Romansh Sutsilvan

Igl Prenzi Pintg — in Romansh Sutsilvan.

Romansh is a Romance language spoken in the Swiss canton of Grisons (Graubünden). It comprises a group of closely related dialects, most commonly divided into five different varieties, each with its own standardized form. These regional standards are referred to as idioms in Romansh. The dialects form a continuum without clear-cut divisions, but historically, this continuum has been ruptured by the spread of German, leading to geographical divisions within Romansh-speaking areas.

Sutsilvan, one of these varieties, is spoken in the Hinterrhein valley, including regions such as Schams/Schons, Domleschg/Tumleastga, and Heinzenberg/Mantogna. In some areas, like Imboden/Plaun, Sutsilvan is spoken but Sursilvan is written. Sutsilvan is notably the least widely spoken Romansh variety, with a significant decline in speakers since the turn of the 20th century. As of the Swiss census of 2000, only about 1,111 people, or 15.4% within its historical area (excluding Imboden/Plaun), named Romansh as a habitually spoken language.

Comparatively, Sursilvan, another Romansh dialect, is more widely spoken. Sursilvan is predominant in the Vorderrhein valley, including Lumnezia, Foppa, and Cadi. It was the most widely spoken variety in the 2000 census, with 17,897 people or 54.8% within its historical region naming Romansh as a habitually spoken language.

The Romansh language, inclusive of its dialects like Sutsilvan and Sursilvan, reflects a rich linguistic diversity within a small geographical area. Despite the decline in speakers, especially in varieties like Sutsilvan, efforts are made to preserve and promote these dialects as an essential part of regional heritage and identity