Threatened Romansh faces a silent future
The old Latin-based language Romansh, which has survived for hundreds of years deep within Graubünden's isolated valleys, is becoming increasingly marginal.Read on
Changes in society and, above all, the increasing use of German have led to a marked drop in the number of Romansh speakers.
Romansh is now spoken by 0.5 per cent of the Swiss population – or around 35,000 people - compared with 1.1 per cent in 1910.
And within the southeastern canton of Graubünden, the Romansh heartland has contracted significantly. It is now concentrated in Lower Engadine and in Surselva, although pockets exist in other places.
One main reason for the decline is the changing economy. The advent of tourism and industry in Graubünden has led to an intermingling of cultures and the need to speak other languages.
The old rural ways of life, in which Romansh is firmly rooted, are slowly dying out.
Also: Literature, music and rap keep Romansh language alive
| Das Romantsch ist nicht klein zu kriegen