Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:22
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: zurich
Posts: 19
Groaned at 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 8 Posts
egy_flame is considered knowledgeableegy_flame is considered knowledgeableegy_flame is considered knowledgeable
police with no english skills ;( !!!

My bag got stolen last night as I walked from the unispital to my car, the guy said something in German and just took it, for a moment I thought I had teleported to an estate in London, with all the rain and grey buildings around me I had to pinch myself "have I been mugged in Switzerland!??" after the initial shock, I realized I didn’t know what to do....should I call the police or what? my Londoner common sense told me to go home and cancel my cards and begin the mundane process of getting a new permit etc.

Anyway, thanks to the English forum I was established I needed to go to the police station and report it to get a new permit.

NOT a single police officer in ENGE police station could speak English!!!, I realise I live in Switzerland and I should speak German, however they had no English skill whatsoever!

I called the police station in Bahnhofquai and the police officer who did speak English told me I should learn German as Switzerland/Zurich is a German speaking city........REALLLLLLLLLLLly....my bag got stolen asshole thanks for the sympathy..... should I come back in a year or so! or do you want to fine me for not speaking German! (I didn’t say that ;( ...wish I did thou)

Basically im having a bit of a rant, I know I should speak German as I live here now, unfortunately it looks like it’s going to for a while as my husband is Swiss, but shouldn’t the police have some sort of basic English skills???? at least for tourist.....English is the communication language of the world...!

OUTCOME....I will learn German...I’ve resisted but its time....long live the queen (seeing as she’s German)....
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank egy_flame for this useful post:
The following 5 users groan at egy_flame for this post:
  #2  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:38
monkeynut's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Geneva
Posts: 1,128
Groaned at 38 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 1,392 Times in 521 Posts
monkeynut has a reputation beyond reputemonkeynut has a reputation beyond reputemonkeynut has a reputation beyond reputemonkeynut has a reputation beyond reputemonkeynut has a reputation beyond reputemonkeynut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

presumably you shouted louder in English? Usually works.. otherwise i find asking them who won the war anyway does the trick.
Reply With Quote
The following 14 users would like to thank monkeynut for this useful post:
This user groans at monkeynut for this post:
  #3  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:44
Ittigen
 
Posts: n/a
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

And you joined the EF two years ago, and only now you meet the need to speak German? How do you manage your daily life?
Reply With Quote
The following 13 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:45
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,724
Groaned at 2,628 Times in 1,870 Posts
Thanked 39,832 Times in 18,789 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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

Tom
Reply With Quote
This user groans at st2lemans for this post:
  #5  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:48
Ouchboy's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Baden
Posts: 3,353
Groaned at 67 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 5,782 Times in 2,203 Posts
Ouchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond reputeOuchboy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

In mexico they don't even speak spanish sometimes....
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Ouchboy for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:48
adrianlondon's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 9,131
Groaned at 170 Times in 153 Posts
Thanked 25,643 Times in 6,892 Posts
adrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond reputeadrianlondon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
I wonder if any police in the UK or US speak German?

Tom
If you're stressed they would probably talk very slowly to you and attempt to get an interpreter.
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank adrianlondon for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:49
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: zurich
Posts: 19
Groaned at 6 Times in 2 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 8 Posts
egy_flame is considered knowledgeableegy_flame is considered knowledgeableegy_flame is considered knowledgeable
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

probably not but english is the international language of the world not german
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank egy_flame for this useful post:
This user groans at egy_flame for this post:
  #8  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:49
Caleb's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,220
Groaned at 14 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 2,267 Times in 854 Posts
Caleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Sorry to hear about the bag, eggy, but I don't quite agree that everyone in the world in the public service areas should speak English. I assume (PURE speculation) that the average policeman only has to deal with someone who doesn't speak any German perhaps once a year. Why demand that police students speak English, when they live in a country with several other official languages ?

Your frustration is totally understandable, specially in a stressful situation like that, but most of us (expats) don't really expect to find English-skilled personnel everywhere around (perhaps specially me, leaving in the sticks in Eastern Switzerland...although that is also pure speculation).
__________________
The internet makes it easy to be a jerk and forget the person we're talking to is a human. It also makes us see messages from awful people and assume they come from normal peers.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Caleb for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:50
i_like_turtles's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 113
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 139 Times in 49 Posts
i_like_turtles has earned the respect of manyi_like_turtles has earned the respect of manyi_like_turtles has earned the respect of many
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
... but shouldn’t the police have some sort of basic English skills????
How dare they not speak English. They should all be taken off the streets and sent to school to learn English. It's not like they have anything else to do
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank i_like_turtles for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:50
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
I wonder if any police in the UK or US speak German?

Tom

probably not, but in the uk they have a team of iinterpreters on the end of the phone

(no joke, they really do)
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:50
mirfield's Avatar
Moddy Wellies
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 8,729
Groaned at 53 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 9,942 Times in 3,654 Posts
mirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond reputemirfield has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Some police do not speak English
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank mirfield for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:51
Chemmie's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 4,151
Groaned at 33 Times in 29 Posts
Thanked 4,955 Times in 2,235 Posts
Chemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond reputeChemmie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
I wonder if any police in the UK or US speak German?

Tom

I agree with the concept behind this comment. But the reality is there is a lot of english speakers in Zurich, and english is taught at the schools at a young age.

