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  #121  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:13
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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There is another possibility: move to one of the parts where they don't speak German!

Tom
This only makes sense if the person speaks French or Italian
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  #122  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:14
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Who says that English is unpopular here ? YOU ??
Nope, not me.

I say get out there. If you have 2 words of German go and speak them.

It's an adventure, don't you know?
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  #123  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:20
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

And Wolli breaks out from the pack!- 10 posts in 2 pages!- this is going to be a tight race folks, our underdog is showing no regard for posting limits, he's going for the gold- he's coming up on Ouchboy, look out folks, this is what late night foruming is all about!
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  #124  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:23
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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  #125  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:29
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

English is a simplistic, and honestly both English and German are quite ugly languages.

Anyway with the inmiment fall of the American Economy and the full anglo-saxon western civilisation with it, english will be soon forgotten.

Moreover, Chinese or Hindi will take over and those are well chinese to me... and not so musical.

I vote Spanish, Italian or French as lingua franca.

[/ trolling]
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  #126  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:34
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Anyway with the inmiment fall of the American Economy and the full anglo-saxon western civilisation with it, english will be soon forgotten.

Moreover, Chinese or Hindi will take over and those are well chinese to me... and not so musical.

I vote Spanish, Italian or French as lingua franca.

[/ trolling]
Ain't nuthin but a thang, the American economy collapsed shortly after we spanked the Brits in 1815, just came back stronger. Maybe this time we'll teach the rest of the world to speak English properly.

[/procrastinating]
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  #127  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:37
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Nope, not me.

I say get out there. If you have 2 words of German go and speak them.

It's an adventure, don't you know?
NOT you, but "Porsch1909" in post 85 stated

""""
I wonder why swisscom do things in English as a 4th language if it sso unpopular and other languages are more widely spoken here
""""
and clearly stated that English, according to him, is unpopular here. It may have been a joke, but he wrote it, and so it stands
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  #128  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:42
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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NOT you, but "Porsch1909" in post 85 stated

""""
I wonder why swisscom do things in English as a 4th language if it sso unpopular and other languages are more widely spoken here
""""
and clearly stated that English, according to him, is unpopular here. It may have been a joke, but he wrote it, and so it stands

Ok's
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  #129  
Old 05.08.2011, 02:46
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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NOT you, but "Porsch1909" in post 85 stated

""""
I wonder why swisscom do things in English as a 4th language if it sso unpopular and other languages are more widely spoken here
""""
and clearly stated that English, according to him, is unpopular here. It may have been a joke, but he wrote it, and so it stands
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  #130  
Old 05.08.2011, 03:20
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

First, I would like to express my sympathies to the OP for what she went through. This should be a reminder to English-speaking expatriates or tourists that you should not assume that even in the Zurich area there will always be English-speaking personnel available.

For the exact same reasons people on this board say that most Swiss police stations should have English-speaking personnel, most American police stations can and should have somebody who can speak Spanish---but there is no guarantee that they will.
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  #131  
Old 05.08.2011, 04:57
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

I hope you get over the bag-snatch soon-that's nasty.
When in a foreign country I am quite blase, I just ask if anyone around can speak English and say what has happened. I often get someone, I just want to get a description of the person out ASAP.
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  #132  
Old 05.08.2011, 08:00
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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English is a simplistic, and honestly both English and German are quite ugly languages.

Anyway with the inmiment fall of the American Economy and the full anglo-saxon western civilisation with it, english will be soon forgotten.

Moreover, Chinese or Hindi will take over and those are well chinese to me... and not so musical.

I vote Spanish, Italian or French as lingua franca.

[/ trolling]
Hmm, I'd have to take issue with you there - where do you get the idea that English is a simplistic language? I would argue the exact opposite. Being a melting pot of languages with words stolen from almost every other language on the planet and an insane grammar structure with, in many cases more exceptions than rules it can be extremely complicated. I would, however, say that it is possible to learn a "travel kit" level of English fairly quickly.
Italian is useful if you are travelling in say, Italy. Otherwise it's as about as widely spoken as Finnish or Hungarian (nothing against those two languages either, my point being it's not necessarily about number of people speaking it rather geographical range of the language). As for French, well let's not start all that about French being a world language again, just because the UN has it as one of the official languages - that could be regarded as a sop to the French to stop them getting stroppy about not really having an empire any more. As for Spanish - here I agree with you, extremely widely spoken and a good sounding language - apart from the problem of sounding a bit, how shall I put this, Gay? "una cerveza" with the lispy bits done properly sounds a little well, gay. (no offence intended :-) )

So what are we left with? English, Spanish? Except of course if Western Civilisation is indeed about to fall as you predict, Spanish would have to go with it, being a clear product of that Western Civilisation.
I vote Sanscrit!
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  #133  
Old 05.08.2011, 08:20
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

In my (limited) experience with the police, I've found that the Gemeindepolizei (community) police are the least likely to have any extra linguistic skills or be particularly helpful beyond the basic duties. They are the ones that deal with the stolen bags, noisy neighbours and other basic frontline policing but I think the Stadtpolizei (city police) and definitely the Kantonspolizei (Cantonal police) are more skilled in a mix of languages and definitely come across as more professional.

But that's just my experience.

One of our neighbours is a Kantonspolizist who is married to a lawyer who both speak fabby English. I bet no-one puts a foot wrong in that household...
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  #134  
Old 05.08.2011, 08:23
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Once I got my own back We came back from a shopping trip in France and were stopped at the border by the CH customs. The guy said something unintelligeble to me so I answered 'wass ?'. This went back and forth 3 times until I said 'ah, baslertuutsch!' , this turned the guy beetroot red and he waved us through without checking the car
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  #135  
Old 05.08.2011, 08:49
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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why should a police-force which DISlikes the locals, love English-speaking expats ?
Good point. Why do they dislike the locals?

