Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Students from Switzerland

Language: Romansch

In cordial salid da la Svizra rumantscha!

Romansch (or: 'Romansh') is a romance language spoken in the southeastern Swiss canton of Graubünden, where it has an official status alongside German and Italian. Although it is the oldest language of the country, Romansch has been recognized as a national language of Switzerland only since 1938.
The Romansch speaking people of Switzerland form the smallest language group in Switzerland and the most threatened language in our country. In comparison to the other three national languages, German, French and Italian, the Romansch speakers have no linguistic background outside of Switzerland.
Romansch people are all at least bilingual (usually Romansch and German). 


My name is Stefanie Netzer and I'm 17 years old. I live in a small village named Savognin with about 1000 inhabitants. I go to the cantonal school of the Grisons and I live in a boarding hostel with about 120 other students in Chur during the week. In my free time I like making music in the school band and in other projects like the female band workshop of "helvetia rocks". I also have guitar and piano lessons once a week.  As well as music I enjoy drawing or reading a good book. Maybe I'd like to study medicine one day because I'm really interested in it and I want to help people.

I speak three languages: Romansh, German and English. I couldn't really say what my native language is, because it's both Romansh and German. My mother doesn't speak Romansh, so the first language I learnt was German, Swiss-German in fact. It was the television that taught me how to speak formal German, even if it wasn't taught at school until the fourth grade. When I came to kindergarten all the other children were speaking Romansh and so I also had to learn it. Now I speak only Romansh when I'm at home. I attend the bilingual department at my school which means that both languages, Romansh and German, are instructed with the same amount of lessons. I've been learning English for four years now since it started when I was in seventh grade.

When I heard that we're taking part in this project I was very happy about it. I'm really looking forward to meeting people that also speak a minority language. I hope that I can learn something about their culture, their country and especially about what life is like there where they live. It's great that our class gets the chance to go to visit other places together.

My name is Gianna Carina Caprez and I’m 18 years old. I live in a small village called Sagogn. I have two older brothers (21/28). During the week I live in Chur in the ‚Konvikt’, which is just near to the school. My favourite subjects are physical education and Spanish but I hate things like chemistry or biology.
In my freetime I like listening to music, hanging out with friends, hiking, partying and doing sports. My main sport is climbing. Nearly everyone in my family climbs, which is I’ve been climbing since I was six years old.

I speak four languages: German, Romansh, English and Spanish. My das speaks Romansh and my mother speaks German. At home we speak a mixture between these two languages, but a little bit more German. In kindergarden and in primary school I spoke Romansh. In the fourth primary class we started learning German. All other subjects were taught in Romansh. I attended secondary school in Ilanz. There I had Romansh just as one subject and all the other subjects were spoken in German and the subject English was new. At the moment I attend the „Bündner Kantonsschule“ in Chur, where I do the bilingual matriculation, which is Romansh and German. And one year ago I started learning Spanish.

I’m really looking forward to learning something about other minority languages, other cultures and other stuff. I will also be very pleased to make new friends.

Hi! My name is Gian Flurin Bearth, I’m nearly 17 years old and I live in Chur, the capital city of Grisons in Switzerland. I’ve always lived in Chur, but I’ve moved a few times. Chur isn’t a big city. It only has about 38'000 inhabitants. I have a little sister, whose name’s Luana and she’s three years younger than me. We have a dog at home, Jacky, who is seven years old. My hobbies are skiing, watching movies and series, travelling and playing soccer. I’m also in a robotics club called HelveticRobot. We build robots which have to play soccer against other robots from other teams.

I grew up speaking Romansh with my parents, although we’ve lived in a German-speaking area. When I started going to kindergarten, I also started learning German. Although I went to a Romansh-speaking kindergarten, most of the other kids could only speak German. So when I had my first day of school, I could speak Romansh as well as German. In fourth class we first had Italian at school. I’m not a fan of learning languages, so didn’t like the lessons. After the sixth class I decided to go to the grammar school in Chur. There I finally learned English. Besides English I also had Italian, German and Romansh lessons. In second class I had Latin in addition to the other languages. I hated it. I’m glad I had it only for two years. Since the third class I don’t have Italian anymore either. At the moment, I’m in the fifth class of grammar school, I only have English, German and Romansh lessons, and that’s enough in my opinion.

