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  #141  
Old 20.06.2015, 14:02
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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and: German-German is a foreign language to us.
It is as foreign as you make it. High German doesn't have to be German-German either, it's the common normative language with plenty of nuances not only for and by the Swiss. My students all end up giving up the usual anti-German propaganda crap at some point in the school year when we get to know each other well. Not one ever defended an independent Swiss German language. I try to propose it as a project in class but as soon as they hear how much thinking is involved, they give up and go back eagerly to Goethe. If there is no language of its own based on Swiss German, then German is Swiss Germans' linguistic home, which is btw clearly stated in the federal constitution. The home is big enough for plenty of differences. So no. German is not foreign to you if you don't make it foreign.
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  #142  
Old 20.06.2015, 14:06
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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s chunt druf ab - wänns luschtig isch, isch s Ami humor.



I often feel a little for my German friends living in Switzerland, since they are fully expected to understand dialect but absolutely frowned upon if they try to speak it. in this regard, it is actually easier to be an American in Switzerland, since any ability I have to understand any other language beside American English is met with a smile and any ability I have to speak any other language beside American English is met with utter astonishment. even if I speak it horribly and with a clearly American accent.

whatever empathy I might have for my German friends, however, stops the very minute they start complaining about the way our Swiss friends speak German, or when they speak negatively about dialect.
Fixed that for you; sorry, I couldn't resist.
But trust me it's true. Unfair maybe, but true.
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  #143  
Old 20.06.2015, 14:30
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Guess who has this as a signature:
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly.

And for the record:
The area is actually in Bayern, not around it. But hey, wrong geography is so much fun. Is it now English humour or American humor?
It's German. And I mean this kindly.
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  #144  
Old 20.06.2015, 14:30
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Fixed that for you; sorry, I couldn't resist.
But trust me it's true. Unfair maybe, but true.
I don't know if it's fair, but I think it's absolutely wonderful - all I have to say is "s tuet mir so leid aber i bin Ami" and then I can get away with just about anything.

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  #145  
Old 20.06.2015, 15:03
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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It is as foreign as you make it. High German doesn't have to be German-German either, it's the common normative language with plenty of nuances not only for and by the Swiss. My students all end up giving up the usual anti-German propaganda crap at some point in the school year when we get to know each other well. Not one ever defended an independent Swiss German language. I try to propose it as a project in class but as soon as they hear how much thinking is involved, they give up and go back eagerly to Goethe. If there is no language of its own based on Swiss German, then German is Swiss Germans' linguistic home, which is btw clearly stated in the federal constitution. The home is big enough for plenty of differences. So no. German is not foreign to you if you don't make it foreign.
I'm surprised after the time you've lived here, that you still don't get it. The first thing Swiss-German speaking kids do at school is learn High German. More importantly: why is this??
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  #146  
Old 20.06.2015, 17:24
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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I'm surprised after the time you've lived here, that you still don't get it. The first thing Swiss-German speaking kids do at school is learn High German. More importantly: why is this??
I am surprised that you assume I am the one not getting it. Or am I? Google diglossia.
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  #147  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:23
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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It is as foreign as you make it. High German doesn't have to be German-German either, it's the common normative language with plenty of nuances not only for and by the Swiss. My students all end up giving up the usual anti-German propaganda crap at some point in the school year when we get to know each other well. Not one ever defended an independent Swiss German language. I try to propose it as a project in class but as soon as they hear how much thinking is involved, they give up and go back eagerly to Goethe. If there is no language of its own based on Swiss German, then German is Swiss Germans' linguistic home, which is btw clearly stated in the federal constitution. The home is big enough for plenty of differences. So no. German is not foreign to you if you don't make it foreign.
If Swiss talk about German-German they mean in principle High-German. Meaning the dialectless clear and simple (and in my opinion beautiful) language they speak in the Bochum area. I don't have a problem with High-German or German-German at all. But I've never met a German (no matter whether from Munich, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart or wherever who is not in a position to speak a very clear and good High-German. The number of Swiss who can speak without dialect colored German is very low. An Swiss-German destroys the sound of pretty much every much every language. Unfortunately. To be honest I don't like hearing myself speaking German or English. And with French is the worst.
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  #148  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:25
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Google diglossia.
But check your Safe Search settings beforehand...
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  #149  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:29
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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The number of Swiss who can speak without dialect colored German is very low.
They don't have too. Artificially created problem. If you think that all German speak perfectly accent-free High German, you really need to clear your ears up, it's not that hard to find. Kohl couldn't get High German pronunciation right, no Bavarian minister ever could pass for anything but Bavarian, Helmut Schmidt speaks clearly Hamburgerdeutsch and Honnecker was famous for his Saarland-Ossideutsch (yea, i know Saarland is not in the east).

