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  #321  
Old 08.11.2014, 14:25
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Yes some of what goes on in developing Asia is nauseating….
As indeed some of what goes in Middle East, or in Europe, in UK or in USA on in Australia or South Africa.... pretty much everywhere else.


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How many hours a week do you guys reckon you have to put into learning German to get to a proficient level?
Depends on how much you can take, make and fake :-). One of my friend took 3 months and is now a receptionist in a local firm in the outskirts of Zurich, so I guess needs to use it a lot and is doing well... I have spent 4 years in Zurich and never tried to learn German and I am not doing bad either. But if you want to be proficient, then it would depend on your interest, intellect, effort and time etc etc. But I think between 6 months and 1 year would be fairly average.

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Is it really that impossible to make Swiss German friends?
Not really. I have few (and I don't speak German).
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I'm surprised that people see Zurich as dead according to some on this forum
Quite living and kicking in fact. Depends largely on how lively do you consider lively enough.
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  #322  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:02
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Re: London vs Zurich

well being here 4 years and not being able to speak German-something wrong there?
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  #323  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:06
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Re: London vs Zurich

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well being here 4 years and not being able to speak German-something wrong there?
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  #324  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:08
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Re: London vs Zurich

Where-here. What stops you from learning German?
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  #325  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:21
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Where-here. What stops you from learning German?
My lethargy.
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  #326  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:26
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Re: London vs Zurich

Perhaps I've missed it in all the tangents this thread has flown off on... But what about the two job offers? Are they equal in terms of professional interest, challenges, rewards, and opportunities for advancement? It would seem to me that comparing the two job offers would weigh heavily in the decision.

Whichever city you choose... Remember that Zurich and London are only a quick and cheap flight away from one another. Plenty of folks live in one and play in the other.




And an FYI, an interesting article from Swissinfo on hurdles some returning Swiss have faced:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/multimed...ttle-/41091306
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  #327  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:30
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Re: London vs Zurich

Indians take to the German language pretty good as far as I can see. I work with a couple in Nursing.
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My lethargy.
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  #328  
Old 08.11.2014, 15:45
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Re: London vs Zurich

If the dating scene is really important to you then I would really recommend London over Zuerich. London is by far better in terms of nightlife possibilities. Zuerich is good if your priority is nature (mountains and lakes).
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  #329  
Old 08.11.2014, 18:46
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Quite living and kicking in fact. Depends largely on how lively do you consider lively enough.
Berlin is close enough to get my fill
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  #330  
Old 08.11.2014, 19:55
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Re: London vs Zurich

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at the moment…as a Swiss I would like to rediscover Switzerland and it would be a great opportunity to improve my German and Swiss German?
I didn't realize you are Swiss. Sorry, I guess I am suppose to read all the posts before commenting.


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How many hours a week do you guys reckon you have to put into learning German to get to a proficient level?

Switzerland is the worst places to learn good German. Its a great place to learn bad German.

There are 6 week intensive courses that will get you a basic Goethe Certificate to get you on your way. The rest is practical use on the fly.

I've known Sri Lankans who pass their Goethe Certificate within 6 to 9 months of arriving. I know Brits who have lived here for 15 years and can't speak a damn. Proves that you can actually survive here without speaking any at all. Level of necessity and motivation is key.

Also, the best way is to jump into the deep end. Avoid English altogether for the first year or two. Which means avoiding expats as well, and you will more likely learn it.



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Is it really that impossible to make Swiss German friends?
No, of course not.


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I'm surprised that people see Zurich as dead according to some on this forum as a couple of family friends in Geneva say that Zurich is where it's all at…maybe it's just a question of perspective?
If you set your expectations to somewhere like the level of Boise, Idaho, you won't be disappointed. You may be pleased. If you set your level of expectations to a metropolis, you will be disappointed.



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If I move to Zurich maybe you could lend me a helping hand?
You should visit first and scout the place. If you do, I'd take you out and introduce you to my girlfriends.

