’s four national languages, alongside German, French, and Italian. Romansh is unique in that it represents the continuation of the Vulgar Latin spoken by Roman-era settlers and the indigenous people of the region.

Romansh is part of the Rhaeto-Romance group, which also includes Friulian spoken in Italy and Ladin spoken in the Dolomites of Italy. Within Romansh, there are several dialects or idioms, reflecting the linguistic diversity across different valleys in Graubünden. The five main dialects are Sursilvan, Sutsilvan, Surmiran, Puter, and Vallader.

In an effort to standardise the language for education and media and to protect it from further decline, a standardised form of Romansh, called Rumantsch Grischun, was developed in the 1980s by linguist Heinrich Schmid. While this standard form is used in some official capacities and media, it has not entirely replaced the regional dialects in local use and hearts.

Romansh retains many features from Latin, more so than some other Romance languages. It has also been influenced by Germanic languages, particularly in vocabulary, due to the historical presence of German-speaking populations in Graubünden. Romansh vocabulary is a mix of original Latin terms, borrowings from neighboring Romance languages, and significant Germanic influences.

Romansh is spoken by a small percentage of Switzerland’s population, with estimates of fluent speakers ranging. The language is primarily used in everyday communication in Romansh-speaking communities, in local media, and in cultural events.

Download the PDF file here: [LINK]