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  #61  
Old 01.07.2020, 14:27
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Not Valais, they have two; German (of a sort) and French
And a couple Italian speaking villages this side of the Sempione, but it's not official in those places, just de facto.

Tom
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  #62  
Old 01.07.2020, 14:49
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

It took us a couple of minutes during our interview to think that it could only be the canton that spoke Romansch. But we got a point for guessing correctly.

Well done you guys.
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  #63  
Old 01.07.2020, 14:54
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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And a couple Italian speaking villages this side of the Sempione, but it's not official in those places, just de facto.

Tom
Lots of overlaps between German/French speaking cantons as well.
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  #64  
Old 02.07.2020, 11:58
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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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.

Good point about Basel and the 'other side'.


Sadly, I've rarely met an Alsatian working in BS that speaks dütsch natively.


Poor Alsace. Now part of a tasteless, eastern French mega region who's last concern is some barbarous dialect.
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  #65  
Old 02.07.2020, 16:25
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Sadly, I've rarely met an Alsatian working in BS that speaks dütsch natively.
It's noticeably more common in the more rural areas, particularly some of the more isolated communities, like those formed by people who were historically excluded from the towns due to their religion and formed their own little hamlets. There are still quite a few such Mennonite communities around our way.

So while it's not a function of education per se, most of the native speakers are unlikely to go on to higher education and the sort of careers that would allow them to work in Basel.

Having said that, you may find quite a few in the non-technical areas, but you would probably never meet them to speak to, so wouldn't know if they were German speakers or not.

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Poor Alsace. Now part of a tasteless, eastern French mega region who's last concern is some barbarous dialect.
Well, yes, the new Grand Est has perhaps removed some of its identity, but I do take issue with your use of "barbarous". Just because it's old doesn't make it crude or uncivilised, and it's normal to add new words from French when required, so in some ways it's quite advanced. Certainly no more barbarous than some of the Swiss German dialects...
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  #66  
Old 03.07.2020, 15:42
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Well, yes, the new Grand Est has perhaps removed some of its identity, but I do take issue with your use of "barbarous". Just because it's old doesn't make it crude or uncivilised, and it's normal to add new words from French when required, so in some ways it's quite advanced. Certainly no more barbarous than some of the Swiss German dialects...
Since alexy hasn't been back I'll jump in here. It seems to me you're misinterpreting his statement. I understand his "barbarous" meant half-sarcastic, the other half caused by the notion that from a French perspective (where Paris is everything, including heart, brains and soul of the country) that nothing good can be put forth unless it originates in the île de France, therefore the various domestic non-French languages and dialects (Breton, Norman, Corse, Alsacien, Provençal, Wallon, Basque, etc) are presumed to be far inferior aka barbarous.
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  #67  
Old 27.08.2020, 12:55
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

Correct.
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  #68  
Old 12.10.2020, 19:40
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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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 guess the problem is they come to a German speaking region, they walk in and are greeted in the local dialect (grüessech) and they then proceed to reply and converse fully in French.
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  #69  
Old 12.10.2020, 19:58
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

A bit like many Brits and Americans abroad you mean (well speak louder and louder in English) some who have lived in the same country for over 20 years!


I always try to speak German HD- and if it gets too complicated, for some reason- I ask if they speak French. If they don't, I just smile and say OK, I'll try in German- and it has always been appreciated and great patience shown. Never ever known anyone who refused to try and speak HD, or at least tone down the dialect to help.


Someone further up says the Bernese learn French at school and are not far from Romandie- so yes- and that goes both ways.

Last edited by JackieH; 12.10.2020 at 20:49.
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  #70  
Old 12.10.2020, 20:01
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

''Poor Alsace. Now part of a tasteless, eastern French mega region who's last concern is some barbarous dialect.''


Anyone making such a comment should really study the history of Alsace- truly. There is a lot more to it than language.

Last edited by JackieH; 12.10.2020 at 20:48.
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  #71  
Old 12.10.2020, 20:49
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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Sadly, I've rarely met an Alsatian working in BS that speaks dütsch natively.
That's because most of them are over the pension age. When I worked there 20 years ago, there were quite a few. Most around the 45- 50 age range so wouldn't be working anymore.
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  #72  
Old 12.10.2020, 23:07
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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?
…that is normal, as the French are defending against assimilation...if you look in past, after WW2 German was spoken by 56%, now are 62% speak German...that why now English has been chosen as lingua franca between regions...it worse when a Russian is come in to your shop and start speaking Russian expecting that you'll understand, I did witness this happening so many times in the Valais resorts...
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  #73  
Old 12.10.2020, 23:22
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

There is assimilation and worse. In the Jura Canton, when it was annexed to Bern without them being even consulted - the French speakers had Bernese forced down their throat, literally. Schools, churches, justice, administration- all switched to Bernese from one day to the next. People were punished is they talked in French- kids beaten at school. And the Protestant religion imposed on Catholics.


Alsace was annexed to Germany after the 1871 Franco-Prussian war. French was tolerated until the 1914- then it all changed. My godmother was 4 then, and she and her sibblings were told by their father that from that day onwards, they should never speak French ever again. The kids said they could not speak German, and the father's answer was 'well, shut up until you can'. In 1918, the Treaty of Versailles returned Alsace to France. Godmother and sibblings were told by father they must never speak German again. They told him they had forgotten French and couldn't speak it again. Well, he replied, shut up until you can remember'. True story.
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  #74  
Old 12.10.2020, 23:23
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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…that is normal, as the French are defending against assimilation...if you look in past, after WW2 German was spoken by 56%, now are 62% speak German...that why now English has been chosen as lingua franca between regions...it worse when a Russian is come in to your shop and start speaking Russian expecting that you'll understand, I did witness this happening so many times in the Valais resorts...
Is that because the Rosti ditch has moved westwards or simply because the German parts have experienced a greater population growth?
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  #75  
Old 13.10.2020, 10:17
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Re: West Swiss & Talking French

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…that is normal, as the French are defending against assimilation...if you look in past, after WW2 German was spoken by 56%, now are 62% speak German...that why now English has been chosen as lingua franca between regions...it worse when a Russian is come in to your shop and start speaking Russian expecting that you'll understand, I did witness this happening so many times in the Valais resorts...
This is about the best reason i've heard. I knew a lady from there who also tried to explain it as a 'minority complex' issue.
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