Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Complaints corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 28.07.2011, 15:51
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: -
Posts: 1,640
Groaned at 26 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 2,932 Times in 1,202 Posts
Russkov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Well, my niece may have been a bit offended when she went to Paris and every time she spoke, they responded back in English (which she didn't speak at the time), as they couldn't belive that French (or rather, Quebeceois) was her mother tongue!
This happened to me once with an adult. We ran into a Quebecois woman and her accent was so difficult to understand when speaking French that we actually had to ask her to speak English... which she could barely do. Now, most Quebecois I've met have spoken perfect English and French (with an accent, but nowhere as bad as her), so this was an extreme case, but she just left us shaking our heads at the existential cruel joke. You grow up in a bi-lingual area with two of the most valuable languages on the planet and end up speaking neither of them well enough to be understood.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Russkov for this useful post:
  #42  
Old 28.07.2011, 15:55
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 54
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 96 Times in 44 Posts
Toadvine has earned the respect of manyToadvine has earned the respect of manyToadvine has earned the respect of many
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Is it? When they realize I'm from Tijuana.. I hear the same. I just laugh.
Wait, does this mean you do or do not keep a burro painted with zebra stripes? I'm from Texas, and if it is vaguely horse-like then you know we'll ride it.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Toadvine for this useful post:
  #43  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:05
Ouchboy's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Baden
Posts: 3,345
Groaned at 67 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 5,739 Times in 2,182 Posts
Ouchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

I've got a burrito you can ride right-..... oh nevermind
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Ouchboy for this useful post:
  #44  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:07
transition
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

I don't mix with common (or daft) people from any walk of life. I've developed a skill that makes me able to avoid any introduction or interactivity with them & I am much better off for it. OK, it helps that I can be alone & enjoy my own company which, surprisingly, many people can't handle & if someone is rude on introduction (if its unavoidable) then you should have a good idea that any kind of friendship will be unfulfilling...so, being quite rude to them too (if they are) will really level the playing field.

I wouldn't label the Swiss as they are so different regionally. Maybe you didn't get out & about overall here so I would recommend that. I myself particularly don't like some of the rudeness mainly IMO in Zurich & some of the German speaking parts, I now actually really enjoy being rude back (& once or twice initially for fun).. It really is all down to your social skills to avoid the commoners though & to ask yourself if they deserve your company.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:16
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
To answer your question, to the next one who says "Ah, Italy, mafia!", here is how I answer, with a smile: "Not only that, rather a country with thousands of years of history and traditions, which has its struggles, like any other country, but is filled with people with initiative, *balls*, and innovative spirit both at home and abroad, people who are not afraid to pick up and move to a different country(ies) if necessary, people who, now as in the past, contribute to the world advancement and you don't always read about them in the papers, people who, despite all odds and the bad rep, are out there working hard to prove to the world that Italy is indeed not only mafia and spaghetti. And where are you from?"

Oh my... according to you a good response to "Ah, you're Chinese, so you eat rice all the time then Aahahah!" would be "no, not quite, altough especially in the South we do eat a lot of rice the further North you get the more wheat noodles and dumplings we eat. So altough rice is a big staple in our everyday diet... bla bla bla bla "
See what I mean? Not the appropriate answer to bad humour, and let's face it, bad humour it is, MusicChick's approach is much better.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank simon_ch for this useful post:
  #46  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:26
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
I find this thread very surprising. The other day I was commenting to a (Swiss) friend of mine about how much I like living in Switzerland because I don't get a stereotypical response when I say where I'm from.
Haha, you've met the wrong Swiss then. A conversation with me would go something like this:


"Where are you from?"

"I'm English."

"Oh! Where in England?"

"Essex."

(smug grin)
"Yours or mine?"

[/QUOTE]
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank simon_ch for this useful post:
  #47  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:45
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: USA, former Zurich
Posts: 2,041
Groaned at 14 Times in 14 Posts
Thanked 4,811 Times in 1,660 Posts
BokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond reputeBokerTov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Oh my... according to you a good response to "Ah, you're Chinese, so you eat rice all the time then Aahahah!" would be "no, not quite, altough especially in the South we do eat a lot of rice the further North you get the more wheat noodles and dumplings we eat. So altough rice is a big staple in our everyday diet... bla bla bla bla "
See what I mean? Not the appropriate answer to bad humour, and let's face it, bad humour it is, MusicChick's approach is much better.
You may be right about the bad humor, although I think it is rather a case of social ineptitude, as the OP points out, and as I said I don't think it's a prerogative of the Swiss, it's quite international.

My approach above has worked for me so far - the response of people has either been:
1. Baffled, taken-aback look of surprise, nodding, and a very confused and apologetic "Oh well...yeah...but...you know...with all that you read...". Win.
2. Smile, and "You're cool". Win.

