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  #101  
Old 17.06.2015, 00:04
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

can we please get back on topic and complain about Swiss people that speak their own language in their own country?
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  #102  
Old 17.06.2015, 00:28
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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can we please get back on topic and complain about Swiss people that speak their own language in their own country?
Their own dialect(s) of a language shared with neighbours. Get it right please if you want to come back the the real topic.
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  #103  
Old 17.06.2015, 00:35
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Their own dialect(s) of a language shared with neighbours. Get it right please if you want to come back the the real topic.
Right, so what's next, insisting that Scots speak the Queen's English?

Or, perhaps, insisting that people from south of the Mason-Dixon line learn to speak in an intelligible manner?

Tom
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  #104  
Old 17.06.2015, 01:04
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

Well, I guess reference to Swiss German is correct. There are so many dialects (cf https://www.google.ch/search?q=idiot...dialekt%20test for some testing) and most of the Swiss don't speak a pure dialect. My father grew-up in Zurich (grand parents were from Thurgau and Basle), my mother from Berne, I grew up in St.Gallen. Guess what dialect I'm speaking. All I can say is that is really nice.
To be honest with you is that I honestly believe that no one exects a foreigner speaking Swiss German (no matter what dialect). If I was to learn Swiss German or German I'd definitely go for the latter. It's a language you can write at least (hate these guys writing in Swiss German. That's where the dialects come into play. You can't really read that kind of stuff). However, if you understand at least the general meaning of what is being discussed, this would certainly help.
The only reasonable excuse is that the Swiss are VERY undisciplined (including myself sometime - apologies) and don't really realiszed that there are people who don't speak the language. In my experience this happens particulalry to the Swiss who consider themselves to be quite proficient and to some degree don't realize whether they are speaking Swiss or English. BTW: It may help if you speak to a German Swiss in the presence of a French (Swiss). French is avoided at all cost.
Cheers!
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  #105  
Old 17.06.2015, 08:17
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

Just don't be here in 15 years time when the language in the workplace becomes Serbo-Kroatisch-Deutsch.

Pingu will change


to
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  #106  
Old 17.06.2015, 09:10
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

I work for a global company with employees and offices in all corners of the planet. In meetings, if the Swiss who are less able with English want to do German I'll ask for Schriftdeutsch. But if it involves people from India, US etc then English it is.

The important thing is everyone in the meeting understands what's going on, and not to have a xenophobic <automoderated>ing contest.

Cheers,
Nick
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  #107  
Old 17.06.2015, 19:31
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Right, so what's next, insisting that Scots speak the Queen's English?
Stopp misunderstanding on purpose, will you. I am fine with both Scots and Swiss, as long as they actually can be understood by the neighbors they share the language with. Which is the case for both Scots and Swiss when they want to. Diglossia is a normal thing most places in the world, don't make it sound as if I defended any kind of dialect genocide, that is just dishonest of you.
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  #108  
Old 18.06.2015, 10:06
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

as a general rule, a swiss who speaks in swiss german in the presence of new foreigners or in business settings can be ignored because his statements are not worth any attention.
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  #109  
Old 18.06.2015, 10:40
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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as a general rule, a swiss who speaks in swiss german in the presence of new foreigners or in business settings can be ignored because his statements are not worth any attention.
Pot; kettle.
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  #110  
Old 18.06.2015, 10:57
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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as a general rule, a swiss who speaks in swiss german in the presence of new foreigners or in business settings can be ignored because his statements are not worth any attention.
If Bigfujitsu stands alone in a forest, where no one can hear, and says something - is he wrong?
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  #111  
Old 18.06.2015, 11:46
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

Taking countries out of this completely, how about looking at it this way:

A group which is used to speaking Elvish when out together is out socializing at The Big Magic Stone. A person not knowledgeable of Elvish comes to The Big Magic Stone and would like to join into the conversation so as to understand what the others are talking about: it might be interesting and Person is curious.

He walks up to them and joins in speaking.

Do you think they would be most receptive if Person walks up and
a) demands that they speak Mermish because their country is surrounded by water
b) demands that they speak slower, stating that he can't understand them
c) asks them to speak slower because he would like to learn their language
d) asks them to speak slower and if some of them speak Mermish so that, if he doesn't understand them, he can ask for clarification?
e) asks them to speak slower because he would like to learn their language, but is still learning the basics and therefore would like clarification in Mermish when possible?

