About 25 years ago I was traveling in a remote part of Graubünden, Switzerland, and I noticed at a kiosk that the elderly woman behind the counter voiced multiples of ten as ending in "lig" or maybe "ling" rather than "zig".

What dialect could this have been?

I don't remember exactly where I was, but I think it was in the far south of Graubünden, not far from the Italian border.

  • 2
    You need to consider that this might not even be dialect but a personal quirk. My own grandmother (who grew up in a rural area in the 1910s and 1920s and had the corresponding low education and also spoke Märkisches Plattdeutsch as a child) always said "fumpzich" instead of "fünfzich". I have never met another person who did so. The region you describe would hint at Walserdeutsch but I couldn't find examples of how they say numbers above ten. Being from Northern Germany, I don't think I'd be able to understand that dialect at all. So I wonder if she even spoke her dialect to you.
    – user6495
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Apparently in Graubünden they speak 5 dialects of Rätoromansch and according to this page (https://de.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Sprachf%C3%BChrer_R%C3%A4toromanisch) they pronounce 20 as ventg, which maybe is pronounced as "tig," but that ending doesn't hold true for 30, 40, etc.

  • Romansh is a Romance language, one of the four official languages of Switzerland. The question was about dialects of German. At least I think that the OP would have recognised the difference.
    – Carsten S
    Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 20:42
  • True, we were speaking German and I can't understand any Romansch, but maybe the particular word comes from there. Walserdeutsch seems like the more likely option to me, but obv I have no idea. Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 15:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.