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  #331  
Old 08.11.2014, 23:19
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Switzerland is the worst places to learn good German. Its a great place to learn bad German.
One of the things that really helped me managing with German proficiency is having lived a while in Germany before living in Switzerland
Even that, I still needed to adjust with some differences between German Standard German and Swiss Standard German, let alone the Swiss German
Having learned French as well, I'd say Standard German is a bit more complicated, and Swiss German has no grammar
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  #332  
Old 09.11.2014, 11:52
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Re: London vs Zurich

@ Sudeepta - the scale of the abuse of women and children in Far East Asia, India and the Middle East is unmatched compared to other places of the world (I have written a research paper on prostituion and human trafficking)

@ Omtatstat - nationalism is on the rise globally not just in Switzerland - take France, UK, Belgium and Germany but also here in Singapore (the government recently tightened the requirements on foreign residents), Hong Kong (resenting the immigration of mainland Chinese into HK). I think many people are starting to resent the negative effects of globalisation and the erosion of local identity, see this Wall Street Journal article on the global rise of nationalist movements:-

http://m.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424...67658?mobile=y

I honestly believe that the Swiss (and I'm not a native Swiss) are pretty welcoming to foreigners; they just want to preserve their Swissness in the same way that other countries want to preserve their national identity. It's a delicate balancing act between being pro immigration and preserving national identity. Both sides are equally valid and that's why it makes sense to have a selective immigration system like the Aussies have.

@everyone - I'd like to think I would make the effort to learn German although I know from learning mandarin what a huge effort it is (I think German will be easier). I'm very tempted by a return to Switzerland and learning Swiss German in an effort to finally put down roots somewhere. The nature and landscape of Switzerland is also just stunning. It's just that I'm scared of being "left on the shelf" at 34 as I have been kindly reminded by Phos and Switzerlanded.

Career wise both London and Zurich are about equal. I would have a more generalist role in London and a much more specialized role in Zurich. The head office is also in Zurich.
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  #333  
Old 09.11.2014, 12:08
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Re: London vs Zurich

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@ Sudeepta - the scale of the abuse of women and children in Far East Asia, India and the Middle East is unmatched compared to other places of the world (I have written a research paper on prostituion and human trafficking)

@ Omtatstat - nationalism is on the rise globally not just in Switzerland - take France, UK, Belgium and Germany but also here in Singapore (the government recently tightened the requirements on foreign residents), Hong Kong (resenting the immigration of mainland Chinese into HK). I think many people are starting to resent the negative effects of globalisation and the erosion of local identity, see this Wall Street Journal article on the global rise of nationalist movements:-

http://m.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424...67658?mobile=y

I honestly believe that the Swiss (and I'm not a native Swiss) are pretty welcoming to foreigners; they just want to preserve their Swissness in the same way that other countries want to preserve their national identity. It's a delicate balancing act between being pro immigration and preserving national identity. Both sides are equally valid and that's why it makes sense to have a selective immigration system like the Aussies have.

@everyone - I'd like to think I would make the effort to learn German although I know from learning mandarin what a huge effort it is (I think German will be easier). I'm very tempted by a return to Switzerland and learning Swiss German in an effort to finally put down roots somewhere. The nature and landscape of Switzerland is also just stunning. It's just that I'm scared of being "left on the shelf" at 34 as I have been kindly reminded by Phos and Switzerlanded.

Career wise both London and Zurich are about equal. I would have a more generalist role in London and a much more specialized role in Zurich. The head office is also in Zurich.
The reason for the rising nationalism is the presence of (radical) liberals who are striving to do their best to eradicate their own cultural identity. Take for example the situation in the UK. The British government insists on the importance of not requiring foreigners to adopt the local culture. The term is called "cultural relativism". According to this principal, all cultures are equal. But this is clearly not the case. If all cultures were equal, then we wouldnt have so many immigrants from the Middle East and Africa in our western societies. The UK government allows these immigrants to send their children to islamic schools, where hate and intolerance is preached, insisting that people must keep their own culture, not realizing that, in fact, their own culture is the sole reason for leaving their country in the first place.
And when these completely different communities grow in size and loom larger, when we have "cities within the cities", then the local people feel threatened and feel obliged to stand their ground. You cannot be tolerant to the intolerant because too much tolerance leads to no tolerance at all.

Europe is an amazing place, so tolerant and open. And the ridiculous thing is that if we continue with that level of tolerance, we would simply return to the position of intolerance 100 years ago.
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  #334  
Old 09.11.2014, 12:13
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Re: London vs Zurich

Der_Spieler thank you!! Your post is spot on!!
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  #335  
Old 09.11.2014, 12:44
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Re: London vs Zurich

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@ Sudeepta - the scale of the abuse of women and children in Far East Asia, India and the Middle East is unmatched compared to other places of the world (I have written a research paper on prostituion and human trafficking).
Some other time, some other day.