As I said above I’m in a robotics club called HelveticRobot. There we build and programme robots which have to play soccer. For a competition we have to build two robots which can, in best case, communicate with each other. In a game they play against two robots of another team. It’s fun and it’s interesting, because you learn many things about robots and how they actually work. I’m in the World Cup team, so this year I’m allowed to go to Japan.
In winter I really like go skiing. A few years ago I tried snowboarding, but I didn’t like it so much. I think I started skiing when I was three years old, but I’m not sure. In the holidays I really like to go travelling. It doesn’t have to be abroad, I just want to see the world. My favourite holiday destinations where I want to go once are New Zealand and Hawaii.

My name is Alexander Bott and I am 18 years old. I was born and raised in a small village called Valchava. My mother's name is Jolanda and my father's name is Fritz. I have got a brother, called Manuel, who is 2 years older than me and a little sister, called Sara, who is 4 years younger than me. When I was six years old I went to the kindergarden for two years. After that, I went to the primary school in Müstair. I attended the primary school for six years. The next three years I attended the first, second and third class of the secondary school in Sta.Maria. After that I attended the compulsory school I wanted to attend the high school in Chur. Now I am in the fifth high school year and have one more to go.

I speak two languages fluently. Rumantsch and German. I can speak a little bit English too, but not as fluently as I should.

I'm really active in my free time. I spend a lot of time doing sports. My favourite sport is Basketball, I really adore that game. I play for Chur Basket now for my third stright year. Actually we practice five times a week, but I cannot afford to go to all of it because I cannot neglect my schoolwork. At weekends we mostly have games. At the moment I could not imagine a life without that beautiful game. Another sport I play is football but it is not nearly as interesting as basketball and I'm not as good at it as I'm at basketball. In addition I like making music. At first, when I was 9 years old, I learned to play the saxophone but now I have not played it for more than two years. Instead I started playing the guitar and the piano. Now I have been playing both of them for about 2 years. Other things I like to do is spend time with my friends, fishing and hunting.

My name is Simon Scandella.
Age : 18
Born and raised in Zernez
From my first breath till my 16th year I lived, went to school, met friends and did sports in Zernez. Basically everything. When I finished the obligatory school (9 school years) I decided to go to High school. After I passed the entrance exam I went as far as I could from Zernez. It isn't actually very far from Zernez but it was a first step. I went to High school in Chur. Now in my third year and I have one year to go. After High school I'll go to  the Swiss army like everybody has to do in Switzerland. That lasts about 1 year (300 days). After that I'll probably study at a univerity but I'm still not sure what.

Languages I speak  fluently: Rumantsch (Vallader), German
Languages I'm not fluent in: English
The first estimated 10 years of my life I only spoke Rumantsch. But I understood a lot of German because of the TV. In 3rd grade I started to learn German and I'm still learning. In the 7th grade I started with English and I'm still struggling. I really like languages but It's a bit of a struggle. I'm not really good at writing correctly.

I like reading books in particular high fantasy. I'm also interested in sports. I like watching sports, in particular NBA, but I also like playing Ice Hockey and skiing. I like walking in the mountains and to go hunting with my dad. Not because I like killing animals, not at all. More because you are in the forest walking and watching animals. I also like to meet my friends and drink a beer with them and have a nice chat.

My name is Naomi Arpagaus. I'm 16 years old and live in Laax. Laax is a beautiful village in the Grisons and has a very nice ski resort which is quite popular. I live there with my cat, my parents and my older sister. She has just finished her apprenticeship and goes to school now for another year. 

In my spare time, when it rains and I stay at home, I like drawing, making music or watching films. If the sun shines I love going out with friends, doing some sports or just hanging out at the lake. I also like cooking and baking very much. I took piano lessons for about 4 years but now I just play it at home when I have time. For about a year I have been playing the cello. I also play in an orchestra where we meet every second Saturday to practise. Next to playing the cello I go to the cantonal school of the Grisons where I learn a lot of languages. 

My mother tongue is Romansh, but I also speak German nearly like a native speaker because you learn it automatically in a village like Laax where both are spoken. You almost can't get through with just Romansh because the regions where Romansh is spoken aren't that big and they are anyway very often mixed with both German and Romansh speaking people. I have also had German lessons since my fourth year at primary school which I believe is a very good age to learn a second language. Then about four years ago I started to learn English and for one year I attended an Italian class. A year ago I started to learn Spanish at school and I really enjoy it. I generally love learning languages because you can always use them. Also by knowing Romansh it wasn't that hard for me to learn these different languages because they are very similar to each other. In future I certainly want to learn more languages, especially Bosnian, because that's my father's mother tongue. 

