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  #21  
Old 27.06.2020, 20:29
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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A fate you share with 95% of the people who had to learn their German in the German part of Switzerland.
I take it that was meant to be Swiss - or what would be Swaa be?
Fixed it.

Tom
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  #22  
Old 27.06.2020, 20:48
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I concur. Those who think that speaking only Hochdeutsch is useless are clearly not living in the same country as you and I. Yes, it helps if you have some ear for local dialects, but I've never had anyone suggest that they couldn't understand me because I was only speaking HD. Speaking it not very well, certainly, but I've never met anyone who would expect a foreigner, by which I mean anyone from another area, to be fluent in their local dialect of Swiss.

As for the OP's question, I don't think it's a question of refusing to try German, but if they first try speaking French and the other person can speak it then what's the problem?
I think this has a lot to do with the way German was taught to us at school. I mean, I have a near perfect grammar level, but I’m completely unable to utter a spontaneous sentence. And I studied it for more than 9 years...
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Old 27.06.2020, 21:41
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I think this has a lot to do with the way German was taught to us at school. I mean, I have a near perfect grammar level, but I’m completely unable to utter a spontaneous sentence. And I studied it for more than 9 years...
You just need to switch from Hoch Deutch they don't want to let you practice to memorized 5 sentences in...say, Hungarian.

You will be fluent in spontaneous Hoch Deutch in no time.
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  #24  
Old 27.06.2020, 21:49
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I think this has a lot to do with the way German was taught to us at school. I mean, I have a near perfect grammar level, but I’m completely unable to utter a spontaneous sentence. And I studied it for more than 9 years...
Don't worry, practice makes perfect. Just blurt out random sentences. . . whatever comes to your mind, ie:
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Entschuldigung Fräulein, das Traktor ist in meine Hose gerutscht und macht Geräusche, hohlen Sie bitte den Bierdeckel um nachzusehen wer am Fenster steht, Nächster Halt Zürich Steinenvorstadt!
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  #25  
Old 27.06.2020, 23:20
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Probably a very old theme here but it was on my mind…
This year there seems to be many people who are holidaying within CH and in our area we have many French-Swiss tourists at the moment.
So I'm not the only one who noticed that. I took an afternoon off last week and headed to the Aare. I heard almost exclusively French that afternoon.
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Old 28.06.2020, 00:04
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I concur. Those who think that speaking only Hochdeutsch is useless are clearly not living in the same country as you and I. Yes, it helps if you have some ear for local dialects, but I've never had anyone suggest that they couldn't understand me because I was only speaking HD. Speaking it not very well, certainly, but I've never met anyone who would expect a foreigner, by which I mean anyone from another area, to be fluent in their local dialect of Swiss.
It’s happened to me multiple times in both Murten and Bern.
I guess by your reckoning those places are not in the country you and MC live in.
It’s not that they don’t understand me because they clearly do but they respond in either incomprehensible Swiss German or English/french. Most of them refuse to speak high German.
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Old 28.06.2020, 01:04
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Probably a very old theme here but it was on my mind…
This year there seems to be many people who are holidaying within CH and in our area we have many French-Swiss tourists at the moment.

I used to work in a service role where they generally demand to speak French and then act bewildered when someone can’t.

Why is it that many of them refuse to speak/learn German yet expect everyone else to speak French?

Becouse they are french
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  #28  
Old 28.06.2020, 01:12
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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When I travel east I am constantly amazed as to how little French is used. Go to the Hallenstadium (sp) and look for an exit, or a toilet. Try and use a machine to buy a ticket, or pay for parking. Little things, I admit, but we are a multilingual country and people from other regions should feel at home.

I am not saying that the French side is any better, it isn’t.

