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  #161  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:00
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Strange, just think, if all of those "facts" are true, it's curious to think that someone, somewhere still regarded them as suitable to carry out the job that they do (or don't according to the OP).

I wonder, do you have a reliable source for these facts or are we just to take your word for it? Are you au fait with the HR files of the police to actually know where some or the majority of them come from or are you simply trying to construct an argument to merely support your point of view?
I have no access to police files, but it was widely report in the Tages Anzeiger, and those reports just confirmed the daily impression of most readers.

And I heard it from three policmen, that the average-level of the police-force in recent decades HAS drastically fallen. One of them, on return from a taking someone into custoday, found some colleagues sitting around in the café-room. When he went in to the chief, the man sad "oh good, I have just something for you". When he frowned and mentioned the colleagues, the chief simply told him "but you are the only one I have who speaks English and French plus decent Züri-Tüütsch, and is in a position to us some brain". He felt a bit bit flattered and also amused and accepted the new assignment with a smile. Add to this that even in case of the airport police, the force is in arrears with even important courses by years. Add to this that the police forces find it difficult to find new recruits and to find money for the police education of new recruits.

The basic problem is that everybody wants
- more police presence
- more competent policemen
- more security
but if there is a public vote about police-matters, everything which might cost something gets rejected.

This September, there will be a repetition-vote about a new police- and justice-centre for the City of Zurich. Both SP and SVP fight against it with the argument that it is expensive. But of course neither party mentions that the present 30-plus police-/Justice-centres scattered across the whole city are not exactly efficient or costs saving.
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  #162  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:06
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Fair enough, if it's in the newspapers it must true, I mean just ask Rupert Murdoch.

No, seriously, I do accept that it may be the case that some police don't like working in Zurich, as far as I'm concerned that's tough tittie, no one forces them to move there and it does not qualify as justification for failing to do what their job requires them to do. My point being, I cannot see any justification for not doing the job in this particular incident. Reasons I can see a-plenty but not justifications. One reason might be that the copper in question is a prick. I don't know.
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  #163  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:06
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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The Swiss are cool with receiving bad service, most people from consumer culture countries have a different understanding of the notion.
Nothing "cool" just resignation ! The alternative would be a sales-machine, which due to lack of maintenance would be out of work 4 hours per day

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As for the Police, they are Public Servants and provide a civil service. I've had a few run-ins with them and they have turned out to be a bunch of pricks.
Theory ! Daily reality is a bit different.
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  #164  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:22
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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No, but your statement that English was not popular in this country is very weird, and of course completely wrong, as it is absolutely the other way round
Statements don't usually end with a '?' wolli. Someone else said on the first page that there are other languages that should get priority over English.

If you had read the thread and not gone in first with your astrixes we wouldnt have this confusion now would we wolli
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Old 05.08.2011, 17:28
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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I wonder if any police in the UK or US speak German?

Tom
Make that "Swiss German"
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  #166  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:35
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

To play the devils advocate:

Perhaps they are directed to not use a foreign language for liability reasons.

I'm sure a good majority can speak a certain amount of english, but if it's similar to North America, they have stringent verbal protocol to follow. If they are speaking in a non-native language the chances of an innocent mix up of words or phrases could lead to dire legal consequences.

For liability, perhaps they choose to speak their trained language out of personal legal protection.

Whenever I am dealing with something serious (health matters, financial matters, legal matters) I always start with english first. My Swiss german is excellent, but much of my compreshension is through root words in context. As anyone who is leaning german knows, certain words, it root meanings, don't mean the same in contextual use. If something is serious and important I would rather use the language that I am the most proficient at.
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  #167  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:48
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Statements don't usually end with a '?' wolli. Someone else said on the first page that there are other languages that should get priority over English.

If you had read the thread and not gone in first with your astrixes we wouldnt have this confusion now would we wolli
The question-mark referred to your question why they ......, while you took a perceived unpopularity of English as a basic fact.

And in addition to that you did not refer to police but to a federal company. And a company which HAS competition. While police does not
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  #168  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:54
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Dear co-forumers, Switzerland is a touristic country! Lots of Chinese, Brazilian, Russian, Japanese people come here for skiing, hiking etc. Do they need to speak German as well??? Non-sense!
cops are here for protecting folks,doorman are here to talk to tourist folks. and Thats why a doorman speaks English and has a nicer uniform the cops
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  #169  
Old 05.08.2011, 17:58
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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The question-mark referred to your question why they ......, while you took a perceived unpopularity of English as a basic fact.

