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Old 11.02.2016, 20:50
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How good do Swiss people speak English?

I never been to Switserland. The only Swiss people I know are expats or Roger Federer and he speaksnit well, but obviously he is not a good example. I could imagine thay all those bankers/ consultants speak god English, but how is the English level of the average Swiss?

1) Can I walk in the Aldi and speak English?
2) University student, do they have strong accents?
3) Level compared to other Non native speakers.
4) English in Zurich vs English in Geneva
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Old 11.02.2016, 20:52
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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I never been to Switserland. The only Swiss people I know are expats or Roger Federer and he speaksnit well, but obviously he is not a good example. I could imagine thay all those bankers/ consultants speak god English, but how is the English level of the average Swiss?

1) Can I walk in the Aldi and speak English?
2) University student, do they have strong accents?
3) Level compared to other Non native speakers.
4) English in Zurich vs English in Geneva
Not sure but all I know is that they are better at spelling their own country's name in English than some native speakers can. It's quite humiliating, isn't it?
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Old 11.02.2016, 20:54
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

Difficult to say because it just depends on where you are in Switzerland. Can you speak to anyone and everyone in English, no. Some are better than others with the language, many don't speak it at all (older generation).
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:00
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

In bigger cities (also with more students) you'll find a lot with good English skills. Older generations are not that good, but I found a lot that try it and are pretty ok. Swiss in my opinion don't like to speak it - they are better with French, but once you ask something, they will definitely answer in English and wouldn't just say "I don't speak English".

So no worries
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:17
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

The Local Switzerland, citing an EF Education First survey, reported that Switzerland ranks #19 in the world. It also wrote:

"Within Switzerland, knowledge of English is significantly higher in German-speaking cantons than in French- and Italian-speaking regions, according to the latest findings.
The study shows that among the major Swiss cities, Zurich has the highest level of English skills, rated “very high”, ahead of Bern, Basel, Geneva and last-placed Lausanne."

http://www.thelocal.ch/20151103/swit...h-skills-study
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:18
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

Around here, forget it.

I think the only one I've met around here was a young guy at the Lugano tax office 25 years ago who helped me fill out my first TI tax return, his was perfect.

The best the rest can do is a fake US accent wile speaking Italian.

Meanwhile, plenty that I email in English, but they will never speak to me in English (rather, French is the lingua franca).

Tom
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:26
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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Difficult to say because it just depends on where you are in Switzerland. Can you speak to anyone and everyone in English, no. Some are better than others with the language, many don't speak it at all (older generation).
I was in Stockholm and almost everybody speaks English. Old people, bus drivers etc.

Are the movies in Switserland dubbed?
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:27
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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Are the movies in Switserland dubbed?
yes, except at film festivals (obviously). You can also find original language with subs sometimes.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:29
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

1) Can I walk in the Aldi and speak English?
I doubt it

2) University student, do they have strong accents?
Most probably do

3) Level compared to other Non native speakers.
Better

4) English in Zurich vs English in Geneva
Don't know, but probably better in Zurich


The more rural the area and the older the person, the less English you will probably find. The latter is not ageist, but simply because up until not too long ago, English was taught in school for a few years only, if at all, and priority was given to the other Swiss languages.


And Switzerland is spelled with a Z.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:32
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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yes, except at film festivals (obviously). You can also find original language with subs sometimes.
No...
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:33
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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The Local Switzerland, citing an EF Education First survey, reported that Switzerland ranks #19 in the world. It also wrote:

"Within Switzerland, knowledge of English is significantly higher in German-speaking cantons than in French- and Italian-speaking regions, according to the latest findings.
The study shows that among the major Swiss cities, Zurich has the highest level of English skills, rated “very high”, ahead of Bern, Basel, Geneva and last-placed Lausanne."

http://www.thelocal.ch/20151103/swit...h-skills-study
Interesting ranking. Argentina (15) is ranked higher than Switserland, lol.

Suprisingly countries like Portugal and the Czech Republic are ranked higher aswell.

Do you think the French speakers brings the ranking down for the Belgiums and Swiss. I am from Brussel and everybody speaksn English here. Maybe it' because the EU head office is here.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:35
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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I was in Stockholm and almost everybody speaks English. Old people, bus drivers etc.
Try Italian under similar circumstances in Zürich...

Even if lots of people couldspeak relatively well English, they are not very willing to do it.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:37
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

Well it's not like your English is perfect, so I'm not quite sure what you expect? This is not an English-speaking country, of course you won't find English everywhere you go. This is also not Scandinavia (though some tend to confuse Switzerland with Sweden?) where English is taught from an extremely early age - which still doesn't mean much, I've met plenty of Scandinavians whose English is far from perfect.

Will you get sort of by on English? Sure, for the most part anyway. Will everyone be able to have lengthy conversations in English with you? Of course not. Learn German. It helps.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:40
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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Interesting ranking. Argentina (15) is ranked higher than Switserland, lol.

Suprisingly countries like Portugal and the Czech Republic are ranked higher aswell.

Do you think the French speakers brings the ranking down for the Belgiums and Swiss. I am from Brussel and everybody speaksn English here. Maybe it' because the EU head office is here.
As an opinion, yes. My German-speaking company in Switzerland surveyed the staff once to determine claimed language abilities: 1. French, 2. English, 3. Italian.

You would be the expert on Belgium.

NB: if you're Flemish-speaking, how hard can it be to learn standard German? And isn't German an official language in Belgium too?
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:44
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

Or you simply get by using your French in the French side. As I understand, your mother tongue in Flemish but I guess that you were also taught French at school. If you plan to live in the northern cantons then German would be very helpful, with exception to Basel where French is also commonly spoken as one of the official languages. The level of English spoken can vary here, from good command in urban areas to almost non-existent in rural areas.
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Old 11.02.2016, 21:47
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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Or you simply get by using your French in the French side. As I understand, your mother tongue in Flemish but I guess that you were also taught French at school. If you plan to live in the northern cantons then German would be very helpful, with exception to Basel where French is also commonly spoken as one of the official languages. The level of English spoken can vary here, from good command in urban areas to almost non-existent in rural areas.
Jep at least in Basel, French would help. In Zurich probably less.
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Old 11.02.2016, 22:13
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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I never been to Switserland.
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Are the movies in Switserland dubbed?
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Interesting ranking. Argentina (15) is ranked higher than Switserland, lol.
It's Switzerland, dude!
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Old 11.02.2016, 22:21
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

Without speaking German, you can finish registration at the city hall at least in Zurich. You probably need to speak German sometime, but your German-speaking friends can help you. University students have a little bit strong accents. Still, they are rather fluent in English compared to university students in Germany.
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Old 11.02.2016, 22:43
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

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Try Italian under similar circumstances in Zürich...
Works for my wife, who, despite being Swiss-German, speaks only Italian!

Tom
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Old 11.02.2016, 23:12
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Re: How good do Swiss people speak English?

Most old Swiss-Germans who don't speak English do speak French, FYI.
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