Romansh language

«Il rumantsch», Rhaeto-Romanic is one of the four national languages of Switzerland and is spoken mainly in the canton of Graubünden, including the Engadine. The Lower Engadine cultivates the idiom «Vallader» – a language that sounds like music to the ears. See for yourself!

At a glance

The Rhaeto-Romanic language

Switzerland's fourth national language

Romansh is the fourth official national language of Switzerland. Around 35,000 Graubünden residents speak Romansh, in various dialects and official idioms. Due to the former remoteness and independence of the Graubünden valleys from each other, the five idioms Sursilvan (Vorderrhein), Sutsilvan (Hinterrhein), Surmiran (Oberhalbstein, Albula), Puter (Oberengadin) and Vallader, spoken in the Lower Engadin and Val Müstair, have developed.

Rumantsch Grischun

The administrative burden of five different, officially recognised idioms compared to the small proportion of Romansh speakers in the Swiss population as a whole led to the drafting of guidelines for an «all-Federation Romansh written language Rumantsch Grischun» as early as 1982. Since then, the introduction of Rumantsch Grischun as an official language and language of instruction has repeatedly led to discussions and differences between supporters and opponents of the written language. The main goal remains to preserve the Romansh language as a living cultural asset that promotes identity.

On site

The Romansh language is spoken, lived and cultivated in the Lower Engadine. As an integral part of the regional culture, however, it is not only found in songs and books but also everywhere on the street and at school. For example, it is compulsory to name shops and companies in Romansh. Romansh is still the only language of instruction at school until the end of the second grade. After that, German is learned as the first «foreign language» and later French, English (from 5th grade) or Italian. Publicly, Romansh (Rumantsch Grischun and/or individual idioms) is used in addition to general use, as the language and subject of instruction, as well as for inscriptions in regional media and publications.

Examples of Romanesque media


Experience & learn the Romansh language

In order to learn the Romansh language, there are various possibilities and assistance. We recommend:

  • Lia Rumantscha, the umbrella organisation for the promotion of the Romansh language and culture, including online shop for Romansh literature and music. Further information at
  • Pledari Grond, the large online dictionary for Rumantsch Grischun and the individual idioms. Further information at
Mehr anzeigen
Romanisch lernen

People & Stories Those who know Romansh can do more «Chi chi sa rumantsch, sa daplü»

Does it make sense to learn a language that just 5000 people still speak? In an area where everyone knows German anyway? Christina Sedláček is sure: yes.

Mehr anzeigen

Everyday expressions in the idiom «Vallader»

«grüezi», good day
a revair
bun di
good morning
buna saira
good evening
buna not
good night
bellas vacanzas
nice holidays
grazcha fich
thank you very much
bun viadi
have a good trip
il bogn
the bath
the flat
la bacharia
the butchery
la banca
the bank
la butia
the shop
la furnaria
the bakery
la garascha
the garage
la posta
the post office
the hospital
the restaurant
la via
the road
allegra a revair bun di buna saira buna not bellas vacanzas grazcha fich bun viadi il bogn l’abitaziun la bacharia la banca la butia la furnaria la garascha la posta l’ospidal l’ustaria la via na schi/hai s-chüsa lündeschdi mardi marcurdi gövgia venderdi sonda dumengia
«grüezi», good day goodbye good morning good evening good night nice holidays thank you very much have a good trip the bath the flat the butchery the bank the shop the bakery the garage the post office the hospital the restaurant the road no yes sorry Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mehr anzeigen
Die Band Rebels aus Zernez an der Messe WEGA 2019

For fans of the Romansh language Our music tip

The local band «Rebels» from Zernez sings mostly in their mother tongue. In this song they sing about old memories, «veglias spranzas».
Continue to the song