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  #41  
Old 28.06.2020, 17:32
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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 didn't realise that they needed a language test there now. Got mine there in around 2005 when there was no such requirement.

I recall being very surprised at the lack of French spoken in Basel when I first moved there, but later realised that historically they didn't speak French on the other side of the border either, with both Basel Deutsch and Elsassisch/Sungovisch being dialects based on old Allemanic, quite different from the German dialects that gave rise to Hoch Duetsch.

These days in the Sundgau area (where we have lived >50% ever since we've been here) there are still quite a number of people, mainly the older generation, that prefer to speak German (locally they don't refer to it by the other names) and many who will freely mix German and French within the same conversation, sometimes in the same sentence. Takes some following at times, I can tell you.
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  #42  
Old 28.06.2020, 17:34
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Oh I like it. Especially if the restroom serves as my short recluse from boring conversations
Yebbut, you're a furriner, so can be forgive for not knowing any better
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  #43  
Old 28.06.2020, 18:21
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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címon, nobody calls them bathrooms here simply because there isnít actually a bath in that room. There are, almost always, toilets in the toilets.


never the less it's still French
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  #44  
Old 28.06.2020, 18:37
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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címon, nobody calls them bathrooms here simply because there isnít actually a bath in that room. There are, almost always, toilets in the toilets.
I used to call it " Schiessi" if just for pee its "pissuare" or "seichi" Berlin 'Kloset"

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  #45  
Old 28.06.2020, 20:03
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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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.
I prefer French, to Swiss German any day, that applies to both the language & the people
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Old 28.06.2020, 21:24
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Itís 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.
Itís not that they donít 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.
I have found that italian works with french speakers to an extent, due to the common heritage of latin, shared by all romance languages. Just this week a french couple walked up to me with a leashed dog in tow and asked if I spoke french. I suggested italian to them (my french is a bit rusty) and we muddled through quite well with french Q's and italian A's.
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  #47  
Old 28.06.2020, 21:27
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I have found that italian works with french speakers to an extent, due to the common heritage of latin, shared by all romance languages. Just this week a french couple walked up to me with a leashed dog in tow and asked if I spoke french. I suggested italian to them (my french is a bit rusty) and we muddled through quite well with french Q's and italian A's.
I remember being asked in English if I spoke French at ZHB, I replied 'Oui' but explained that English was fine too
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  #48  
Old 01.07.2020, 07:07
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I have found that italian works with french speakers to an extent, due to the common heritage of latin, shared by all romance languages. Just this week a french couple walked up to me with a leashed dog in tow and asked if I spoke french. I suggested italian to them (my french is a bit rusty) and we muddled through quite well with french Q's and italian A's.
It is the same for me. French and Latin were a door opener to understanding Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian. It is practical.
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  #49  
Old 01.07.2020, 08:15
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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never the less it's still French
Approximately 45% of English words derive from French. Go on, try and avoid them all.

French was also the language of England for 300 years or so. Those that forget history are bound to repeat it.
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Old 01.07.2020, 08:41
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

Isnīt French compulsory at schools in Bern? Surely people should be able to speak it if they have learned it all through their schoolyears.
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  #51  
Old 01.07.2020, 09:18
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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?
Why do ‘they’ refuse to learn French?
I end up speaking English in Bern because no one understands French.
I am actually bewildered that they can.

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Perhaps if they put in some effort to unify the dialects it wouldn’t be so difficult. I believe that was this was what was done with Romansch sometime ago.
If they did it didn’t work. There are still 5 or 6 versions of the language. Which is amazing considering how few people speak ‘it’


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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
Official federal language. Each canton has its own official language (or two). B1 French won't get me a C permit in Basel.
Yes. Biel is quite impressive. Whatever they are doing they are doing it right. More of Switzerland should strive to be this way.

Bern is bilingual also at the canton level.

Last edited by miniMia; 01.07.2020 at 09:30.
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  #52  
Old 01.07.2020, 10:45
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Isnīt French compulsory at schools in Bern? Surely people should be able to speak it if they have learned it all through their schoolyears.
There's a world of difference between learning a language in school and actually being able to speak it in real life. Especially when the learning takes place somewhere the language is not readily spoken.

She says, having wasted many years at school and university on French. At the height of my powers I could write a mean essay on the works of Sartre... but small talk at a party utterly defeated me.

(And now decades later, German having pushed out the tattered remnants of whatever French I once had, I struggle to order off a menu when venturing across the Rostigraben.)

If a language is taught as an academic subject rather than a life skill - as it was in my day - it's no surprise that conversational fluency is lacking. And that the will to use it is lacking.
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  #53  
Old 01.07.2020, 10:55
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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There's a world of difference between learning a language in school and actually being able to speak it in real life. Especially when the learning takes place somewhere the language is not readily spoken.

She says, having wasted many years at school and university on French. At the height of my powers I could write a mean essay on the works of Sartre... but small talk at a party utterly defeated me.

(And now decades later, German having pushed out the tattered remnants of whatever French I once had, I struggle to order off a menu when venturing across the Rostigraben.)

If a language is taught as an academic subject rather than a life skill - as it was in my day - it's no surprise that conversational fluency is lacking. And that the will to use it is lacking.

I hear what you say but Bern is only 30 minutes away from the French speaking town of Fribourg, those who want to practice French have plenty of opportunity. Swiss French TV and Radio are also available all over CH now.
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Old 01.07.2020, 10:59
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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If they did it didn’t work. There are still 5 or 6 versions of the language. Which is amazing considering how few people speak ‘it’.
6.

5 real, one artificial, which nobody uses.

There are also variations in Italy, with 10x as many speakers as here.

The only place that they've unified dialects is Ticino. Ticino has Swiss Italian (mostly the same as Italian Italian), railroad dialect (basically Lombardian), and local dialects.

Tom

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Old 01.07.2020, 11:35
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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I hear what you say but Bern is only 30 minutes away from the French speaking town of Fribourg, those who want to practice French have plenty of opportunity. Swiss French TV and Radio are also available all over CH now.
Watching news in FR and watching movies in DE during confinement was fab for languages. But the key is travelling to those areas and insisting on using it. It isn't easier anywhere else than in CH.
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Old 01.07.2020, 11:50
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Each canton has its own official language (or two)
One has three official language (Question from naturalisation test).
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Old 01.07.2020, 14:02
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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One has three official language (Question from naturalisation test).

Valais? I did not use Wikipedia!
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Old 01.07.2020, 14:15
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Valais? I did not use Wikipedia!
Not Valais, they have two; German (of a sort) and French
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Old 01.07.2020, 14:48
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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One has three official language (Question from naturalisation test).
Isn’t it Grisons? Graubunden to the German speakers.

It’s been a while since I did the integration course so I may be misremembering.
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Old 01.07.2020, 14:49
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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One has three official language (Question from naturalisation test).
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Valais? I did not use Wikipedia!
Graubunden. German, Italian and Romansh. Various flavours of each are used in different parts.

(And no, I didn't look it up either).
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