Ethnologue.com home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Europe > Switzerland > Romansch

Romansch

A language of Switzerland

ISO 639-3roh

Population  35,100 (2000 census).
Region  Southeast borders, Grisons Canton, Surselva valley (Vorderrhein), Hinterrhein valley; Engadine, Val Mustair.
Language map  Liechtenstein and Switzerland
Alternate names   Rhaeto-Romance, Rheto-Romance, Romanche, Romansh
Dialects  Vallader (Lower Engadine), Puter (Upper Engadine), Sursilvan (Surselva, Vorderrhein), Sutsilvan (Hinterrhein), Surmiran (Albula). Friulian [fur], Ladin [lld], and Romansch [roh] are separate languages (1978 R. Hall, Jr.). Lexical similarity: 78% with Italian and French, 76% with Catalan [cat], 74% with Spanish, Sardinian [sdc], and Portuguese, 72% with Romanian [rom].
Classification  Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Gallo-Iberian, Gallo-Romance, Gallo-Rhaetian, Rhaetian
Language use  Official language. Official written language in common use now, called Rumantsch Grischun. Also use German.
Language development  Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Bible: 1679–1953.
Writing system  Latin script.
Contact us