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Old 09.09.2012, 16:31
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Any expats speak Romansh?

Since we are moving soon to a community which is predominantly Romansh... I will probably have to quickly learn the language too to help integration. I know most of the people in EF speak German, French or Italian... I am curious if there are other expats which live in a Romansh speaking area and can speak the language. It would also be great to meet new people in the Müstair area
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Old 10.09.2012, 00:51
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

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Since we are moving soon to a community which is predominantly Romansh... I will probably have to quickly learn the language too to help integration. I know most of the people in EF speak German, French or Italian... I am curious if there are other expats which live in a Romansh speaking area and can speak the language. It would also be great to meet new people in the Müstair area
I am not a clairvoyant but expect the number of expats living in totally Romansh speaking communties to be minimal. Most of Graubünden communities where Romansh is important usually are SPLIT which means restaurants and shops speaking Romansh and restaurants and shops speaking German.

Whenever being in Romansh speaking places in Graubünden I generally simply spoke Italian and was accepted

BUT so sorry I ddi not see that you go to the Müstair area. And this of course is the totalitarian Romansh place par-exellence. ! We had two V-M chaps in our unit in my last services of military service. They always spoke Romansh. They knew that I understood them and accepted my replies in German and/or Italian. And I told those who did not understand them what they meant. A colleague from ZH always maintained that they to him were separatist extremists !

My hint. do not learn the Romansh Grischun, but try to learn the Romansh Müstaïr ! Which in my view is as close to italian as the Romansh Ladin (Engiadina) . Dad for a week or two per year between 1961 and 1979 worked upthere and spoke Italian (the one he had learnt in Biasca in WWII) but understood their language, and never had problems
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Old 10.09.2012, 08:18
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

Yup, Wikipedia was kind to provide me with the information that the prodominant language is Romansh (80% ) That has me quite a bit worried since I have no ability to speak Italian at all. It is a village of 350 people, so I am really unsure what to expect when we get there. It's only 5min. from Süd Tirol Italy and it seems the communities in Müstair and Süd Tirol are somehow very close, even though they are 2 different countries. It was a relief that the German in Süd Tirol was MUCH easier for me to understand than the different crazy dialects every few hundred KMs everywhere else in Switzerland Thank you so much for your reply and suggestions. My husbands office called yesterday and asked how we wanted mail addressed (in German or Romansh) He replied happily "Romansh" Gotta try and fit in, right? (BTW, he can only speak 1 language... German, barely LOL) It's going to be an adventure... that's for sure!!!
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Old 10.09.2012, 11:11
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

If you had asked fourty years ago I would have said, "Here I am." I was fluent in Ladin (Engadine Rumantsch), the Vallader variety (Lower Engadine, almost the same as the Jauer variant spoken in Val Müstair). That was the time when the locals up there said I spoke and wrote a cleaner Rumantsch than themselves, which, by the way, was mainly due to the fact that every village has its own dialect, while the way I spoke was kind of a synthesis of many local dialects.

However, due to very infrequent use, my active vocabulary has shrunk to maybe a tenth of its original size, and, although I still use correct grammar most of the time, that's more like an instinctive thing, which means I cannot explain the rules I use to compose my sentences.

I still can fairly easily follow practically every kind of conversation, and I read Rumantsch texts with ease; even writing a text is possible, but speaking the language myself is a totally different matter. Sometimes I simply cannot remember a simple word without having the Dicziunari Rumantsch Ladin at hand.

I heard you speak German last week at your Chur get-together, which made me conclude that you must be pretty good at learning languages, so I'm sure you'll find a way. Good luck!
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Old 10.09.2012, 12:04
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

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Since we are moving soon to a community which is predominantly Romansh... I will probably have to quickly learn the language too to help integration. I know most of the people in EF speak German, French or Italian... I am curious if there are other expats which live in a Romansh speaking area and can speak the language. It would also be great to meet new people in the Müstair area
Try
http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/Learn/Romansch.asp
or http://www.omniglot.com/writing/romansh.htm


I'm doing a similar thing for my German at Livemocha.com
along with my BYKI.com to supplement my 2 times a week A1 course.

I bet you can learn it quick, given you also speak French, English and German :-)

Last edited by ToothCentral; 10.09.2012 at 12:06. Reason: more info
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Old 10.09.2012, 12:25
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

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Most of Graubünden communities where Romansh is important usually are SPLIT which means restaurants and shops speaking Romansh and restaurants and shops speaking German.
I was at a gas station in Tavanasa (my usual fuel stop) last year, and I usually get away with my few words of Rumantsch, but there was a problem with my EC card (slightly bent from being in my pocket), so there was an awkward moment of figuring out when we should speak German or Italian!

Tom
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Old 10.09.2012, 16:03
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

The community of Laax runs a 2-week Rumantsch course each summer, but I imagine it will be the Surselvan variety

http://www.frr.ch/pages/romanischkurs-2013.php

This link might also be useful

http://www.liarumantscha.ch/sites/pr...ischkurse.html
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Old 10.09.2012, 17:29
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

Would these Romansch speakers be able to understand Ladin?
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Old 10.09.2012, 17:39
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

It's similar, but different enough (as are the five native Rumantschs from each other)

Generally, if I go to the Ladin speaking area of Italy, I usually speak German.

