Definition of Romansh in English:


(also Rumansh)


mass noun
  • The Rhaeto-Romance language spoken in the Swiss canton of Grisons by fewer than 30,000 people. It has several dialects, and is an official language of Switzerland.

    • ‘Most of the inhabitants speak a German dialect, but French and Italian are also recognized as official languages, and Romansh, spoken by a tiny minority, is a fourth national tongue.’
    • ‘In 1848, the federal constitution stated, ‘German, French, Italian and Romansh are the national languages of Switzerland.’’
    • ‘The language is, in fact, a mix of several, though it sounds a bit like the Swiss dialect Rumantsch.’
    • ‘Another 18 percent speak French, about 10 percent - mostly in the Ticino region - speak Italian, and roughly 1 percent speak Romansh, a dialect spoken mostly in the Grison region.’
    • ‘The Swiss government has launched an offensive to halt the creeping use of English, which it fears is undermining its four official languages; French, German, Italian and Romansh.’


  • Relating to the Romansh language.

    • ‘The children of the Romansh region learn German or French.’


From Romansh Roman(t)sch, from medieval Latin romanice ‘in the Romanic manner’.