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Old 11.06.2009, 14:54
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Re: Where can I find someone to do a German-English conversation swap?

I see your points both Nathu and Olygirl, but in my experience non Swiss-German speakers are somewhat scared of the language. They insist that they have to learn high German and then have problems when trying to socialise in a Swiss environment. There was a thread about this last year where someone complained that their workmates always spoke Swiss-German at lunch time and they thought it was rude and they should speak English as the poster did not understand Swiss-German. I find this to be all too often the attitude of people who come to Switzerland. If you live here you should make an effort to at least learn the language.

I work in a mixed environment between English and German, when German is spoken though it is Swiss German. The conversation over lunch etc changes instantly between Swiss-German and English and if you don't understand you get lost. Concentrating purely on Swiss German as a non native speaker puts you at a disadvantage here. Yes nearly everyone speaks high german, but they tend to drift back into Swiss-German quite easily, and many people ask should they speak high german and continue to speak Swiss German just a little slower then normal.

In my opinion expats here should be trying to at least understand Swiss German as they learn German. Its what you hear from day to day, and why should we expect the locals to have to speak differently just for us? Its all too easy for English speakers to just assume that every one speaks English rather then make an effort to learn the local lingo.
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Last edited by Eire; 11.06.2009 at 15:20.
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