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Old 22.03.2020, 12:09
suisseschweizmo suisseschweizmo is offline
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Re: Call for help - residents of Biel/Bienne & Fribourg

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Do you live in Biel/Bienne or Fribourg? (also Murten)

If so, I need your help briefly! I'm giving a presentation next week and just need to clarify the language situation in these towns.

As I understand it, Biel/Bienne has very clear "French-speaking areas" and "German-speaking areas" in different parts of the town, while Fribourg is mixed F/G more or less throughout the town.
Am I correct? If not, what is the situation there? Also in Murten?
Many thanks in advance!
The town of Fribourg/Freiburg (as opposed to the canton) is fairly mixed in terms of where people speaking one or another language live. But, although Fribourg is officially bilingual, my understanding is that Biel/Bienne is much more bilingual. Most people in the town of Fribourg speak primarily French, and many or most of those French-speakers will not speak German. (By contrast, most of the German-speakers will also speak French fairly willingly.) That is my experience from living here.

As you probably know, schoolchildren generally must attend whichever is the closest school to where they live--you normally can't choose to send your children to a school farther away from your home because you think it is better. The exception is that the kids from German-speaking households can go to a more distant school if the one closest to their house doesn't offer a program in German, so I imagine that German-speaking families with young children try to live closer to a school offering the German-speaking curriculum. There are quite a few primary schools in the town of Fribourg, and as far as I know, all of them offer a program in French but only three of them offer a German-speaking curriculum.

Wikipedia gives these statistics for Fribourg: Most of the population (as of 2000) speaks French (22,603 or 63.6%) as their first language, German is the second most common (7,520 or 21.2%) and Italian is the third (1,359 or 3.8%). There are 55 people who speak Romansh.[17] Few inhabitants in village of Basse-Ville speak Bolze, a mixed language created from the blend of French and Swiss German.[20] Fribourg, the city and the canton, has two official languages, and French outweighs German as both the language of the local government and the most commonly spoken language in public discourse and business in the canton.
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