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Old 23.10.2011, 19:57
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Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

Hello,

I'm trying to decide whether to move to Geneva or Zurich (I'm coming from the UK). I was wondering which city is more welcoming (socially) to the English? Is there even a difference at all?

Thanks,

Stu
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Old 23.10.2011, 20:14
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

Do you speak French or German?
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Old 23.10.2011, 20:15
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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Do you speak French or German?
From his profile:

Foreign Languages No
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Old 24.10.2011, 22:59
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

I can speak a very little French (UK GCSE grade B French from 12 years ago), and no German.

In both cases I would go to one language evening class a week and have the local radio station on constantly.

Thanks
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:03
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

I love this question Which is more welcoming

I don't know that there are large communities/cities in Switzerland that refuse the English - maybe they only want to

Welcoming is a pretty subjective nevermind broad concept...Geneva, is essentially an English speaking city so it's more welcoming in that you don't ever have to learn French...So maybe that's the more relevant issue for you?...Language?
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:24
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

I think it's easier for expats to integrate in Geneva
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:33
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

I'm probably slightly wounded from my schoolboy trips to Brittany but that's a whole other thread!

I guess I'm asking whether the traditional English/French tension extends into French-speaking Switzerland or is the English/French-speaking-Switzerland relationship an entirely different kettle-of-fish?

And the same question goes for the difference between the England/Germany versus England/German-speaking-Switzerland relationships.

Thanks,

Stu
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:34
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

Thanks Dack
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:35
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

It all depends on your ability to muster as many words as you quickly can, politely, and nothing to do with historical events.

Many will understand EN but may not speak to you in EN - so be prepared for it.
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:49
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

no matter how well you speak german, it will be very difficult to integrate with locals in Zurich. The city does have a great expat community and you can have a great time there.
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Old 24.10.2011, 23:59
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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It all depends on your ability to muster as many words as you quickly can, politely, and nothing to do with historical events.

Many will understand EN but may not speak to you in EN - so be prepared for it.

Totally agree!

And......Zurih ruleZ!
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Old 25.10.2011, 09:32
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

If you have to come to Switzerland, go to Geneve...it is the closest thing to "international and cosmopolitan" in attitude, you will really get here. In the German speaking region, I would say Basel is more so in that line than Zurich to be honest. The German speaking area is largely "backward" culturally, meaning "closed" at best, and xenophobic at worse, but still good for business. If money is your primary motivation...then go to the German speaking area. They do know how to do that well enough.

Last edited by AmericanGotWorkVisa; 25.10.2011 at 09:44.
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Old 25.10.2011, 09:47
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

The OP didn't ask about integration, but which is more welcoming. I reckon it's 50/50.

Zurich is more conservative, but the locals are very pleased to speak English, if you try a little German first. The British are generally loved, some Americans have had a hard time as the Swiss tend to think they are personally responsible for US foreign policy...
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Old 26.10.2011, 13:38
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

Finding a job in Zurich without speaking any good German is not so easy!!!
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Old 26.10.2011, 13:47
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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And the same question goes for the difference between the England/Germany versus England/German-speaking-Switzerland relationships.

Thanks,

Stu
Ever been to Germany? We don't have any long standing problem with you guys. The "don't mention the war" stuff is absolutely one-sided from an English perspective. Even football: We actually don't care about your football team as you hardly ever make it to any semi-final (let alone final...). So the German-English rivalry is something completely invented by the English tabloids. We also don't understand why you consider yourself a title candidate every single time only to fail miserably...

Germans typically don't like the Dutch too much. (I'm a bit of an exception, but only cause I lived there before...)
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Old 26.10.2011, 14:08
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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So the German-English rivalry is something completely invented by the English tabloids
Becauses papers like Bild never try to stir the pot.. Right ?

like the Quiz this summer about how British are you, with question like

When you hear the word "dentist", do you :A) Look it up in a dictionary? B) Remember your last visit 30 years ago? C) open a bottle of beer with your last-remaining teeth?'

