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Minority languages of the Alps take to new media

In the past learning the Romansh language nearly always meant having to go through German. But since the end of last year Lia Rumantscha, the umbrella organisation for all Romansh associations, has posted an online English-Romansh dictionary called "myPledari" on the internet for free use.
Expressions in all the written languages of Romansh (Rumantsch Grischun and five idioms) can be entered and searched for. At present the database contains some 4300 entries and is to be expanded. Electronic documents are also to be retrievable in both languages in future.
Words in the Gröden-Ladin language and German can be looked up on a CD ROM. The Ladin cultural institute Micura de Rü presented the new CD ROM in mid-December. In addition to 21,000 entries in German the CD also features illustrations for many of the words and the correct pronunciation as well as information on spelling and grammar. The CD ROM is available from the Cultural Institute or from bookshops at a price of EUR 16.00.
Sources and information: www.mypledari.ch (en/romanisch), 18.12.2003 www.liarumantscha.ch (de/en/romanisch), www.ladinia.net/micura/go.html (de/it/en/ladinisch), http://wai.provinz.bz.it/lpa/news/detail_d.asp?artc (de)