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  #61  
Old 08.04.2017, 20:21
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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with a Greek touch it seems to me?


Oh no, my dear. d'Frau .... okay. But de Maa (d'Maa no way) and s'Chind.
Been a while for you, huh?
No, I just don't care.

Guess I've been with my native-Swiss wife for too long!

Tom
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Old 08.04.2017, 20:25
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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No, I just don't care.

Guess I've been with my native-Swiss wife for too long!

Tom
You're disputing my nativity?
Your wife's language is Italian, from what you told us she wouldn't even know the d' you settle for in Swiss-German
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  #63  
Old 08.04.2017, 21:50
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Pah! It's just Arabic with Italian dressing.
Wwwwith a bit of Phonecian and Latin and French and English and Spanish thrown into the mix.
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  #64  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:11
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

Thanks for the support everyone. I must admit I'm completely surprised at the overwhelming display of sympathy. I'm also surprised that people actually seemed to read such a long post. That's really heartening.

I do agree that my daughter's situation is the most important, and there is a good reason for it happening that I'd neglected to mention. In both years, there have been children that natively speak English and don't speak any German/Swiss German at kindergarten, while the Russian and Pakistani kids were completely alone, linguistically. My daughter was always drawn to those English speaking children, and we discovered that the teachers were speaking to our daughter in English pretty much all the time. What was even more upsetting is that the 2nd year kindergarten teachers were trying to tell us at the 3 month visit that our daughter doesn't know any German at all. When we challenged them to test her instead of making baseless accusations, they were surprised to admit that she does, in fact, know quite a bit of High German.

Teachers notwithstanding, the problem is that those English speaking children have since left except one American girl who is downright abusive to my daughter, and the teacher now separates them to keep my daughter safe.

The thing that upsets me about it more is that my daughter really wants to play with the Swiss kids, but the Swiss girls don't want her around. It's really disconcerting how those kids and their parents act as if my daughter and I don't exist. I keep telling my daughter that she doesn't want friends who behave like that anyway, but what baffles me about it is how the Swiss kids seem so friendly and happy to each other.
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  #65  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:15
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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The thing that upsets me about it more is that my daughter really wants to play with the Swiss kids, but the Swiss girls don't want her around. It's really disconcerting how those kids and their parents act as if my daughter and I don't exist. I keep telling my daughter that she doesn't want friends who behave like that anyway, but what baffles me about it is how the Swiss kids seem so friendly and happy to each other.
Kids often exclude others/people they do not know.

Why not invite them to your home to play with your daughter? Let them to get to know you and then she will get her friends to play with at school.
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Old 09.04.2017, 09:31
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Hmmm, I'd love to offer you some empathy as my sympathy has all been used up. But really? Complaining in such terms about how the locals speak their native tongue? Isn't that the nature of being abroad? The emphasis is on you to adapt, not the other way around.

Flummoxed about your choice of moving here really. Just imagine, the French speaking well, French in Paris, the Russians speaking Russian in St. Petersburg and the Scots speaking unintelligibly in Edinburgh. It's what I'd call "local color".
They don't read and write in their native tongue, and it's not taught in school (they are only teaching High German to my child, and she's in public kindergarten). I think everyone else on this thread has acknowledged how our predicament on this side of Switzerland is pretty unique for developed nations with enviable economies.

I have been studying on and off when I can for 3 years. I'm at the A2 level in German, and yet when some man grumbled at me this weekend, clearly unhappy at what I was doing with my bike, I had absolutely no recognition/understanding of any sound he made. Once I tried to communicate with him, it was very clear that (1) he was very angry and (2) any chance of communication was entirely impossible.

And yes, I grew up in Georgia and lived in Texas for 5 years. I definitely had this same kind of problem (slurred, muttered speech) all of the time, where I couldn't understand people because they couldn't speak clearly to save their lives. This is one reason of many why I eventually left those places.
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  #67  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:35
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Kids often exclude others/people they do not know.

Why not invite them to your home to play with your daughter? Let them to get to know you and then she will get her friends to play with at school.
We did. It's really weird about that, because all 3 times were a blast for the children. They were laughing, running around, shrieking as if they were great pals (and even trying to communicate with her through High German!), but once they went back to school, each of those children told my daughter to stay away from them and have refused to come back over.

My wife and I have agonized over that time and time again, and all we can think of to explain it is that the parents must have said something to their children. Maybe it's because we don't have furniture or beds?
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  #68  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:37
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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My wife and I have agonized over that time and time again, and all we can think of to explain it is that the parents must have said something to their children. Maybe it's because we don't have furniture or beds?
You live in a tent?
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  #69  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:46
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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" I am really bad with hearing slurred, muttered, or drawn out speech". And you're American? Have you been to Texas?

