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Romandy (French: Romandie) is the French-speaking part of western Switzerland. In 2010 about 1.9 million people, or 24.4% of the Swiss population, lived in Romandy. The bulk of romand population lives in the Arc Lémanique region along Lake Geneva, connecting Geneva, Vaud and the Lower Valais.
The adjective romand (feminine romande) is a regional dialectal variant of roman (modern French romain, i.e. "Roman"); in Old French used as a term for the Gallo-Romance vernaculars. Use of the adjective romand (with its unetymological final -d) in reference to the Franco-Provençal dialects can be traced to the 15th century; it is recorded, as rommant, in a document written in Fribourg in 1424 and becomes current in the 17th and 18th centuries in Vaud and Fribourg; it was adopted in Geneva in the 19th century, but its usage never spread outside of what is now French-speaking Switzerland.
The term Suisse romande has become widely used since World War I; before World War I and during the 19th century, the term Suisse française "French Switzerland" was used, reflecting the cultural and political prestige of France (the canton of Vaud having been created by Napoleon out of former Bernese subject territories, while Geneva, Valais and Jura were even briefly joined to France, as the Léman, Simplon and Mont-Terrible départements, respectively).
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