Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Follow Up on a Mysterious Language

I just wanted to follow up on something that I talked about on Day 11 ("Mountain Lions and The Swiss"). If you remember my mentioning the Swiss couple that Tyler and I met at a campground in Lander, Wyoming, you also probably remember my embarrassment at being unfamiliar with the language that they spoke. 

When Tyler and I were in California his uncle Bill was kind enough to identify (and spell!) the language as being Romansch. I've been told there are different spellings but that's the one I'm using until someone tells me differently! And I feel a little less like the ignorant American I thought I was after I met them because Romansch is only spoken in a very small and specific section of Switzerland, a canton called Graub√ľnden. Despite it's few followers (not even 100,000 people) it is one of Switzerland's four official languages. The name Romansch was actually given as an umbrella term for a group of related dialects that were standardized in 1982. 

So, that was your linguistics lesson for the day, I hope you all, as I do, feel a little more worldly now. :)

Buna notg! (Good Night!)

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