Come and visit us in Scotland, where proper English is spoken. You'll have no problem of communication whatsoever and I advise you to start with Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen for that comfort feeling...

And one particular President seems to be mastering this kind of speech pretty well!
Funny you should mention that. Whenever I get really angry about this situation, my wife does angrily tell me that we should go back to Edinburgh for a bit to give me yet another slap in the face. After struggling through that for a few weeks, I was always happy to return to Switzerland.
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  #70  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:52
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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You live in a tent?
Ahhhh, so what we have here in Zurich is not a language barrier problem. We just have to find the weird freaks for acceptance and communication, wherever they live here. For some reason, that never occurred to me before.

That really does explain a lot. Thanks!

We sleep on the floor. It's much better for you in so many ways. We ditched all of our furniture when we left America, and we realized that we never actually missed having it, so we never bothered to buy any on this side of the pond.
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  #71  
Old 09.04.2017, 09:55
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Ahhhh, so what we have here in Zurich is not a language barrier problem. We just have to find the weird freaks for acceptance and communication, wherever they live here. For some reason, that never occurred to me before.

That really does explain a lot. Thanks!

We sleep on the floor. It's much better for you in so many ways. We ditched all of our furniture when we left America, and we realized that we never actually missed having it, so we never bothered to buy any on this side of the pond.
Kids couldnīt care less how and where you sleep. Not having furniture might be another story. Out of interest, how does that work?
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Old 09.04.2017, 09:57
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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We all settle on Chinese. Would that work for OP?
In America, I was surrounded by Chinese with poor English, as I was (am) an engineer. I started Chinese Rosetta Stone, and once it started to become clear that I was starting to understand some of what my colleagues were saying, they became offended and told me to stop, because I had no interest in Chinese culture (this is true) and that I had no intention of visiting China (also true). They pointed out on many occasions that English is the universal language, and that my learning Chinese wasn't going to get me anywhere.

In the end, their response was so...venomous, that I decided it was best to just drop the effort. Instead, I just worked with them on improving their English, which they all very much appreciated.

Quite the opposite of what I'm going through now...
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  #73  
Old 09.04.2017, 10:11
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Kids couldnīt care less how and where you sleep. Not having furniture might be another story. Out of interest, how does that work?
The kids definitely didn't mind when they came over. Our theory is that the parents were the ones who were freaked out and then told their children, as none of them spoke to us at all during those visits and definitely now steer clear of us even more than they did before (if that's even possible)

I am typing this on an Ergotron standing desk. (http://www.ergotron.com/en-us/produc...s/mobile-desks) It's what they use at hospitals to save space. My daughter puts her keyboard on a cardboard box so that she can sit on the floor while using her computer. The rest of our rooms are open and empty. Their toys go in buckets. The one exception we have is the short, round plastic table from IKEA. That's for eating all of our meals. We're big on sitting on the floor, and that had the perfect height for us.
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  #74  
Old 09.04.2017, 10:16
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Quite the opposite of what I'm going through now...
which of course make total sense. But you will have to make a choice- either accept that German/Swiss G is the language of the place you have chosen to come to live in- and learn and adapt- and find some roots. Or ... perhaps if you can't do that, the sooner the better you find somewhere that suits you better, with a language and other stuff you like. Not going to be easy as you seem to have already left many places, for the language or other reasons. Japan perhaps, for the furniture? But the language is very hard to learn.

Don't want to sound harsh - but no place will ever be perfect and have it all. I hope you find happiness (can be elusive stuff).
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Old 09.04.2017, 10:26
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

@yevoc,

Don't mistake the following for a flame, it isn't meant as such.

One thing which strikes me when rereading your posts above is a tendency find the problem entirely on the other side of the fence. Although there is a slight chance that the teachers, parents, and children have decided to gang up on you, your wife and your child, this isn't generally the case here in Switzerland (or any other place I have lived).

The Swiss don't generally expect you to grovel, integrate, conform, or speak perfect German/Swiss German from day one - but if there is one sure fire way to attract their ire, then it must be to expect the whole society to conform to your (foreign) idea of the "right" way to behave.

If you look odd, sound odd, behave odd, and constantly proclaim that everyone else is odd, then chances are you are going to be perceived as odd.

