Sutselvian language

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Former distribution area of ​​the individual Romance idioms in the canton of Graubünden

Sutselvisch (also Nidwaldisch , Romansh Sutsilvan ) is one of the five Romansh written idioms in Switzerland and is in Domleschg , on Heinzenberg , in Shams and in the Val Ferrera in the canton of Grisons used. Sutselvic is only found as a school language in the primary school in Donat am Schamserberg. Dialects attributed to Sutselvic are also spoken in the Imboden region (Graubünden Romansh Plaun ), but Surselvic serves as the written language there .

First font

In 1601, the village teacher at Fürstenau Castle , Daniel Bonifazi (1574–1639), published the first book written in the Sutselvian language: a catechism that was primarily intended for school use.


The history of the Other Church on Sutsilvan

In Sutselvian there is a cover orthography that combines several sub-dialects of Sutselvian. This is how the word for 'tree, plant' is spoken in Schams planta , in Domleschg plaunta and in Heinzenberg plönta , but it is uniformly written as plànta .

Sutselvian is the most endangered dialect group of Graubünden Romance. Only in shame, and there especially on the Schamserberg , is the language passed on to the youngest generation. The Heinzenberg dialect is on the verge of extinction, as only a few elderly people in Prec and possibly Sarn can speak it; Domleschger Romansh is still spoken by several dozen people in everyday life, but only rarely by people under 30 years of age.

Sutselvisch belongs to the Central Graubünden dialects of the Graubünden Romansh , together with Surmeirisch .

Language planning rescue operations in the 1930s

In the 1930s - in the course of a general mood of optimism in the Rumantschia, which u. a. led to recognition as the Swiss national language - there were two long-term actions aimed at saving or even re-Romanizing parts of the Sutselva . Their main protagonists were Andri Augustin and Giuseppe Gangale . Among other things, an orthography was drafted and Sutselvian kindergartens were introduced - financed by the Lia Rumantscha. However, these actions did not have a lasting effect.

Sutsylvanian literature

The most important exponents of Sutsilvanian poetry include Curò Mani and Margarita Uffer .

Language examples

As an example, a text in Sutselvisch, Rumantsch Grischun and German.

Sutselvian Rumantsch Grischun German
La gualp eara puspe egn'eada fumantada. Qua â ella vieu sen egn pegn egn corv ca taneva egn toc caschiel ainten sieus pecel. Quegl gustass a mei, â ella tartgieu, ed â clamo agli corv: "Tge beal ca tei es! Scha tieus tgànt e aschi beal sco tia pareta, alura es tei igl ple beal utschi da tuts". La vulp era puspè ina giada fomentada. Qua ha ella vis sin in pign in corv che tegneva in toc chaschiel en ses pichel. Quai ma gustass, ha ella pensà, ed ha clamà al corv: "Tge bel che ti es! Sche tes chant è uschè bel sco tia parita, lura es ti il ​​pli bel utschè da tuts". The fox was hungry again. Then he saw a raven on a fir tree with a piece of cheese in its beak. I would like that, he thought, and called to the raven: “How beautiful you are! If your singing is as beautiful as your looks, then you are the most beautiful of all birds ”.


  • Wolfgang Eichenhofer (Red.): Pledari : sutsilvan - tudestg = Dictionary: German - Sutsilvan. Lehrmittelverlag des Kantons Graubünden, Chur 2002, OCLC 254183374 .
  • Corrado Conforti, Linda Cusimano, Bartolome Tscharner: An lingia directa 1 - Egn curs da rumàntsch sutsilvan. Lia Rumantscha, Cuira 1997– [1998], OCLC 77653447 (teaching aids with audio CD).
  • Clau Solèr, Theodor Ebneter: Heinzenberg / Mantogna Romanisch (= Swiss dialects in text and sound. [Dept.] 4; Romansh and German on the Hinterrhein / GR. H. 1). Publication of the phonogram archive of the University of Zurich, Zurich 1983, OCLC 886770256 (with tape cassette).
  • Clau Solèr, Theodor Ebneter: Romansh in Domleschg (= Swiss dialects in text and sound. [Dept.] 4; Romansh and German on the Hinterrhein / GR. Vol. 3). Phonogram archive of the University of Zurich, Zurich 1988, ISBN 3-907538-02-1 (with tape cassette).
  • Mathias Kundert: The language change in Domleschg and on Heinzenberg (19th / 20th century) (= sources and research on Bündner history. Vol. 18). Commission loss Desertina, Chur 2007, ISBN 978-3-85637-340-5 .

Literary works and translations in Sutselvian are mainly published by the language organization Lia Rumantscha in Chur.

Individual evidence

  1. Huldrych Blanke: A promoter of the mother tongue . NZZ Online. August 4, 2003. Retrieved February 23, 2019.