And in addition to that you did not refer to police but to a federal company. And a company which HAS competition. While police does not
I'm going to have to spell this out for you aren't I.

Someone said that other languages are more improtant and that English is further down the list of language priority than other. I do not agree with this. I think English should have priority over german, French and Italian. I think the whole world should be forced to speak English.

I digress. So in rebuttal of this opinion of someone else's I said that if English is so unimportant, then why do companies like swisscom or orange even have a 'press 4 for English' option when a 'press 4 for portuguese would be more useful?

Clearly because an English option is more useful and more widely spoken than Portuguese.

Am I through to planet wolli now?
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  #170  
Old 05.08.2011, 18:31
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Fair enough, if it's in the newspapers it must true, I mean just ask Rupert Murdoch.

No, seriously, I do accept that it may be the case that some police don't like working in Zurich, as far as I'm concerned that's tough tittie, no one forces them to move there and it does not qualify as justification for failing to do what their job requires them to do. My point being, I cannot see any justification for not doing the job in this particular incident. Reasons I can see a-plenty but not justifications. One reason might be that the copper in question is a prick. I don't know.
It has been in all three papers, it has been under discussion among "people on the road" for years. Now, if you love police, you can of course say that we all were and are wrong and only the police chaps are right There of course is no conlusive statistical evidence about dullness and dimness in the police force
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  #171  
Old 05.08.2011, 18:35
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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It has been in all three papers, it has been under discussion among "people on the road" for years. Now, if you love police, you can of course say that we all were and are wrong and only the police chaps are right There of course is no conlusive statistical evidence about dullness and dimness in the police force

I never stated that I love the police. I will state however, that I for one don't believe much of written in newspapers, and I don't much care if its printed in one or ten newspapers, especially if one happened to be of the same "quality" as 20min (as an example).
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  #172  
Old 05.08.2011, 18:38
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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I'm going to have to spell this out for you aren't I.

Someone said that other languages are more improtant and that English is further down the list of language priority than other. I do not agree with this. I think English should have priority over german, French and Italian. I think the whole world should be forced to speak English.

I digress. So in rebuttal of this opinion of someone else's I said that if English is so unimportant, then why do companies like swisscom or orange even have a 'press 4 for English' option when a 'press 4 for portuguese would be more useful?

Clearly because an English option is more useful and more widely spoken than Portuguese.

Am I through to planet wolli now?
No, you somewhere out in the universe ! In the Canton of Zurich, the official language and main language is German. English and French are on equal ranking in almost all respects, while Italian is quite a distance behind. "Mr Someone" you met is wrong, as only German is more important here than English. Sure, if space allows it, many companies publish their info in
- German
- English
- French
- Italian
- Spanish
- Portuguese
- Albanian
- Croatian
- Turkish
- Tamil
- Arabic

You mention federal companies like Swisscom. As the union has French and Italian as 2nd and 3rd official languages, they HAVE to publish in German, French, Italian and English
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  #173  
Old 05.08.2011, 18:42
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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From Wikipedia, about foreigner population demographics:

Resident foreigners and temporary foreign workers make up about 22% of the population. Most of these (60%) are from European Union or EFTA countries.

Italians are the largest single group of foreigners with 17.3% of total foreign population. They are followed by Germans (13.2%), immigrants from Serbia and Montenegro (11.5%) and Portugal (11.3%).