So far you've mentioned that Georgia, Texas and Edinburgh were all odd. Do you think there is a slight chance that you might be bringing some of this oddness with you?
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Old 09.04.2017, 10:29
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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They don't read and write in their native tongue, and it's not taught in school (they are only teaching High German to my child, and she's in public kindergarten). I think everyone else on this thread has acknowledged how our predicament on this side of Switzerland is pretty unique for developed nations with enviable economies.
Yes, we do. In fact I text mostly in Swiss German, then English and then Standard German (plus Italian). The only instances where I use Standard German are for official correspondence.

With all sympathy, to suggest that I am not allowed to communicate in the language that I think in, the language that I use to love and hate, the language that makes me feel home, is not only insulting but downright disturbing.

Nevertheless, I hope you will find a solution to your problem, especially with respect to your kids.
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  #77  
Old 09.04.2017, 10:29
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

I lived and worked in Japan (I speak it), as well as many other places. I'm not going anywhere. Languages and people be damned, this is probably the first place in my life where I really like living here.

Thanks all. I think I'm 80% certain that I'm going to learn Esperanto first so that I can find people who fundamentally agree with this universal language idea, throw German out once I pass the B1 exam (lived and worked in Germany for a few months, never want to go back), and then dive into Swiss German somehow.
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Old 09.04.2017, 10:31
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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In America, I was surrounded by Chinese with poor English, as I was (am) an engineer. I started Chinese Rosetta Stone, and once it started to become clear that I was starting to understand some of what my colleagues were saying, they became offended and told me to stop, because I had no interest in Chinese culture (this is true) and that I had no intention of visiting China (also true). They pointed out on many occasions that English is the universal language, and that my learning Chinese wasn't going to get me anywhere.

In the end, their response was so...venomous, that I decided it was best to just drop the effort. Instead, I just worked with them on improving their English, which they all very much appreciated.

Quite the opposite of what I'm going through now...
You seem to be in a lot of situations where people don't get on with you. In my experience, that's most often an intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, challenge. It might be you need to adapt how you engage with people, e.g. the parents of the other kids, and focus less on the language and more on how you use it.

For example, your posts here come across rather angry and bitter. That might be intentional, but if not, it's an example of how you're giving the wrong impression - and people will respond accordingly.
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Old 09.04.2017, 10:37
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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@yevoc,

Don't mistake the following for a flame, it isn't meant as such.

One thing which strikes me when rereading your posts above is a tendency find the problem entirely on the other side of the fence. Although there is a slight chance that the teachers, parents, and children have decided to gang up on you, your wife and your child, this isn't generally the case here in Switzerland (or any other place I have lived).

The Swiss don't generally expect you to grovel, integrate, conform, or speak perfect German/Swiss German from day one - but if there is one sure fire way to attract their ire, then it must be to expect the whole society to conform to your (foreign) idea of the "right" way to behave.

If you look odd, sound odd, behave odd, and constantly proclaim that everyone else is odd, then chances are you are going to be perceived as odd.

So far you've mentioned that Georgia, Texas and Edinburgh were all odd. Do you think there is a slight chance that you might be bringing some of this oddness with you?
Let me be perfectly clear that we are closet weirdos. I don't EVER let my frustration out. This is the first time I've ever let it out. No one out there knows how I really feel about this. I try to be nice and conform, and I always try to speak German when I can so that people will be nice to me, but it doesn't get me very far with my listening comprehension issues.

But yes, my family and I are weird (i.e. awesome), and none of the countries we've lived in seem to appreciate it, America included. We are used to being outcasts, but being an outcast and not being able to communicate at almost any level is a level of rejection that is getting to even me, probably because this is the first time I have to see my daughter suffer in the same way.

When my one daughter walks up to random strangers and tells them they should be a Togruta too so that they can learn the ways of the force and the other tells people that her arms have atoms that were once in a chicken, a rock, and a stream, there's no way I could ever acknowledge that it's us.

Yup, the world's just weird, and I'm normal. Let's go with that.
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Old 09.04.2017, 10:40
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Re: I am so sick and tired of languages, can we agree on one PLEASE

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Yes, we do. In fact I text mostly in Swiss German, then English and then Standard German (plus Italian). The only instances where I use Standard German are for official correspondence.

With all sympathy, to suggest that I am not allowed to communicate in the language that I think in, the language that I use to love and hate, the language that makes me feel home, is not only insulting but downright disturbing.

Nevertheless, I hope you will find a solution to your problem, especially with respect to your kids.
This is exactly why I never talk about how I feel up to this thread, because the idea of using a language that everyone can use seems to make most people angry.
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