Tom
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  #136  
Old 05.08.2011, 09:50
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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You were lucky. I was mugged at the Avenida de Libertade and tried to report to the police in German, English, Spanish and French. We finally agreed on my very poor Portugese and after a while they gracefully accepted to understand some Spanish words.
Congratulations! Here is a medal for finding an example (which I never said was untrue) of a good policeman that did not speak anything other than his mother tongue. Good thing you did not go to a police station with more that one policeman, where the proof that they have linguistic skills similar to those discribed by the OP would have been more difficult.

When you find a portuguese policeman that, once you try to communicate in a foreign language, responds with "O quê? Não falas português? Vai para o raio que te parta. Vai para casa e volta quando aprenderes!" you will get a second well deserved medal.


I agree 100% that a person living in a foreign country should learn the native language. But I also believe that learning English is a necessity in the modern world: it's a necessary tool to travel, work and communicate in general. Speaking English in a stress situation or when you do not dominate the native language in Germany, China, Japan, Finland, France, Brazil is not rudeness, it's life. English has become a global language: you get into a museum all over the world and a high percentage will have the information about the piece displayed also in English. It's not because the museum is bowing to the imperialistic will, it's not because they gave up on fighting for the native language. It's for the common cortesy of all those people that took their time to come to enjoy the beauty in that museum, but do not speak the mother tongue. The probability this person will speak English, though, is probably quite high.

Same goes for Zürich. It's a melting pot of different nationalities in a country where there are 4 official languages and, when I talk to my colleagues, almost no one knows more that one of them. Policemen are not forced to speak English. But there should be someone that is able to speak Engllish to help tourists and ex-pats from all over the world that, due to numerous reasons, have not yet managed to dominate the local language. Not for the sake of the millions that are native English speakers (that are branded as arrogant because they were cursed with English as a mother tongue) but all those that learnt English on their home country to be able to communicate all over the world. I am very happy to know English: I can communicate with interesting people all over the world. I am very thankful I was able to speak English to Italians, French, Polish, Estonians, Finnish, Norwegians when I visited their country and had to speak to policemen and state workers alike. But I only know 2 places in this world people took offence that I did not speak German and they mistreated me because I was asking for their help in English. They made it somewhat clear that my English was worthy of death penalty.

My home country is not perfect. But I am proud that many people make an effort to know a foreign language, and that I was brought up in a country where people will try their best to pick up that broken French just to be able to help a poor French tourist.

I had the luck to meet 2 extremely nice policemen from Stäfa. They spoke very bad English, but they were nice enough to try to calm me down in a foreign language when I needed it most. But when I read how other people have to deal with situtations of "learn German or we don't help you" and people actually defend this position, I am afraid for the good people in this country.

It is ok to be proud. But I find offering a helping hand to someone in need much more important.

Last edited by Helm; 05.08.2011 at 10:03.
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  #137  
Old 05.08.2011, 10:01
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

There's quite a few that probably do speak English but like to watch the foreigners squirm as they try to speak German.
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  #138  
Old 05.08.2011, 10:54
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Practically everybody here learns French in school (may be have forgotten) and quite many people here speak some Italian, not speaking of all those of Italian language origin. But while German speakers getting around in the Romandie generally do not ask in Geneva for a coffee in German, Romands have no hesitation to ask here for a coffee in French. This attitude is detested. The French speakers have to realize that war-time is a thing of the past.

Back to English. English in 100'000s of contacts is THE "language of choice" for people in Zurich and in Geneva when talking to each other. So that your argument above in this aspect is zero

************************************************** **************************



Who says that English is unpopular here ? YOU ??

************************************************** *************************
Has what you're smoking got something to do with the line of asterisks between your multi-quotes?
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  #139  
Old 05.08.2011, 10:57
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Congratulations!.............
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  #140  
Old 05.08.2011, 11:07
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Hmm, I'd have to take issue with you there - where do you get the idea that English is a simplistic language? I would argue the exact opposite. Being a melting pot of languages with words stolen from almost every other language on the planet and an insane grammar structure with, in many cases more exceptions than rules it can be extremely complicated. I would, however, say that it is possible to learn a "travel kit" level of English fairly quickly.
Italian is useful if you are travelling in say, Italy. Otherwise it's as about as widely spoken as Finnish or Hungarian (nothing against those two languages either, my point being it's not necessarily about number of people speaking it rather geographical range of the language). As for French, well let's not start all that about French being a world language again, just because the UN has it as one of the official languages - that could be regarded as a sop to the French to stop them getting stroppy about not really having an empire any more. As for Spanish - here I agree with you, extremely widely spoken and a good sounding language - apart from the problem of sounding a bit, how shall I put this, Gay? "una cerveza" with the lispy bits done properly sounds a little well, gay. (no offence intended :-) )

So what are we left with? English, Spanish? Except of course if Western Civilisation is indeed about to fall as you predict, Spanish would have to go with it, being a clear product of that Western Civilisation.
I vote Sanscrit!
if Cerveza sounds gay to you you can say it as the Spanish machos say "Una Caña" that sounds close to "Coño" that I don't have to explain you what it means, or like the machos in some places in latin america say, "Una Chela" or "Una Jarra" any way beer is a feminin, and that's you can get some dissertations as how a beer is better than a woman
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