Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Telesguard / Minisguard, and some linguistic notes

Just watched today's Telesguard daily news program in Romansh, and also the Minisguard weekly news program for children. (The latter apparently gets put up even before the show is over! It started at 17:40, and I started watching at 17:44.)

One interesting thing was hearing two Romansh speakers speaking to each other in different dialects: the host of the news program spoke Sursilvan, the guest (as far as I could tell) Vallader. And hearing the newscaster refer to the New Fiscal Equalisation Scheme as the NFA—obviously using the German acronym (from Neuer Finanzausgleich) as a loanword.

The NFA has been a topic in the news for quite a while; I'd read about it in the newspaper every now and then, with different people arguing whether people should be for or against it. (The guest in the news program was against it, as far as I could tell.)

However, the newspaper article headlines usually called it the NGF, from the Rumantsch Grischun name nova gulivaziun da finanzas; I wonder whether the newscaster didn't use that abbreviation because in her dialect it was an ulivaziun rather than gulivaziun, or whether NGF is simply a fiat abbreviation that nobody really uses "in real life", and everybody outside the press just uses the German abbreviation. (Related to this: in Minisguard, they mentioned handing over a "CD" to the winner of a competition; the puristic, native abbreviation would be "dc" from "disc cumpact".)

In related news, I learned that "Puntraschigna", the Romansh name of Pontresina, is apparently not Пунтрашиња, as I had always thought, but Пунтражиња.

If they adopted Croatian or Serbian spelling conventions, that'd resolve some of the ambiguity in the consonants, e.g. "sur" зур but "Surselva" Сурселва; Sursilvan "nus schein" нус шејн "we let" vs. "nus schein" нус жејн "we say". Though then you still wouldn't have enough vowel letters: not only would the front rounded vowels ü ö of Putèr and Vallader be missing, you couldn't distinguish between e.g. rg pez "cloth"/pèz "breast", sr spert "fast"/spért "spirit". (Unless you did something like use two or more of э е є in Cyrillic, or of é è e in Latin.)

Also, they had an interview with Urs Imboden, originally from Val Müstair but who will be representing Moldova at the Winter Olympics; he, presumably, spoke Jauer, and I could hardly understand anything at all :(

Tags: romansh
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