And we're friends again
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank BokerTov for this useful post:
  #48  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:46
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: -
Posts: 1,640
Groaned at 26 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 2,932 Times in 1,202 Posts
Russkov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

I never get "Are you in the mafia, LOL?" comments when I tell people I'm Russian. I think in Geneva the odds are too high it might actually be true.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Russkov for this useful post:
  #49  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:50
transition
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Haha, you've met the wrong Swiss then. A conversation with me would go something like this:


"Where are you from?"

"I'm English."

"Oh! Where in England?"

"Essex."

(smug grin)
"Yours or mine?"
And tell us what you say to the girls?
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:55
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
I never get "Are you in the mafia, LOL?" comments when I tell people I'm Russian. I think in Geneva the odds are too high it might actually be true.
My usual joke is "ah, so you're drunk all the time" or some other random, lame line about Vodka. I'm not very culturally sensitive I'm afraid.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 28.07.2011, 16:59
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: -
Posts: 1,640
Groaned at 26 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 2,932 Times in 1,202 Posts
Russkov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond reputeRusskov has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
My usual joke is "ah, so you're drunk all the time" or some other random, lame line about Vodka. I'm not very culturally sensitive I'm afraid.
Can't say anything to comments about the cold or alcohol because they tend to be true. Most people in Siberia have a friend or family member that lost a toe when passed out in the cold while drunk.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 28.07.2011, 17:01
simon_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 2,390
Groaned at 128 Times in 76 Posts
Thanked 3,488 Times in 1,377 Posts
simon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond reputesimon_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Can't say anything to comments about the cold or alcohol because they tend to be true. Most people in Siberia have a friend or family member that lost a toe when passed out in the cold while drunk.
I know a few girls from Siberia who are adamant they never touched a drop of vodka. I didn't bother telling them that I prefer drunk over virtuous girls.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank simon_ch for this useful post:
  #53  
Old 28.07.2011, 17:19
transition
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
I know a few girls from Siberia who are adamant they never touched a drop of vodka. I didn't bother telling them that I prefer drunk over virtuous girls.
There you go. A typical (daft) Swiss sense of humour.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 28.07.2011, 22:18
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Dear all,

maybe it's just my problem, because I come from a specific country, but in three years I've been in Switzerland I experienced so many times the weird behavior of the swiss people that I can't take it anymore. For ex, every time I reply to their question "Where do you come from?" with "I come from Italy" I always get the reaction "Oh, really? The mafia country!" or "Oh, do you know any mafia guy?" or "Ah, mafia! Mamma mia!".
To my Irish friend they replied "Ah, Ireland, no money! Ahahahah"
Do the swiss know the term "gaffe"? Do they understand that is offensive, politicly incorrect, unpolite, the opposite of diplomatic and friendly to label a foreigneir with the most negative characteristic of his/her Heimat (country of origin)??? How they react if I/you would reply to their "I'm swiss" with "oh, the country of the dirty/washed money of all the mafia from all around the world" or "ah, the country who screwed the Jewish keeping their money after they were dead because of the war, instead of giving it back to the families" and so on... In no country and with no other nationality I experienced such a luck of galateo, manners. How should I reply to the next "ah, Italy...mafia!!"?????
The expression here, in both standard-German and dialect is "Schnitzer" , and the rest of course is known. But .... for some reasons I continue per PM .....

************************************************** ****************



Quote:
View Post
Tell them you're from Ticino?

Tom
A nice idea, however quite many people here around know the Ticino very well, so that it may not work.


************************************************** ************************************


Quote:
View Post
Here, in these situations, you have to exercise even higher levels of social skills to deal with them. You have to realize, that they think they are being extremely friendly and inclusive by mentioning something about your background. They don't see this a rude, but rather as very socially acceptable. Don't think you can use the same style with them as well though, mention one negative sterotype about the Swiss, and you will see a frown become even frownier and offended.
Completely wrong. Most people regard such behaviour as extremely rude, but there are always folks who feel to be "original" in their ways. As this danger is particularily grave for Italians in North-of-the-Alps-Europe or in NorthAmerica, I recommend to all Italians to say "from .... " and then region or nearby city. If they (wherever) do not know the place they swiftly will ask about it and the discussion has take another twist.
-
Back to the start. No such behaviour is not seen as socially acceptable.

************************************************** *********************************

Last edited by Wollishofener; 28.07.2011 at 23:28.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 28.07.2011, 22:54
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,510
Groaned at 2,578 Times in 1,840 Posts
Thanked 39,649 Times in 18,688 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
A nice idea, however quite many people here around know the Ticino very well, so that it may not work.
Perhaps, but they surely don't realize that generic Ticinese dialect is the same as Lombardian!

Went to pay for my tires this afternoon in Busto Arsizio, was promptly greeted with "bun di"!

Meanwhile, went for a beer (after filling my tail-bag with veg from the corner stall). (Female, blonde) bartender LOVED my accent (that she at first thought to be English, until I corrected her).