If there was a large german speaking population in the US and Germans was commonly taught in primary school, I could see a proper comparison.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Chemmie for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 04.08.2011, 15:53
Carlos R's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Roundn'about Basel
Posts: 7,231
Groaned at 105 Times in 95 Posts
Thanked 9,934 Times in 4,178 Posts
Carlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
I wonder if any police in the UK or US speak German?

Tom
Yes, 'cos German is the international language, isn't it.

Sorry, but that has no relevance.

I was 2 days into CH and looking for a Swisscom shop I asked a policeman for directions. Note this was in central Basel in a pedestrian area.

My first words were (in broken German): "Excuse me, do you speak French or English?"

His answer: "Nein, wir sind in Basel, wir sprechen Deutch..." (excuse typos!)

He then proceeded to be completely unhelpful as I tried desperately in bad German to try and get directions.

Grade 1 prick.

Subsequent dealings with them over the past 12 years have not improved much.

@ the OP. Sorry to hear about your shitty experience. Unfortunately, the police in CH are not there to "serve and protect" as the LAPD have it. And are not as friendly or helpful as the UK Bobby. Rather they are here to enforce the law. Remember that when dealing with them and you'll be fine.
__________________
Never let right or wrong get in the way of a good opinion
Reply With Quote
The following 10 users would like to thank Carlos R for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:02
Caleb's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 1,220
Groaned at 14 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 2,267 Times in 854 Posts
Caleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond reputeCaleb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

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.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Caleb for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:05
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
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.
not if they all spoke english
Reply With Quote
The following 9 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:05
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bern
Posts: 1,421
Groaned at 51 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 1,742 Times in 719 Posts
simplon has a reputation beyond reputesimplon has a reputation beyond reputesimplon has a reputation beyond reputesimplon has a reputation beyond reputesimplon has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

What are you complaining about? You are living in a German speaking country for over two years and so far coudn't be bothered to learn the language? Why should the police officers speak English. They work neither in England nor in the USA.
By the way did you try to express yourself just in English or did you bother to ask them if they spoke French or Italian? I guess at least one of the police officers would have known some French. Silly me, I forgot to ask you: Do you speak another language than English?
Reply With Quote
The following 12 users would like to thank simplon for this useful post:
The following 6 users groan at simplon for this post:
  #17  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:09
lost_inbroad's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Town or region
Posts: 11,491
Groaned at 655 Times in 417 Posts
Thanked 16,388 Times in 6,379 Posts
lost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond reputelost_inbroad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
What are you complaining about? You are living in a German speaking country for over two years and so far coudn't be bothered to learn the language? Why should the police officers speak English. They work neither in England nor in the USA.
By the way did you try to express yourself just in English or did you bother to ask them if they spoke French or Italian? I guess at least one of the police officers would have known some French. Silly me, I forgot to ask you: Do you speak another language than English?
...the fact that nobody spoke English and was able to help simply shows how advanced this place really is. When I lived in China, they spoke English at the police station. Mind you, China is not a developed country as yet.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank lost_inbroad for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 56
Groaned at 4 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 27 Times in 16 Posts
azurboy has made some interesting contributions
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Funny they couldn't speak english there, because when one of my coworker had his car towed and had to go to Enge and pay something like CHF 500 in fines, they were fluent and knew all the technical terms to convince him he had to pay!

Also at the border recently:
me: "Is it the right way for Germany?"
Swiss custom officer: "..."
me: "...is it?"
Swiss custom officer: ...
me: "..."
Swiss custom officer mumbles : "Sie müssen Deutsch lernen..."
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:12
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
What are you complaining about? You are living in a German speaking country for over two years and so far coudn't be bothered to learn the language? Why should the police officers speak English. They work neither in England nor in the USA.
By the way did you try to express yourself just in English or did you bother to ask them if they spoke French or Italian? I guess at least one of the police officers would have known some French. Silly me, I forgot to ask you: Do you speak another language than English?

chill!!

personally I don't think it unreasonable for at least some zurich police to be able to speak a little english, there is a huge transient english speaking population in the canton (from various countries), and as others have pointed out they teach english from primary school, so for the police to say they speak no english is frankly bollocks, every other advert, song, tv show etc etc is in english here. its probably the same copper who would claim he doesn't understand high german, only swiss, if you made the effort.
Reply With Quote
The following 9 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 04.08.2011, 16:16
Carlos R's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Roundn'about Basel
Posts: 7,231
Groaned at 105 Times in 95 Posts
Thanked 9,934 Times in 4,178 Posts
Carlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond reputeCarlos R has a reputation beyond repute
Re: police with no english skills ;( !!!

Quote:
View Post
Personally I don't think it unreasonable for at least some zurich police to be able to speak a little english, there is a huge transient english speaking population in the canton (from various countries), and as others have pointed out they teach english from primary school, so for the police to say they speak no english is frankly bollocks, every other advert, song, tv show etc etc is in english here. its probably the same copper who would claim he doesn't understand high german, only swiss, if you made the effort.
Nail. Head. Hit.

It isn't that they can't. It is the attitude that they shouldn't need to.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank Carlos R for this useful post:
Reply

Tags
english, police




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Police check for no apparent reason... kinga5 Complaints corner 71 06.07.2010 18:14
Test your English skills möpp Language corner 10 02.08.2007 15:09


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 16:29.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0