But both, or all four, should make more of an effort.
Yea right Merci
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  #29  
Old 28.06.2020, 01:22
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Don't worry, practice makes perfect. Just blurt out random sentences. . . whatever comes to your mind, ie:
You want to say "Freuline deine hand its in meine hosen gerutscht "
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  #30  
Old 28.06.2020, 08:45
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Your profile says you're in Bern. Technically Bern is a dual-language canton but practically speaking I almost never hear French. Swiss German, German and English are the languages I hear most in the Bern area.
Go to Bienne some time. It's amazing how they switch. I know both French and German, I find my brain freezes and I can't speak anything
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I imagine your customers' thoughts are similar to those of Tom's wife - French is an official language so I should be able to speak it wherever I am in CH!
Official federal language. Each canton has its own official language (or two). B1 French won't get me a C permit in Basel.
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  #31  
Old 28.06.2020, 09:58
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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It’s happened to me multiple times in both Murten and Bern.
I guess by your reckoning those places are not in the country you and MC live in.
It’s not that they don’t understand me because they clearly do but they respond in either incomprehensible Swiss German or English/french. Most of them refuse to speak high German.
Refusing to speak it, sure. Not understanding it is nonsense, and a lie.

Tom
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Old 28.06.2020, 11:44
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I concur. Those who think that speaking only Hochdeutsch is useless are clearly not living in the same country as you and I. Yes, it helps if you have some ear for local dialects, but I've never had anyone suggest that they couldn't understand me because I was only speaking HD.
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It’s happened to me multiple times in both Murten and Bern.
I guess by your reckoning those places are not in the country you and MC live in.
It’s not that they don’t understand me because they clearly do but they respond in either incomprehensible Swiss German or English/french. Most of them refuse to speak high German.
So in fact you're agreeing with me that they could understand your HD. Your inability to hear and understand what they're saying back to you is not something you can blame them for.
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Old 28.06.2020, 12:33
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Yea right Merci
c’mon, nobody calls them bathrooms here simply because there isn’t actually a bath in that room. There are, almost always, toilets in the toilets.
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  #34  
Old 28.06.2020, 12:36
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

Oh, and btw, the west of Switzerland does have a name. Unknown, obviously, east of the röstigraben.
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Old 28.06.2020, 12:38
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

It really is a question of dialect. Swiss Germans generally hate German and will do anything to avoid having to speak it. To some extent that's because it's all but a foreign language for them. They're brought up to speak Swiss German and don't have contact with "high" German until they go to school. Whilst I speak German pretty fluently, my Swiss German has come along through my in-laws and they put up with my broken Swiss German. I think they would do anything to avoid speaking high German with me, rather English or French. My brother-in-law even WhatsApps me in Swiss German. Now that takes some deciphering
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Old 28.06.2020, 12:39
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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c’mon, nobody calls them bathrooms here simply because there isn’t actually a bath in that room. There are, almost always, toilets in the toilets.
Quite so. And "restroom" is even worse; I've never understood why the Americans are (still) so reluctant to call a toilet a toilet.
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  #37  
Old 28.06.2020, 13:30
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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So in fact you're agreeing with me that they could understand your HD. Your inability to hear and understand what they're saying back to you is not something you can blame them for.
Sorry, yes.
I misunderstood your post because I didn’t realise what HD was referring to. Using a German abbreviation in an English sentence isn’t really ideal.
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Old 28.06.2020, 13:31
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Quite so. And "restroom" is even worse; I've never understood why the Americans are (still) so reluctant to call a toilet a toilet.
Make that North Americans.
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  #39  
Old 28.06.2020, 13:33
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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B1 French won't get me a C permit in Basel.
I find that quite frustrating. A Swiss person, can obviously move where they like within Switzerland despite only knowing one national language. But if you are applying for a C-permit or Citizenship, being fluent in a national language would count for nothing if you are living in the "wrong" area.
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Old 28.06.2020, 14:46
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Quite so. And "restroom" is even worse; I've never understood why the Americans are (still) so reluctant to call a toilet a toilet.
Oh I like it. Especially if the restroom serves as my short recluse from boring conversations
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