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Old 21.05.2017, 21:50
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Swiss hates English!

Yesterday, I had a terrible experience.

I was in one local concert, it was good. I was managed to chat with a swiss family in German who were very friendly at the beginning. By the way, my German is very limited, can only use basic simply conversations. That's why I still prefer to use English when possible, as I can express myself better. During the break, came mm and we talked with English as we always used to. Then said the Mother from the family, oh, you speak English, you like English?. I said:"Ya, (mein) English is besser. Deutsch grammartik is sehr schwirig." The family were discussing, later the gf of the son who came from south Germany talked to me in English, "You like to speak English? Ok, why you are here? You are not going back to your own country?" The whole family turn their back to me just in seconds.

I have to say, Swiss, can you be confident about German?
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Old 21.05.2017, 21:53
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Re: Swiss hates English!

Wow, thst's a stupid post.

Does it have a point?


Tom
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Old 21.05.2017, 21:53
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Re: Swiss hates English!

so now all Swiss hate English?
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Old 21.05.2017, 21:53
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Re: Swiss hates English!

In my experience the Swiss (of all areas) love the English. And most like to speak English too. Yes, you will find a few who don't, but that will only be a very few.
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Old 21.05.2017, 21:56
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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In my experience the Swiss (of all areas) love the English. And most like to speak English too. Yes, you will find a few who don't, but that will only be a very few.
On the other hand, we yanks hate your lot!

Tom
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Old 21.05.2017, 22:04
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Re: Swiss hates English!

Darn Germans
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Old 21.05.2017, 22:05
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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On the other hand, we yanks hate your lot!

Tom
The feeling is not mutual, mostly, we just feel sorry for you lot.
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Old 21.05.2017, 22:20
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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Yesterday, I had a terrible experience.

I was in one local concert, it was good. I was managed to chat with a swiss family in German who were very friendly at the beginning. By the way, my German is very limited, can only use basic simply conversations. That's why I still prefer to use English when possible, as I can express myself better. During the break, came mm and we talked with English as we always used to. Then said the Mother from the family, oh, you speak English, you like English?. I said:"Ya, (mein) English is besser. Deutsch grammartik is sehr schwirig." The family were discussing, later the gf of the son who came from south Germany talked to me in English, "You like to speak English? Ok, why you are here? You are not going back to your own country?" The whole family turn their back to me just in seconds.

I have to say, Swiss, can you be confident about German?
Well...it was kinda rude how you worded it. It's not really their fault how their grammar is difficult just like its not the Americans or the English's fault how we all sound rather monotone and you can never tell if it's a question, a statement, or a mixture. *Although British-english is a tad better with this point
Best response for future reference is "I'm learning German in the school. I hope to learn more. My grammar is bad right now. " in german, of course. But you said they were from Germany anyway... which the Germans are different. Don't class all of them in the same. Take this experience as a positive for you to learn more. Yeah it was a jerk remark... but just carry on. You'll find a lot of Swiss and Germans and Austrians dying to talk in English
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Old 21.05.2017, 22:44
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Re: Swiss hates English!

When I was living in Berlin I found out that people were cold in their majority, or politically correct, and those expressing emotions were going to beyond the borders, for love, hate, etc... That seemed to me quite extrange, no middle grounds...

But then later when I moved to Bamberg (a small town in the middle of germany) I found that the people were waaay more warm than in Berlin... Might be big cities causing this or the north, dont know to be honest...

But yes, as they said, dont put everyone on the same bag, I know it was frustrating to experience this case of "extreme" emotions, but not everyone is like that...
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Old 21.05.2017, 23:33
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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That's why I still prefer to use English when possible, as I can express myself better.
The sooner you can shift this mindset, the happier you will be. Things get much better once you can manage to get to the point of preferring to use German (because it is positive to practice it, because it impresses people that you are trying, because by speaking German you are doing yourself a good service towards integrating, because the locals feel more respected by you when you make the effort, because you grow more confident and competent in every-day life here, etc.) even though you can express yourself better in English.