Can you imagine changing the language training for civil service employees with every major immigration trend ? Policemen would have to speak Serbian, or Portuguese soon.
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No, you somewhere out in the universe ! In the Canton of Zurich, the official language and main language is German. English and French are on equal ranking in almost all respects, while Italian is quite a distance behind. "Mr Someone" you met is wrong, as only German is more important here than English. Sure, if space allows it, many companies publish their info in
- German
- English
- French
- Italian
- Spanish
- Portuguese
- Albanian
- Croatian
- Turkish
- Tamil
- Arabic

You mention federal companies like Swisscom. As the union has French and Italian as 2nd and 3rd official languages, they HAVE to publish in German, French, Italian and English

MY GOD WOLLI. It was on the first page. Someone else said it. I know they are wrong! I was using the point that after the 3 official languages, a company will select English rather than Portuguese....because English is more prevalent.
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  #174  
Old 05.08.2011, 18:47
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Absolutely. There is no excuse for the policeman not trying to be helpful, in any language. As always, we only know one side of the story. PERHAPS he felt criticised and belittled by the louder and louder English being thrown at him. We don't know. As far as I know, there are very few official translators working for the police- and if there were, their priorities would be the other languages which are much more prevalent in CH as explained above.
Why should a policeman speak English- but not Serbo-croat, Spanish, Portuguese or Bulgarian?
Policemen apply to the police after doing an apprenticeship in another trade/craft- and do not come from an academic background at all - it is very likely they didn't do any English at all at school or 2 years max.

I lived in the UK for 41 years, and I've never met a copper who spoke good French (let alone German). When 1 of my French students was attacked by a drunken woman when leaving a club one night- the police called us as they didn't speak French- nobody questioned that. But YES they were sympathetic and tried their very best to make the young man comfortable until we got there to pick up the pieces.
Are you happy now Wolli?
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Old 05.08.2011, 18:49
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Of course Porsche - we all know English is the world's language now and will increasingly become so. But who do you think Zurich police deals with on a day to day basis? A lot of the foreigners in Switzerland are NOT rich Americans, Saudis, or Japanese. Can you really expect all the immigrants in CH, from the other countries mentioned before on this thread, and who might come from war torn countries or poverty stricken ones, to have had the necessary education to speak English? I find it ironic that many who feel that the British government has been 'pandering' to immigrants, providing services in 100s or languages, translators, interpreters - are often the same who'd complain about the average cop here not speaking English. Remember everything here is voted for by the people - and anything which would raise costs and taxes is unlikely to be put forward- especially as immigrants are often equated with THE problem by so many (not me).

Which does not excuse the bad insensitive treatment the OP had to endure, btw.
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  #176  
Old 05.08.2011, 18:55
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

All I did was enquire that why if English isn't the most prominent non-official language, do companies give a 'press 4 for English' option and not a 'press 4 for Serbian' option.

Companies aren't stupid and they would get laughed at if they provided Portuguese over English as an option....they are far more people who understand and speak English than Portuguese or Serbian. Of course they aren't all native speakers...but it's just absurd to suggest that any other language should be chosen above English after the non-official languages....that applies to both the police and any companies.
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  #177  
Old 05.08.2011, 19:02
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

The OP is not about business though. In business, especially internet and communication, English is definitely the one and only language here in CH after the national languages. But we are talking about the language skills of a Mr Plod - and whether he should be expected to speak English. And whether if s/he is- whether the majority of immigrants in CH would really benefit.

As in every post- this makes no difference to the fact that the policeman behaved badly and should have made every effort to support the OP.
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  #178  
Old 05.08.2011, 19:04
porsch1909
 
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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The OP is not about business though. In business, especially internet and communication, English is definitely the one and only language here in CH after the national languages. But we are talking about the language skills of a Mr Plod - and whether he should be expected to speak English. And whether if s/he is- whether the majority of immigrants in CH would really benefit.

As in every post- this makes no difference to the fact that the policeman behaved badly and should have made every effort to support the OP.
Okay you win. I'm wrong.

Praise to Odile and wolli
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  #179  
Old 05.08.2011, 19:07
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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Okay you win. I'm wrong.

Praise to Odile and wolli

I don't think it's a question of you being right or wrong, I think the point was that you're tilting at the wrong windmill here. Your topic seems to be whether English should be a world language, maybe that's a thread on it's own?
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  #180  
Old 05.08.2011, 19:11
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Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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I don't think it's a question of you being right or wrong, I think the point was that you're tilting at the wrong windmill here. Your topic seems to be whether English should be a world language, maybe that's a thread on it's own?
No no. My question is if the police should make their main priority language after the official ones English or another?

I don't see how anyone can argue against it being English...but Odile seems to have managed it...she is a lady of many powers

English is the world language. There is no argument about that....unless Aunty decides too.
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