Do you think they would be most inclusive of Person if
A) some of them speak basic Mermish
B) some of them would like to learn Mermish
C) none of them speak Mermish
D) Mermish is the (slightly disliked) official language which they are forced to speak when at formal events with higher-ups

Do you think it's relevant for all (the group and Person)
1) to disclose where they are from
2) to disclose which languages they speak
3) to be curious
4) to be inclusive
5) to not lose focus on their conversation

I think a combo of d, e, A, B, 3, and 5 is best to get new people into a group, but that there is no basic right to be included in one - it always depends on the circumstances.
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  #112  
Old 18.06.2015, 11:49
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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A group which is used to speaking Elvish when out together is out socializing at The Big Magic Stone. A person not knowledgeable of Elvish comes to The Big Magic Stone and would like to join into the conversation so as to understand what the others are talking about
"**** off, you fish-tailed ****!"

They're a bad lot, the elves.
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  #113  
Old 18.06.2015, 12:17
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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I think a combo of d, e, A, B, 3, and 5 is best to get new people into a group, but that there is no basic right to be included in one - it always depends on the circumstances.
Couldn't agree more with the last sentence. You're right: it always depends on the circumstances. But in a business setting and at a more formal event (e.g. a work/project related meeting) it is counter-productive to leave some people outside. Then, perhaps the selection should have been done in a more drastic way and without the knowledge of a certain language/dialect of a certain language, one couldn't have gotten the job.
That being said, I agree that it is absurd to ask a group to "include" you at any time and any place, especially if that means they have to switch to a non-native language/dialect....but the OP was referring more to the work related discussions, as far as I understood.
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  #114  
Old 18.06.2015, 13:59
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

regardless of whether it is a work or social setting, I have always told my fellow foreigners who move to or visit Switzerland the following 2 things:

1. the average German-speaking Swiss person does not give 2 hoots about whether or not you feel "included".

2. do not take No. 1 personally - they may exclude you because you do not speak the language, but they will just as easily exclude fellow German-speaking Swiss on the basis of which village you were raised in, which side of the Zürisee you live on, level of schooling attained, school grades earned, choice of profession, how much beer you drink, the day of the week, hair color, height, weight, hobbies, whether you shop at Migros or Coop, etc., etc., etc.

it is simply a cultural difference as to what some foreigners may be used to, and in this regard the earlier post by aSwissInTheUS was spot on - whether you like it or not, it is what it is and it is sink or swim. there is no point in complaining about it, just as there is equally no point in complaining about those who do not understand it - eventually, they will either learn to accept it and adapt or they will leave.
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  #115  
Old 18.06.2015, 14:03
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

most helpful post I have seen here since I arrived!
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  #116  
Old 18.06.2015, 15:11
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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2. do not take No. 1 personally - they may exclude you because you do not speak the language, but they will just as easily exclude fellow German-speaking Swiss on the basis of which village you were raised in, which side of the Zürisee you live on, level of schooling attained, school grades earned, choice of profession, how much beer you drink, the day of the week, hair color, height, weight, hobbies, whether you shop at Migros or Coop, etc., etc., etc.
2a. They may exclude you because you're a total dickhead. Check for yourself if you fall in that category. If yes you're allowed to take it personally
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  #117  
Old 19.06.2015, 00:08
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

I could not agree more. But: Did you ever think about whether or not the average German-speaking Swiss feels integrated in the groups of expats that are having fun together? Pretty hard for the average German-speaking Swiss to get in touch with them. No one would chat with you even if you sit next them. Ever taken this point of view?
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  #118  
Old 19.06.2015, 00:14
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Did you ever think about whether or not the average German-speaking Swiss feels integrated in the groups of expats that are having fun together?
Umm, my Swiss-German wife speaks no German, Swiss or otherwise.

I'm Swiss-German as well, our Heimatorts are 15km apart, albeit in different cantons. Mine is the one, appropriately enough, named for an Irish dude.

Anyway, we speak Italian, only the zucchini speak Swiss-German.

Tom
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  #119  
Old 19.06.2015, 00:19
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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only the zucchini speak Swiss-German.
Isn't it Zucchetti in Switzerland anyway???
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  #120  
Old 19.06.2015, 00:24
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

Acutally both.
In Ticino it is zuccini in Ticino. It is Zucchetti in the German speaking part (and courgettes or something in the French speaking part). Pizza is definitely easier.
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