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I said:"Ya, (mein) English is besser. Deutsch grammartik is sehr schwirig."
I agree with Jgal that this is not really a diplomatic or polite answer of yours.
You could try, instead, something along the following lines: "English is my second language, German is my third. I go to German school every Thursday evening, and I'm working hard on improving my grammar. I'm pleased about every new phrase I learn. Sorry if I still make a lot of mistakes." And say all that in German, of course.

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"You like to speak English? Ok, why you are here? You are not going back to your own country?"
I have been asked all these questions, repeatedly. I think they are standard for visitors or immigrants to any country.
  • Why did you come here?
  • Oh, you're not on holiday but you actally live here?
  • What made you choose Switzerland?
  • Do you have family in your home country?
  • Do you visit them often?
  • Do think you'll go back?
  • Do you plan to stay forever?
I've found it's best to be prepared, and have your quick answers ready, as much or as little as you want to tell.

In any event, for however long you're planning to stay, it shows respect for the locals (and for other immigrants who have worked on integrating) that you are already learning German. That's one of the big things they like to hear, and you are already able to hold a basic conversation, so well done. Just emphasise that part.
Good luck!
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Old 22.05.2017, 00:34
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Re: Swiss hates English!

Thanks for a very informative first post, it's certainly a valuable contribution

a) ONE incident hardly allows you to make a judgment of ALL Swiss

b) Swiss indeed do not HAVE to love English and are well allowed to prefer to speak in their own language in their own country

c) That non-incident doesn't even seem to have been with a Swiss, given you mention she was from South Germany. In case you weren't aware: Switzerland and Germany are two different countries.

c) It's hardly "the Swiss'" or in this case "the German's" (aka this one person's) fault that German grammar is - in your personal view - complicated

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Old 22.05.2017, 01:35
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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By the way, my German is very limited, can only use basic simply conversations. That's why I still prefer to use English when possible, as I can express myself better.
With respect, what is your first language because I feel that it isn't English?

If, as I suspect, your first language isn't English, this family might have been confused that you chose to speak English rather than your mother tongue or German.
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Old 22.05.2017, 03:21
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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With respect, what is your first language because I feel that it isn't English?

If, as I suspect, your first language isn't English, this family might have been confused that you chose to speak English rather than your mother tongue or German.
Given that their surname is Zhang, it's probably Chinese.
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Old 22.05.2017, 08:38
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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The whole family turn their back to me just in seconds...
... to get back into the concert room quickly.

FTFY
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Old 22.05.2017, 08:44
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Re: Swiss hates English!

I had also wondered if there could be alternative explanations for the turning away. Perhaps, on the other side of the group, someone came in and said, in German (or French): "Have you heard that Anna-Marie is pregnant?" or any such distracting gossip.

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... to get back into the concert room quickly.
FTFY
Very plausible!
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Old 22.05.2017, 08:49
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Re: Swiss hates English!

What I have learnt during my time in Switzerland is that sometimes, like George Orwell's Animals Farm...

"All foreigners are equal, but some foreigners are more equal than others."
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Old 22.05.2017, 09:00
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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What I have learnt during my time in Switzerland is that sometimes, like George Orwell's Animals Farm...

"All foreigners are equal, but some foreigners are more equal than others."
I've found that being a Brit is indeed better than being German in Switzerland.

They prefer to use English (when I run out of German for more complex stuff) rather than use High German. Suits me.

Although, I wonder it they associate "British" with "slightly eccentric but essentially harmless" more than anything else
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Old 22.05.2017, 09:01
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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rather tragic rant
Don't worry - its not them, its you.
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Old 22.05.2017, 09:18
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Re: Swiss hates English!

I ran into this a few times over the weekend in a polite way seeing people who I haven't seen in a while. The Swiss love inoffensive (to them) small talk and I came to the conclusion that this is one of their pet subjects. Our guilt with crap German (learning) interprets it another way but on the whole it is not intended as a judgmental question.
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Old 22.05.2017, 09:28
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Re: Swiss hates English!

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The whole family turn their back to me just in seconds.
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