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@ everyone - I'd like to think I would make the effort to learn German although I know from learning mandarin what a huge effort it is (I think German will be easier). I'm very tempted by a return to Switzerland and learning Swiss German in an effort to finally put down roots somewhere.
Well it seems you are good in languages. You have tried your hands at two vastly different language families already (Dravidian - Tamil, and Sino Tibetan - Mandarin) and there is no reason why you will find German more difficult than either of them. Best of luck.
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  #336  
Old 09.11.2014, 13:13
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Perhaps I've missed it in all the tangents this thread has flown off on... But what about the two job offers? Are they equal in terms of professional interest, challenges, rewards, and opportunities for advancement? It would seem to me that comparing the two job offers would weigh heavily in the decision.

Whichever city you choose... Remember that Zurich and London are only a quick and cheap flight away from one another. Plenty of folks live in one and play in the other.




And an FYI, an interesting article from Swissinfo on hurdles some returning Swiss have faced:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/multimed...ttle-/41091306


The Swissinfo article reminds me of schooltimes when in 1960 we suddenly had a new schoolmate, François, who with Dad&Mum had just arrived from Léopoldville in the Belgian Congo. Their household was still at Brussels Zaventem Airport in Depot with the Belgian Air Force, his Dad who was from Geneva originally (Born and grown up however in Léopoldville) had tried to find a Job in Geneva, but nobody was interested in a chap with experience in French speaking colonial Africa. His Mum, originating from Zürich (also born in the Congo) then took the family to Zürich where his Dad found a good Job swiftly. But the adults had to face changes
- the driver did not wait but was a tram-driver of the VBZ
- the wife had to do the washing herself (no maid)
- the wife had to do gardening herself (no gardener)


We (pupils+teacher) taught François (who spoke zero German) German within three months, and he enjoyed the freedom he suddenly had
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  #337  
Old 09.11.2014, 13:15
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Indians take to the German language pretty good as far as I can see. I work with a couple in Nursing.

Urdu and Hindi and Bengali are closer to German than to English

Last edited by Wollishofener; 09.11.2014 at 13:46.
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  #338  
Old 09.11.2014, 13:18
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Re: London vs Zurich

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@everyone - I'd like to think I would make the effort to learn German although I know from learning mandarin what a huge effort it is (I think German will be easier). I'm very tempted by a return to Switzerland and learning Swiss German in an effort to finally put down roots somewhere. The nature and landscape of Switzerland is also just stunning. It's just that I'm scared of being "left on the shelf" at 34 as I have been kindly reminded by Phos and Switzerlanded.

Career wise both London and Zurich are about equal. I would have a more generalist role in London and a much more specialized role in Zurich. The head office is also in Zurich.
Best of luck with your decision but all these adjacent discussions on different cultures were so unnecessary. You survived there for a few good years so it couldn't have been that bad, is it? I wouldn't feel the need to totally disregard another culture in order to justify my personal decisions. You think it would be better here, fine, but not because in Singapore is so bad. Why this need to "escape" that place with a totally dark image?
I always saw moving to another country as an opportunity to broaden my knowledge about world and confront my views with other views, sometimes I feel like I know better but sometimes is wow, that's the way, these people are onto something. It is a pity you didn't find anything like that, as I am sure we all can learn something from other societies, even the most culturally remote ones.
And, to be honest with you, I don't understand why are you so afraid of being left alone on the shelf at the age of 34. Isn't that a worry that less "liberated" and emancipated, less "cultured" women have?
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  #339  
Old 09.11.2014, 13:30
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Re: London vs Zurich

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Urdu and Hindi and Bengal are closer to German than to English
Bengali you mean. Bengal was a province in British India, now broken into two parts - West Bengal in India and Bangladesh.
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Old 09.11.2014, 13:37
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Re: London vs Zurich

@greenmount - Whose culture did I disrespect? You're right travel does broaden your horizons on the sense that you develop an understanding of other peoples' cultures and values (I learnt some Tamil and mandarin).I came to Asia a much more liberal person than I am today precisely because I have developed an understanding of the Asian perspective on immigration, wealth, family, religion and identity. It's thanks to my time in Asia that today I am far more conservative than I once was.

Many westerners exoticize the rest of the world, have an ingrained belief that we are all absolutely equal and that cultural barriers can always be overcome. This is unfortunately a flawed one sided view of the world and if as outlined by Der Spieler continues the tolerant west will quite simply decline and be subsumed into history in a century's time. The reverse side of the coin is having a sense of identity, of your own values, appreciating where you come from and understanding that we live in a world of varying degrees of difference depending on where you are. Diversity makes the world a fascinating place.
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