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Old 20.11.2015, 11:12
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What language to use in Cadenazzo?

Hello, I'm going to Cadenazzo in Ticino, 10 km southwest of Bellinzona, for a day. I speak fluent German, French and English, but sadly extremely poor Italian.


My question is: which of the three languages would be my best bet to use? I will try using Italian where possible but want to know what to fall back on if necessary.
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Old 20.11.2015, 11:50
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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Hello, I'm going to Cadenazzo in Ticino, 10 km southwest of Bellinzona, for a day. I speak fluent German, French and English, but sadly extremely poor Italian.


My question is: which of the three languages would be my best bet to use? I will try using Italian where possible but want to know what to fall back on if necessary.



Try to find out a bit about your likely contacts. They may be Britain educated, France educated, Zürich educated
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:07
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

Tried to contact the arcade hall I'm headed for to ask whether the normal opening hours apply on Sunday, but so far received no answer, neither by phone or mail.


How do you guys usually communicate across the language borders (esp. in Ticino)? Always asked myself that even before moving here but I haven't had the opportunity to ask people.
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:14
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

can't you just ask what language they prefer?
you can guess what the best backup language is if you are good at profiling people, it's really varied, in ticino we can spot a zucchino from afar.
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:16
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

French, then German, English only as a last resort, as that's the order in which they learn foreign languages here.

Unless you are dealing with Italians rather than Ticinese, in which case it's "none of the above".

Tom
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Old 20.11.2015, 14:50
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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French, then German, English only as a last resort, as that's the order in which they learn foreign languages here.
They're actually taught French AND German? Damn, that is good to know...
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Old 20.11.2015, 16:52
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

In my experience Ticinese speak German, but not really English and no French either.
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Old 20.11.2015, 17:28
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

German should work in Cadenazzo, being that the Locarno area has been ..ahem...colonized quite heavily by swiss germans. Other functional languages could be portuguese, serbian, croatian.

Cheers
Paul
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Old 20.11.2015, 17:52
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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In my experience Ticinese speak German, but not really English and no French either.
Until I learned Italian, I got around with French.

My Ticinese wife speaks far better French than German (despite being Swiss-German herself), as do most Ticinese I know, in fact there are several that I still normally speak French with.

Tom
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Old 22.11.2015, 22:16
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

Thanks everyone! I ended up using a mixture of German, French and Italian. Started out in Italian, and whenever it got too hard I asked "tedesco o francese?" Everyone I spoke to (for what it's worth, I didn't deal with anyone below the Age of 30) knew one of those at least moderately.

At American Bowling, the arcade I went to, the staff spoke decent French.
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Old 22.11.2015, 22:26
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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Thanks everyone! I ended up using a mixture of German, French and Italian. Started out in Italian, and whenever it got too hard I asked "tedesco o francese?" Everyone I spoke to (for what it's worth, I didn't deal with anyone below the Age of 30) knew one of those at least moderately.

At American Bowling, the arcade I went to, the staff spoke decent French.
A big applause to you for trying, and not just expecting people to speak English!
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Old 22.11.2015, 22:48
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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Thanks everyone! I ended up using a mixture of German, French and Italian. Started out in Italian, and whenever it got too hard I asked "tedesco o francese?" Everyone I spoke to (for what it's worth, I didn't deal with anyone below the Age of 30) knew one of those at least moderately.

At American Bowling, the arcade I went to, the staff spoke decent French.
Did they speak AMERICAN there?
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Old 22.11.2015, 23:02
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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Did they speak AMERICAN there?
They were Ticinese, so probably not (there's a woman in her late 30s and a man is his early 50s)


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A big applause to you for trying, and not just expecting people to speak English!
I'd much rather speak a national language in my country of residence, especially considering I'm fluent in two of them.


Like I said, I Keep asking myself how the German Swiss usually communicate in Romandie and Ticino. From what I've heard most German Swiss only have Basic notions in French (with those Close to the "border" having better skills) and next to none in Italian.
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Old 22.11.2015, 23:14
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Re: What language to use in Cadenazzo?

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From what I've heard most German Swiss only have Basic notions in French (with those Close to the "border" having better skills) and next to none in Italian.
Not true, this is only true for actual Germans, Swiss-Germans are good enough at both.

Whenever we go up north (usually Zurich), my wife gets along just fine speaking only Italian. (as long as she's dealing with Swiss people)

Tom
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