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  #41  
Old 26.10.2015, 16:59
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Hi glowjupiter,

If we want to be grammatically precise, I said I can speak English, not write it Anyway, can we park this on the side please?

My question in post #1 was probably not clear enough so I will try to rephrase myself. Switzerland would not be first country where I live as an expat, so I know I have to learn language of the country to be able to "function" normally. Otherwise, it would close to impossible to feel welcomed, change jobs, etc.

I was more interested if I can use only English at the beginning without some major issues? For example:
- I have a small kid and it is very important for me to be able to communicate with the doctors somehow. Will English do the trick?



- At certain points in time I will need to do paperwork and probably communicate with Swiss administrative workers. Will I be able to communicate in English?
- Etc.

Thanks,
How will you cope with official documents, for instance with your in-German tax return?
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  #42  
Old 26.10.2015, 18:46
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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In fact, I signed for a German course 4 months ago in Goethe Institute.

If I get this job, company will take care of all paperwork and hire agency to take care of the apartment. I hope my German will be good enough when I decide to change apartment

Thank you all again!
Does that course start as soon as you arrive in CH?

You might want to ask your company what exactly they consider "all the paperwork" to be. In Switzerland, one needs to handle lots and lots and lots of paperwork.
Taxes (as mentioned, papers will be in German), health insurance (depending on your chosen insurance company, correspondence CAN be in English but you'll still end up with a German policy IIRC), everyday hassles with your flat (e.g. if you need something fixed ASAP and the janitor doesn't speak a word of English...), application for health insurance subsidies (depending on your income status you might be eligible for them, but you will have to fill out forms to apply), letters from your commune, taking care of your driver's license if you have a car, etc. etc.

Anyway, it's nice to see people are helping you out here with lots of advice (seems like you got tons of positive rep [green blobbies] as well) - hope you enjoy your stay on the EF.
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  #43  
Old 26.10.2015, 18:48
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Agree. If you learn early, you get positive feedback when you try. If you don't start then, after six months or so it can turn into 'don't you understand that yet?'
Adrian is different. He is the exception that doesn't prove anything!
Plus language courses are good places to dig chicks.
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  #44  
Old 27.10.2015, 01:06
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

Thanks again guys - you gave far more answers than newbie bloke like me expected. I am a little bit more confident that I will be able to handle things at the beginning until I start to Spreche


Someone asked me about my German courses - I am attending it for 4 months already, so at least I can ask for a time, coffee, direction, etc. though I am not sure I will understand the answer If I get and accept the offer, company will cover part of expenses for language courses. Even if they don't, I would sign for courses anyway.


My job agent gave me similar answer as you did - Basel is multinational, multicultural city and many things could posibly be "finished" using English.


Regarding paperwork, I remember filling my first Tax Return in Australia - it literally took me few weeks. I believe it is more because of I has doing this for the first time - next time it took me an hour
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  #45  
Old 27.10.2015, 01:07
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Plus language courses are good places to dig chicks.

Hahahaha, I am married and have a kid, mate But, it's good to know
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  #46  
Old 27.10.2015, 01:09
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Plus language courses are good places to dig chicks.
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Hahahaha, I am married and have a kid, mate But, it's good to know
And your point is?
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  #47  
Old 27.10.2015, 10:14
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Tom, I think it is high time that your wife learns a bit of German.... I am sure her Heimatort geranium committee ladies would agree with me.
For the once-every-ten-years that she needs a document from up north?

Fortunately, yesterday at Starbucks in Zurich, one of the workers was Italian and came to her rescue when she tried to buy a normal coffee, and saved her from getting something weird.

Tom
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  #48  
Old 27.10.2015, 12:15
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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... yesterday at Starbucks in Zurich, one of the workers... saved her from getting something weird.
Your wife just met a magician!
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  #49  
Old 27.10.2015, 13:08
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Your wife just met a magician!
That is because she is his wife...


Seriously now, what is wrong with speaking more languages (not necessarily absolutely perfect)? When I am in Italy I try to speak in Italian, even though I can only get by and I am sure I sound a bit ridiculous.
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Old 27.10.2015, 16:03
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

Documents can be read slowly, online dictionaries and google translator can help a lot, you just need to recognise at least what is a verb and a name (easy they are always with capital letter), basic prepositions. You can abuse email communication to avoid having to talk. Getting a secretary or a colleague in the workplace to help you is probably also a good idea.
Regarding taxation there's a ton of people who doesn't know how to do that even though they're native, i think you can pay someone to do that for you.
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  #51  
Old 28.10.2015, 12:12
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

I found a good one:
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  #52  
Old 28.10.2015, 12:42
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

Sorry, I don't know what happened with the picture.
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  #53  
Old 28.10.2015, 12:47
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

Nor do I, but if you were talking about a good online dictionary, PONS is about the best you'll find IMO.
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  #54  
Old 28.10.2015, 12:50
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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Nor do I, but if you were talking about a good online dictionary, PONS is about the best you'll find IMO.
leo.org is good too.
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  #55  
Old 28.10.2015, 12:54
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

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leo.org is good too.
But PONS is better!
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  #56  
Old 28.10.2015, 12:56
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

dict.cc

linguee.com is good if you're looking for a phrase. It has a database of documents with their human-made translations.
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  #57  
Old 28.10.2015, 13:02
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Re: I can speak only English. Is that an issue in Basel, Switzerland?

I heard about leo.org and dict.cc before, leo is even recommended by teachers in Goethe Institute. Thanks for other dictionaries as well, I hope I will get that job so this conversation is not useless
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