What is the correct way to shoot a penalty in football? A) wide left; B) wide right; C) over the top.

When are English women at their most beautiful? A) after 12 beers; B) after a day in the sun; C) in complete darkness.
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Old 26.10.2011, 14:33
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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I guess I'm asking whether the traditional English/French tension extends into French-speaking Switzerland
There is no English/French tension in France or any other country I'm aware of. It's largely a myth propagated by UK tabloids and a few brits who can't cope with not being understood when they just speak English loudly and with a faux-French accent.

As in almost any foreign country, locals' attitudes to you will be based mainly on who you are and how you interact with them, rather than what country you're from. If there is a stereotypical English attitude that annoys people (and I'm not aware of one) and you display that attitude then maybe you could perceive an anti-English stance, but in my experience both Swiss and French people, in all areas, are quite happy to welcome you as a person, rather than as an English person, as long as you behave decently towards them too.

Although in answer to your original question - Basel, of course.
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Old 26.10.2011, 14:38
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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Becauses papers like Bild never try to stir the pot.. Right ?

like the Quiz this summer about how British are you, with question like

When you hear the word "dentist", do you :A) Look it up in a dictionary? B) Remember your last visit 30 years ago? C) open a bottle of beer with your last-remaining teeth?'

What is the correct way to shoot a penalty in football? A) wide left; B) wide right; C) over the top.

When are English women at their most beautiful? A) after 12 beers; B) after a day in the sun; C) in complete darkness.
I must admit that I do not read the Bild. That's pretty insulting except of the penalty one which I would let pass as a factual observation.

Although I find your goal keepers typically more amusing than the failed penalties...



All i can say is that I was never aware of any of this till my English teacher back at school presented us some newspaper articles from the Sun & co before the match at the Euro 96... I knew it was ok to make fun of the Oranjes but even there we never went so so low.

Even Wikipedia knows what I am talking about:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England...otball_rivalry
Quote:
The rivalry is considered to be solely an English phenomenon—in the run-up to any competition match between the two teams, many English newspapers will print articles detailing results of previous encounters, such as those in 1966 and 1990. Football fans in England often consider Germany to be their main sporting rivals and care more about this rivalry than those with other nations, such as Argentina or Scotland. Most German football fans, however, take little interest in their rivalry with England, and instead consider the Netherlands to be their traditional footballing rivals.
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Old 26.10.2011, 15:31
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

@Treverus. Bild churn that kind of stuff out a few times a year. I find it pretty amusing normally but sometimes the "All English are alcoholics and holigans" mantra get a bit tiring because is slowly embeds its self into peoples minds.

I remember being in Munich when a friend in the UK sent me a article from the Sun about the Germans supporting the Argies when they play England & asked if it was true.... The Sun had just taken pictures of buildings flying the Blue & White Bayerish flag and stated they were Argentinian flags on the Goverment buildings

Still, Off topic. OP, Don't think you will have any problems where ever you go.
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Old 26.10.2011, 15:40
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Re: Is Geneva or Zurich the most welcoming for the English?

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If you have to come to Switzerland, go to Geneve...it is the closest thing to "international and cosmopolitan" in attitude, you will really get here. In the German speaking region, I would say Basel is more so in that line than Zurich to be honest. The German speaking area is largely "backward" culturally, meaning "closed" at best, and xenophobic at worse, but still good for business. If money is your primary motivation...then go to the German speaking area. They do know how to do that well enough.
I'd say it depends on the person trying to integrate. If you act like a knob, you won't fit in anywhere. If you are open and sympathetic, it will probably ease your passage.

I've had no problems in Zurich; I learned German, understand Swiss German, got Swiss mates.

To the OP - if you expect people to have the flags out welcoming you when you arrive, don't come. You have to make the effort in a friendship if you want the same in return, maybe more, but that's an even spread over the whole of Switzerland, not to mention the rest of the world and not just confined to a Geneva / Zurich popularity contest.
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