I'm looking forward to this project very much and hope to learn many new things about the different minority languages in Europe and as well about the countries we are going to visit. I like the fact that there are more minority languages that might be in a similar situation as we are and that we can meet them to exchange information and get to know things about them, the dificulties and advantages of their language, and also about their culture.

My name is Curdin Steinauer.I was born on February 21st in 1999. I have always lived in Trin, a village on the west side of Chur. It's at the beginning of the Surselva, a Romansh speaking valley. Trin has about 1200 inhabitants. I go to school everyday by bus. My brother is one and a half years older than me. In my free time firstly I am in a robotics club. We build
robots there which play soccer or drive through a maze. We are probbably going to Japan in summer 2017 with these soccer robots, to take part in the robot challenge. Secondly I go climbing and mountaineering. I often do this with my brother and some friends. In winter I go skiing in the neighbouring village, but more often I go ski touring. With a kind of synthetic fur on the lower side of the skis we walk up mountains and after this we ski down. And somtimes I go ice climbing. After this school I would like to study electrical engineering or something in this direction.
My mother was born in the Engadin, the very east part of switzerland. The language Vallader, which is spoken there, and the Sursilvan speaking parts have the longest distance to each other, in the Romansh speaking parts of Grisons, so they are quite diffrent. So I learnt Vallader, the idiom of my mum when I grew up. Later in the kindergarden and primary school I learnt the idiom Sursilvan, which I still have in school now.
I am intrested in what you do in your free time and what your culture is like. I look forward to learning about language minorities. Do you have school lessons in your language? How many people talk it? I hope these questions will be answered. I have travelled to Great Britain but I have never been to Finland or Poland.

My name is Xenia Rahel Stäger. I am seventeen years old. 

In my free time I like playing volleyball, listening to music, skiing and sometimes reading fantasy books or drawing. We have got two rabbits.I really like animals. I have got a sister called Zoe who is fifteen years old. At the moment I am studying in Chur. I lived in Bivio for six years then we moved house to Mon. 

My native language is German. In the Kindergarten I had to learn Romansch. In the secondary school we started to learn English and a year ago I began to learn Spanish in school. One of my desires concerning languages is to learn Italian, because I think it is a beautiful language.

My Name is Donat Deplazes. I was born 1998 on the 4th of April. I grew up in a very peaceful village called Surrein which only 150 people inhabit. What I like most about it and the valley itself called Surselva are the beautiful mountains, the silent lakes and most of all the fresh air. Sometimes it's hard for me to leave my valley because Chur, the town where I go to school, doesn't feel like home because it's more noisy and chaotic.
I have another brother called Cundrau who's working in Zurich as an electrician. He's also the type of guy who finds it hard to leave the well-known roots.

In my childhood I learned Romansh as my mother tongue. Therefore it is the language of my heart, but is very hard to use in a formal way.
I also started learning High German from a very early moment, by watching a lot television. I actually have a stronger vocubulary in High German than in Romansh, which I find a shame. Because most Romansh speaking people have a bigger vocubulary in High German, we mixe them up a lot. But I don't think that this is an isolated case in such a multicultural time like we live in.
Swiss German was much harder to learn, because I only learned it by speaking with relatives who grew up in central Switzerland and therefore never had enough practice to really learn Romansh by speaking it with their Romansh speaking parent. Actually I couldn't speak any Swiss German till I started going on a German speaking school 4 years ago.
English I started to learn when I was 12 by watching short clips on youtube that entertained me anyway even if I didn't undertand a single word.

My name is Stina Hendry, I'm 17 years old and I attend the fifth year of the cantonal school of the Grisons. I grew up in a little village in the mountain area. Because of school I also had to move to Chur. I live here in a boarding hostel with a lot of other students, which I really enjoy. 

My big passions are drama, arts and writing. Mostly I'm involved in different theater projects, so I'm part of the cast of the Young Theater Chur. Beside this I also spend a lot of time writing. I usually write in Romansh althogh my native language is  German in fact. But Romansh seems more emotional to me. My biggest project has been the Romansh fantasy novel "Emalio" which I wrote together with Flurina Albin, one of my best friends. At the moment we are working on a second book but it will take a few years until it will be published.


My native language is German, because my mother is from the German speaking part of Switzerland. Although my father is Romansh speaking I first learned German. But of course Romansh is now just like a second native language to me. At school we had to speak Romansh until the fourth year. Then my classmates had their first German lessons. For me it was a big advantage to have a German speaking family. When I was thirteen I started learning English at school. A second change at school was that all the lessons were held in German. I also had Italian and Spanish lessons each one for a year. Romansh was really useful because it simplifies the learning of those languages.