Tom

P.S. We were out this evening with some "Italian" relatives of my girlfriend (from Luino), for her great-uncle's 96th birthday (young punk, my grandfather turned 99 last month). Anyway, her cousin pointed out that my (18 year old) daughter had a Lombardian, and not Ticinese accent! (despite being born and bred here)!
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 28.07.2011, 22:57
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Funnily this is exactly what I got to hear when introducing myself as a Swiss living in the UK.

Grow a thicker skin, laugh about it, congratulate the offender on his wonderful sense of humour and suggest he goes into stand up comedey.
If so, it is time you start simply saying "from Basel", not "from Basel Switzerland" but simply "from Basel". This is enough. Zurich, Geneva and Basel actually are better known in much of the world than their country. And by that twist, you have avoided discussions about chocolate and banks etc. You also show them that you regard them as knowledgeable people (just keep your opinion of them to yourself), and invite a fairly intelligent discussion. And if they mention the chemical industry, tell them about known problems but also about the importance of that business to your city.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 28.07.2011, 23:06
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Well, my niece may have been a bit offended when she went to Paris and every time she spoke, they responded back in English (which she didn't speak at the time), as they couldn't belive that French (or rather, Quebeceois) was her mother tongue!

Tom
To defend the Parisians, Quebecquois is something the French will not accept as "French" really. And the way the Quebecquers pronounce words DOES sound English !
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Wollishofener for this useful post:
  #58  
Old 28.07.2011, 23:12
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
dude i am from Pakistan and I always get the reaction "Oh, really? The Taliban country!" or "Oh, do you know any Taliban? , you know where Osama was hiding" and my funny reply is.. may be i am naive but i always thought all german speakers were Nazis (punkt) silence for long time

I know two wrongs, dont make a right.....but they make us even
You must be a very peacefully looking chap ! No, really, such people ought to be SLAPPED .... and that for an hour or two !

Reminds me of an anecdote about Charles de Gaulle :
In the reception outside his office, a chap loudly declared "all idiots should be shot". Then the door of the office of CDG opened and the General commented dryly "an ambitious plan" and retreated

Last edited by Wollishofener; 29.07.2011 at 00:13.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 28.07.2011, 23:15
persapap's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 55
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 49 Times in 26 Posts
persapap has earned some respectpersapap has earned some respect
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
It's not only the swiss, in my experience the germans are even more annoying with the mafia joke. It's a regular thing that every time we italians are having a coffee break some german colleagues walk in and the mamma-mia-mafia-pizza-spaghetti thing starts. The temptation to answer back with SS-Gestapo-gas chambers is very strong

I work in a big multinational company with people from all over the world, and this stupid mafia joke comes only from the germans, and to a lesser extent from the swiss.

My theory is that it's sheer envy of Italy's food, weather, culture, history, art, design, fashion, wine, sport cars and so on
You can't believe what I hear from Germans when I say I' m from Greece!
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 28.07.2011, 23:37
Wollishofener's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Glattbrugg
Posts: 18,978
Groaned at 332 Times in 257 Posts
Thanked 11,715 Times in 6,858 Posts
Wollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond reputeWollishofener has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Social/soft skills: do the swiss have any? Which one?

Quote:
View Post
Perhaps, but they surely don't realize that generic Ticinese dialect is the same as Lombardian!

Went to pay for my tires this afternoon in Busto Arsizio, was promptly greeted with "bun di"!

Meanwhile, went for a beer (after filling my tail-bag with veg from the corner stall). (Female, blonde) bartender LOVED my accent (that she at first thought to be English, until I corrected her).

Tom

P.S. We were out this evening with some "Italian" relatives of my girlfriend (from Luino), for her great-uncle's 96th birthday (young punk, my grandfather turned 99 last month). Anyway, her cousin pointed out that my (18 year old) daughter had a Lombardian, and not Ticinese accent! (despite being born and bred here)!
The explanation is simple. While Lombardiana and Ticinesi may be the same in principle, the average Lombardiana has been under far heavier "central-Italian" influence than the Ticinesi. What that cousin simply did not realize that your daughter used/uses some expressions just in the way of her teachers who tried to celebrate whatever they regard as "educated Italian". I mean, if you have a slight Toscana-accent in your Italian, you in the Ticino in spite of your meagre capabilities of Italian are always regarded as an Italian.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do you HAVE to relinquish your UK drivers license when you get a Swiss one? Kathryn Transportation/driving 37 28.10.2015 23:07
online shop have not sent me the product after one month, any suggestion? freeworld Other/general 13 20.04.2011 21:24
Probing the EF for Soft-Skills Instructors Scott Business & entrepreneur 0 11.12.2008 14:03
[social] Websites [does Switzerland have any?] J-Swiss General off-topic 4 24.10.2007 19:13
Do I have to live in the Canton in which I work? arima Permits/visas/government 13 30.03.2007 19:18


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 15:52.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0