If you have an idiotic German who makes an idiotic comment about Swiss colored High German, just answer back the same way the Québecois answer the French: It's you who has an accent, not us. Done. But no reason to neglect High German for it.
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  #150  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:31
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

At the moment, between the six of us, we are speaking Swiss-German, High German, Italian and English.

Go Figure.

Tom
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  #151  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:40
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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At the moment, between the six of us, we are speaking Swiss-German, High German, Italian and English.

Go Figure.
Not impressed.
Between me and myself, I've spoken German, watched a French film, listened to a Danish podcast, written English here, read Dutch news and i'm about to make my daily 20 minutes of Romansh on rtr.ch. That's one person. Go figure.
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  #152  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:45
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Not impressed.
Between me and myself, I've spoken German, watched a French film, listened to a Danish podcast, written English here, read Dutch news and i'm about to make my daily 20 minutes of Romansh on rtr.ch. That's one person. Go figure.
In other words, you have no friends.

Tom
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  #153  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:50
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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In other words...
In other words, I speak to my friends in their own language.
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  #154  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:53
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

Great- so you speak Swiss German then...
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  #155  
Old 20.06.2015, 20:57
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Great- so you speak Swiss German then...
No, the language of my Swiss German friends is German. We just happen not to have the same dialect. Normal situation for German, nothing new under the sky.
This anti-German propaganda the hypocrites serve to foreigners in Switzerland has really totally redefined reality... scary.
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  #156  
Old 20.06.2015, 21:58
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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No, the language of my Swiss German friends is German. We just happen not to have the same dialect. Normal situation for German, nothing new under the sky.
This anti-German propaganda the hypocrites serve to foreigners in Switzerland has really totally redefined reality... scary.
for many of my Swiss friends, particularly those who are older, however, their dialect still retains a very distinct and important political element that was rendered irrelevant to many of the other German dialects centuries ago. in other words, the difference between dialect in Hamburg versus Münich is not the same as the difference between dialect in Hamburg versus Bern, for reasons that have very little to do with the actual language itself.

as an American, by the way, that political element is what interests me most about dialect, since on a certain level I can relate to it and certainly respect it (even though the etymologies of American versus Queen's English and Swiss versus standardized German are generally reversed).
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  #157  
Old 20.06.2015, 22:03
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

Excellent post- and this is much more prevalent perhaps in rural areas than in towns- and in rural/labourers groups than (youngish) 'intellectuals/white collar workers/teachers, etc'. Some of us live in much more mixed communities than others, perhaps.

What about Bern versus Zurich and vice versa?

Last edited by Odile; 20.06.2015 at 22:17.
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  #158  
Old 21.06.2015, 00:44
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

I totally agree about the political dimension, this has been my claim all along, five years now or so. There is no specific linguistic issue at all between Germany and Switzerland sharing a common language, only a political one.

But because you know Switzerland better than Germany, you underestimate how political the difference between Hamburg and Munich and even stronger between Berlin and Munich is. Even within Bayern, there is a hugely political battle between Nieder/Oberbayern and Franken (Munich vs. Nürnberg) and to a lesser extent between Bavarian Swabians and Bayern in Bavaria. It's the same as Bern vs. Zürich in history or basel vs. Zürich nowadays.

I am sorry if I take away something special from some EF members in Switzerland, but Swiss German Switzerland is not different in essence from Germany, we see the issues more clearly because we are here and because the Swiss make sure they are made clear, whereas the Germans tend to play that all down.
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  #159  
Old 21.06.2015, 08:26
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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In other words, you have no friends.

Tom
Seems like he doesn`t need any.
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Old 21.06.2015, 08:39
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Re: Speaking swiss german in presence of non-Swiss

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Seems like he doesn`t need any.
He seems like he's making some valid points here and some people keep babbling just for the sake of it, because we have our likes and dislikes on EF and most of the time we write half-baked things to get "thanks" from our gang.
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