Im really interested in languages themselves but of course also in the people who speak them, because I had the experience to have access to German and Romansh society, which is actually not a big difference but the mentality is quite different, as Romansh is a minority. But it makes me curious and Id like to know more about other minorities and their problems and difficulties. Id also like to know more about the political aspects, which minorities often have to deal with and compare them with the situation of my language.

Hello, my name is Anna Bärtsch. I'm 18 years old and I live in Falera. In the winter it's a huge ski resort (LAAX). In my freetime I do a lot of sports like surfing, snowboarding, climbing, jogging and so on. I also like reading and singing. Most of the books I read are in English. I love the sea and the mountains.

My brother and I both learnt Romansh in the kindergarden because our parents can't speak Romansh. At home we only speak German. Now I attend a bilingual high school. I attend it in Romansh and German. At the primary school I learnt English which is one of my favourite languages. In every day life I mostly talk German. Just at school and with some friends I talk Romansh.

I want to know what problems other minorities have to struggle with. I love to travel and get to know many different people, see different places, how people live there, the language, special food or drinks and so on. After this time, I hope I can understand other minorities and that the different minorities keep in touch.

My name is Lina Camenisch and I'm 18 years old. I was born in Chur, the capital city of Grisons, Switzerland. I went to primary school in Chur. When I was 15 I went to Italy for one year. There I stayed with a hostfamily and I went to an Italian liceo to study Italian. Now I'm at my second last year at the Graubündner Kantonsschule Chur. I've got a brother, Casper. He's 19 years old but we don' get on with each other very well. I also have a boyfriend for nearly three years. His name is Mirco, he's 21 years old and he's from the Romansh-speaking part of Grisons. In my freetime I like doing martial arts and spending time with friends.


My first language is German but I also speak Romansh fluently. Furthermore I speak Italian, French and English, which I learned at school. However, I don't like English and I'm not good at it.

I’m really looking forward to learning something about other minority languages and other cultures. I'll be pleased to get to know new people.

My name is Chiara Caspers and I'm a 17 year old girl. I was born in a little village called Vuorz in the Swiss Surselva. That's a region in the south-eastern alps of the country where Romansh is spoken. I don't have any siblings. I have always liked doing sports and I have been doing Gimnastics for ten years. I attend the "Scola Chantunala Grischuna" in Chur, the capital town in this Romansh speaking region but people living in the town itself mainly speak Swiss-German.

I speak German, Romanch, Spanish and a little English. When I was little, my parents moved with me from Switzerland to Spain where my grandmother lives. It didn't work out so well and after some time we moved back to Trin in Switzerland. This is a village in the Romansh speaking region as well, but it's just at the border to the Swiss-German part so it's pretty "germanized". Schools have to deal with children who don't know any Romansh so the whole class starts to speak German and Romansh starts to get lost. And so it was for me. Until I was about five years old I could speak Romansh better than German but since we moved to Trin this has changed a lot. My mother is native Romansh-speaking and my dad is from Germany. So in my house we speak two languages.
Now I am grateful that at school where I am now there's a billingual education and I see how much this is helping me to keep the language. We are also able to learn other languages - as I am now learning English and French as well. I have only just been on an exchange year in Costa Rica and there I learned Spanish.

This is also the reason why I instantly liked the idea of this project. Exchanging cultures and languages is always something really intereresting and instructive. Particularly if we get the possibility to get to know other minorities and their way of dealing with their situation. I am really looking forward to learning about other countries and getting to know new people.

Name: Lorena Marino
Born: 28.01.1998
Raised in: Camischolas

I grew up in Camischolas. It is a Rumantsch speaking village. Camischolas is surrounded by huge mountains and in winter we have a lot snow. I only spoke Rumantsch in the first years of my life, but because of the television I learned to speak and to understand German. From the forth primary school away we learned German as a subject. Years later we started to learn English and I’m still struggling with it.

Languages I speak fluently are Rumantsch (Sursilvan) and German, but I am not fluent in speaking English. One day I would like to learn Italian, because my grandfather was an Italian man and I really like the language melody. In my future I want to travel the world and I would like to see as many different countries as possible.

So about my free time activities. I really like winter, because I can do my favourite sport activities. I really love to snowboard, ice skating and I am fond of walking through the wonderful winter atmosphere. But on the other hand I also like Summer. I really enjoy monocycling. I have done it for 6 years. In summer I also like playing tennis and I really enjoy going out with friends, having a great time and a nice chat.

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