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Old 26.06.2015, 19:21
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Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

Hello!

Long time lurker, first time poster! Thank you all for contributing to this forum, it's been so useful for me and my fiance!

I wanted to see if anyone here has experience with civil marriage, particularly in Ticino, but in any other part of Switzerland as well?

I am curious what exactly the process will be like, as in what kind of things are going to be said. I am marrying my fiance and have opted on no interpreter at this point. I have a good comprehension of Italian but am not the best at actually speaking.

Any advice on the format would be appreciated! Thank you in advance!
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  #2  
Old 26.06.2015, 19:42
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

Just some "I do"s and sign the paperwork.

Tom
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Old 26.06.2015, 20:05
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

haha I got married in Italian 12 years ago, I just said "si, si" when the guy looked at me. I can actually order food now
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Old 26.06.2015, 21:22
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

Have they given you a go to get married? Because when you apply to get married here and don't speak the local language, they will require an interpreter (someone who isn't related to you or your spouse-to-be.
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Old 26.06.2015, 22:03
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Have they given you a go to get married? Because when you apply to get married here and don't speak the local language, they will require an interpreter (someone who isn't related to you or your spouse-to-be.

My German is fairly good, and the lady who did our paperwork gave me a form to read and interpret to her (a test of my German). It was the FIRST time in my life here that I ever heard the word "Zwang" - and had to admit defeat. And so was *forced* to hire an interpreter for the actual signing of all the pre-paperwork - cost was Sfr180 - and I could barely understand her English!


So be prepared for the word "Zwang" whatever it is in Italian! To make sure you are not marrying under "threat" or "force". The rest was easy to understand.
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Old 26.06.2015, 22:29
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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My German is fairly good, and the lady who did our paperwork gave me a form to read and interpret to her (a test of my German). It was the FIRST time in my life here that I ever heard the word "Zwang" - and had to admit defeat. And so was *forced* to hire an interpreter for the actual signing of all the pre-paperwork - cost was Sfr180 - and I could barely understand her English!


So be prepared for the word "Zwang" whatever it is in Italian! To make sure you are not marrying under "threat" or "force". The rest was easy to understand.
You don't have to hire an official interpreter (at least, not in the French-speaking part), a friend can stand in as the interpreter.... they just have to sign an affidavit that what they're translating is a true version of the original and that if there are problems later due to a mistranslation they're responsible.
#1 son's done it a couple of times for friends here in Geneva.
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Old 26.06.2015, 23:25
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

Thank you for the replies!

smoky- thanks for the heads up! I looked up the Italian word and it is "costrizione"...now I'm prepared! Yeah, the interpreter they recommend is over Sfr250! I'm surprised yours cost so much and wasn't understandable. Thicker accent to work through, I guess!

Anjela- We were under the impression it had to be an "official" translator. Will inquire more, but maybe every canton has a different policy on what is "official"!

jesuisuntouriste- We're getting married next week in Lugano, after about 7-months of filing paperwork from The Netherlands. The language was one of the last things they asked about, surprisingly. Weird, considering I've already had to sign over the last name of my un-born children! Guess that weighs more...

st2lemans and Sean Connery(amazing)- Thank goodness. This is exactly what I wanted to hear!

Thank you all!
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Old 26.06.2015, 23:32
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

I got married in Aargau, and needed an interpreter, not an official translator. So, my Canadian neighbour did the honours. She was sent a paper a couple of weeks before the deed was to be done with the text they were going to use, and she translated it in the confort of her own home. She then read it aloud on the day and that was that.

Well, that and lunch afterwards.

Well, lunch and a decade living here.



There's still time. Run!!!!!!!!
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Old 27.06.2015, 07:23
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Just some "I do"s and sign the paperwork.

Tom

Yeah, and look what you ended up with !!
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Old 27.06.2015, 09:00
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Just some "I do"s and sign the paperwork.

Tom
In the UK it would be "I will".

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Have they given you a go to get married? Because when you apply to get married here and don't speak the local language, they will require an interpreter (someone who isn't related to you or your spouse-to-be.
In Basel Stadt they were quite happy to marry a couple of friends on mine in English.

(When I bought my house we took an interpreter along to satisfy BL law... and then everything was conducted in English, so he just sat there and did nothing ).
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Old 27.06.2015, 10:10
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

The lady who was to marry us said she had an English speaking collegue so we wouldn't pay for an interpreter.

We did have to hire an interpreter when they had to tell me all the information I needed to know and this person had to be an official translator.
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Old 27.06.2015, 13:06
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

First let me say congrats to you and your partner on such a life changing decision.
My partner(Swiss National) and I(Jamaican) had our Civil Marriage March of this year in Brugg, Canton Aargua.
While suggested to have a translator it wasn't mandatory. We were advised that a witness could also be the translator but however could bear no relation to me. We were also recommended a list of translators who normally work with the marriage officers....their costs ranged from CHF130 per hour.
I opted the use of an English translator and paid a total CHF300.
It's much money i know, considering the ceremony lasted only 15mins, however it was thoroughly prepared and solemnly held.
Basically she had received a copy if the speech before so she could make her preparations.
Hope this helps.
Warm Regards,
Diaz
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Old 27.06.2015, 13:14
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

When we got married we just paid the Zivilstandsamt 50 francs extra and the Officiant did the ceremony in English.
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Old 04.08.2015, 18:55
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

Asking similar question under this thread...I am having my civil wedding very soon, in Kanton Zurich without a translator, and my German is only B1 level.

If anyone can give me some tips about sample questions/speech, key words (wie Zwang Danke!), procedure, etc., that would be super helpful! Thank you all!
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Old 04.08.2015, 19:05
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Asking similar question under this thread...I am having my civil wedding very soon, in Kanton Zurich without a translator, and my German is only B1 level.

If anyone can give me some tips about sample questions/speech, key words (wie Zwang Danke!), procedure, etc., that would be super helpful! Thank you all!
Nothing to worry about at the ceremony, but rather at the pre-wedding meeting to organize and sign everything.

Tom
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Old 04.08.2015, 19:07
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Nothing to worry about at the ceremony, but rather at the pre-wedding meeting to organize and sign everything.

Tom
Is that the meeting when we chose date & venue of the ceremony and paid the fee? Good that that is already done
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Old 04.08.2015, 19:09
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Is that the meeting when we chose date & venue of the ceremony and paid the fee? Good that that is already done
Yes.

At the wedding itself you just say 'I do' and sign the papers.

Tom
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Old 04.08.2015, 19:11
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

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Yes.

At the wdding itself you just say 'I do' and sign the papers.

Tom
plus keep smiling and pretending to be understanding everything
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Old 04.08.2015, 19:12
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

Been there, done that
over 30 years ago in Zürich. You do not have to understand a thing, no speech was required, my wife to be just kicked me when I was required to say yes. Now I get yearly reminders of all the things that I promised at the time
Look serious. No jokes -they will not be understood.

Good luck
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Old 04.08.2015, 19:37
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Re: Civil Marriage in Switzerland: Language Comprehension Level?

We were kindly invited to one of my student's marriage ceremony in French in Neuchatel where she married an American from New Jersey. Midway through the ceremony, the celebrant suddenly turned to him and said in French " do you understand"? to which he replied "Yeah.................I think so". Everyone smiled and the ceremony continued.
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