Tom
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Old 10.09.2012, 18:03
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

There is a very good language course in Sta Maria in October break. Go there. They speak jauer seriously. All of them speak German, especially because it's next to Südtirol where German is very strong. There are also summer courses in Vallader in Scuol. I went there several times, it's awesome.

My romansh is not was it used to be when I was specifically learning it. It's a fascinating situation, one learn one of the five written idioms, one get then over to the unified script in order to read it fluently and then one trains the ears to the other spoken dialects. Some of them are really surreal (Bravuogn would be a good one). Speaking the japer version of Vallader will open the doors of the whole Engiadina valley too, the further up the more exotic though (and the other way around when one learns the Samedan idiom).

All idioms are mutually intelligible to native speaker, as a foreign speaker, you will have to work for it. But doable especially in writings, although I really find it difficult to read a long text in sursilvan romansh. The grammar is very close to French, the vocab is very italian-like but not as identical as the Italians will make you believe, and there are clear German thinking processes going on too. Funny fact: "aber" and "schon" are to be considered now as totally romansh words, they couldn't do without them anymore.

Your new newspaper is La Quotidiana, or if you want to specialize in Engadin life the Engadiner Post (mainly German with a double page in romansh, mixed Vallader and Puter without warning). You can get an abo from anywhere in the country, look on the Südostschweiz.ch website: http://www.suedostschweiz.ch/zeitung/la-quotidiana

Vallader is close to Ladin spoken in Italy but it is quite a lot of work to learn both languages as they are different enough to keep you busy for a while. The spelling is quite different too even for similar words so that it requires a bit of training. I suck at it. My experience: too difficult, you'll be busy enough with all the variations of Romansh in Grischun.
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Old 03.10.2012, 22:35
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for your replies and tips! I just wanted to update this thread to let you know we've settled into our new place and are now actively seeking to become a part of the community. The people here are super nice and friendly and I have yet to hear anyone speaking Romansh The people at the Gemeinde were thrilled to hear that we want to learn Romansh and gave us some info sheets. The course mentioned above does indeed take place in October. Unfortunately the sign up due date was Sept 8 It also doesn't fit our schedule since it is a 4 day intensive course, all day long. We'll have to see what other options there are. My husband suggested I offer to teach English (which I did for 3 years in Germany) and have someone teach me Romansh Others in the village have also told my husband "Oh, you HAVE to learn it!" *lol* Glad to see they are taking such an interest in the newcomers. I'll also look for that newspaper you mentioned. Hopefully that will help a bit too. I guess just being around these people and hearing the language might be enough... we'll have to wait and see.
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Old 03.10.2012, 22:57
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

hey, not so pessimistic about dead lines and due dates... it's Rumantsch country, call them or send them an e-mail, if they have space, you're in. It's very late now, I admit, but it's worth a try. For the schedule, though, I can't do anything, sorry to hear that. In my opinion, you NEED to start an intensive way in order to have a good start and get motivated to keep up. Ask around, there are people for language coaching in the area, the teacher I had last time did it with somebody (I guess you want her name now... I have to look for it)

They have a certain experience with the newcomers because of the medical center in Sta Maria. Material for study is however mostly German/Rumantsch, a few things French/Rumantsch and Italian/Rumantsch because of the school system, but next to nothing English/Rumantsch.

Don't forget the dear Lia Rumantscha, the next one is in Zernez for you. No translation needed I suppose:
Zernez - Via Sura 79 - 7530 Zernez
+41 (0)81 860 07 61
uras d'avertura : lündeschdi - venderdi 13.30 - 17.00 (sonda serrà)

If they are hard to get hold on, try Chur (from now on, it's Cuoira to you)
+41 (0)81 258 32 22
E-Mail: lr@rumantsch.ch (Careful: the first l in the e-mail is a small "l", not a capital i)
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:12
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

Haha, I just moved from, uh, Cuoira
Right! The course you mentioned here in Sta. Maria is run by the "Lia Rumantscha". The main problem with me taking this intensive course is that I have a 2.5 year old son and someone has to then care for him all day while daddy is working and I am taking this 4 day intensive course. We'll see what we can figure out. I have no problem with German/Romansh. I use my German a lot more than my English anyways *grins* BTW, are you coming to thr "big" Erntedanks village festival this Sunday? I'm not sure what to expect, but I hear it's a blast!
Hmm, is it "Au revier"?
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Old 03.10.2012, 23:28
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Re: Any expats speak Romansh?

La festa da racolta! Is it in Valchava again this year?
If you go there, you'll be seeing every habitant of the valley. It's very "champester" (no idea how to say that in English: ländlich). Ask people at the Chasa cumünala for baby sitting. In these small places, the information is not written down anywhere, everybody just knows or knows who knows. Even if you can't go the whole day, go there are speak to the coordinator (It used to be Mario Pult, no idea whether he is still there), he will be able to help you to get language coaching or courses or something. It's Romansh country, personal contact is everything, forget the formality of the northern Alp-side.

Remember to say "jau sun" for "I am", not "eu sun", it's important to them, it's a special form. That's where they got their name from: ils Jauers.

It's "a revair"
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