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Old 14.05.2015, 12:44
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New to the forum, in Switzerland from July :)

Hi everybody,

My name is Vanessa and I am going to start a PhD at EPFL in July.

It is nice to join your big group!

Cheers,

Vane
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Old 14.05.2015, 13:17
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Re: New to the forum, in Switzerland from July :)

I'm new to the forum today. Hi everybody. I lived in Bern in 1950-1951, as a medical student at the Uni. Spoke "high" German. Had a couple girlfriends ("schlafende Lexicon") from whom I picked up "Schwyzer Dootch" fairly quickly. When I returned to my my home (New York City) I found out that I could understand Yiddish for the 1st time in my life!!

Started sleuthing that phenomenon and here's what I found out. In the Middle Ages the German spoken throughout the Germanic countries was the equivalent of "Swiss German" today. So how come the Swiss language didn't progress into what we call "Hoch Deutsch" today? Simple: because Switzerland is surrounded by high mountains -- that became a barrier (and a safety factor) -- nobody wanted to conquer the Swiss 'cause it meant they'd have to get through the Alps to get at the heart of the country. So that's why Schwyzer Dootch never progressed from the Middle Ages.

OK, so how about "Yiddish"? Well, the Jews kept themselves confined to their "Staetles" - little communities -- and didn't want to associate with non-Jews. So that was THEIR barrier to advancing their language from the Middle Ages to modern times.

So, boys and girls, that's the lowdown on the close-to-identical two languages: Yiddish and Schwyzer Dootch.

Billyjim (or as I was known in Bern: Willi.)

Chou mitanonder!
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Old 14.05.2015, 23:13
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Re: New to the forum, in Switzerland from July :)

Hi Vane89 and welcome to EF I hope you’ll have a wonderful time in Lausanne. It is an international city and pretty awesome for students.

Welcome also to billyjim13
Just wanted to throw in my two cents about what you said on “Schwyzer Dootch” (it’s Schweizerdeutsch btw)

Seems kind of inappropriate to say Swiss German didn't 'progress to Hochdeutsch, as if high German was superior to any dialect.
In fact all Swiss German dialects are part of theAlamannic group, the same group that the German spoken in Southern Germany belongs to. This is because the people in the German part of Switzerland are descendants from the Alamannen, who settled in Southwestern Germany, Alsace and Switzerland in the early Middle Ages. The Swiss and Southern German cities had some turbulent relations around the end of the Middle ages and as you might know, Switzerland became independent after an uprising of some German areas against the Habsburg dynasty (Germany).
So it seems to me the reason they didn’t adopt high German were based on creating and maintaining an individual identity.

You didn’t mention if you are now back in Switzerland but either way I hope you have a great rest of the week!
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Old 15.05.2015, 09:51
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Re: New to the forum, in Switzerland from July :)

Welcome Vane.
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