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Old 11.12.2011, 14:17
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Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

Dear all,

I have been living in the German-speaking region of Switzerland since three years. Speak German fluently and have already overcome the Swiss-German thingy too. As the year slowly comes to an end, I am considering a move to the other side of the Röstigraben, i.e. the French speaking part. Apart from giving myself a chance to start afresh socially (which is unfortunately not going as well as I hope for currently - but that is another issue), I do cherish a chance to learn a new language frrom scratch.

The feeling is a bit daunting yet I thought no risk no gain. So a question here...can anyone share the experience of moving within Switzerland after mastering well the language of the original place, means to start afresh in a new language environment (and probably cultural too). Were you happy with the move or did you almost give up to be a beginner again? What is the attitude of places like Lausanne towards foreigners compared to Swiss-German part for example?

p/s: Thanks Mod to move this thread if it is not suitable in daily life.

Last edited by jttraveller; 11.12.2011 at 14:18. Reason: .
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Old 11.12.2011, 14:23
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

I did this in the opposite direction, fron Neuchatel to Zurich. The culture is not really so different it is the language that is the biggest issue but that can be overcome with some lessons and hard work. While I was really happy in the French part settling into the German part was not so difficult.
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Old 11.12.2011, 15:47
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

I did the opposite journey - Lausanne to Zurich. (I briefly lived in Zurich back in the day just prior to Lausanne but not long enough to really count for anything)

Culturally other than the typical stuff (more picky rules, cleaner, better opening hours, administration more efficient, etc) life isn't that much different so far. I have gone up in quality of life as it is easier to get stuff done here, and this despite not speaking German (number one example: finding my apartment was a walk in the park).

But I miss not speaking the language and am trying hard with my German. And Lausanne is a quite unique city. But after almost seven years there I felt it was time to move on, anyway.

I do think Lausanne has "more" foreigners but I haven't been here long enough to say if they are more friendly there or not. I didn't have that many problems in Lausanne as far as the foreigner bit. This probably doesn't apply to you if you already have a job down there, but one big difference between Lausanne and Zurich is that if you do not have to speak French to do your job, they do not put it on your job advert. Here in Zurich, they put "requires German" on the job advert then say it is because you need to speak German to your colleagues to "integrate." I can't imagine someone in Lausanne, or even less so in Geneva (where no one speaks French) saying that.

Despite everything (I moved here for a job that didn't pan out) I am happy to have moved, I like new challenges! I say go for it!

Last edited by NicoleCZ; 11.12.2011 at 15:50. Reason: typos, forgot a bit
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Old 11.12.2011, 15:56
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

Go for it. YOu stillhave the familarity of basic geography, knowing how the transport system works etc of the country, But with the novelty and challenges of a new place. You have already proven to yourself that you can learn a new language, so there is no reason why you can't add another one as well.
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Old 11.12.2011, 16:05
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

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Go for it. YOu stillhave the familarity of basic geography, knowing how the transport system works etc of the country, But with the novelty and challenges of a new place. You have already proven to yourself that you can learn a new language, so there is no reason why you can't add another one as well.
Absolutely - bonne chance
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Old 12.12.2011, 00:06
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

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Go for it. YOu stillhave the familarity of basic geography, knowing how the transport system works etc of the country, But with the novelty and challenges of a new place. You have already proven to yourself that you can learn a new language, so there is no reason why you can't add another one as well.
Yes, you completely described my situation very well. I still haven't found a better country than CH in Europe yet at this economic climate, that's why I am reluctant to leave the country although I yearn for changes. But there is a difference between dream country for vacation and dream country for earning a living....The only thing stopping me is the language barrier for French, considering I have spent years mastering German. But well, I think we have to keep on improving ourselves in life.
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Old 12.12.2011, 00:32
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

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Dear all,

I have been living in the German-speaking region of Switzerland since three years. Speak German fluently and have already overcome the Swiss-German thingy too. As the year slowly comes to an end, I am considering a move to the other side of the Röstigraben, i.e. the French speaking part. Apart from giving myself a chance to start afresh socially (which is unfortunately not going as well as I hope for currently - but that is another issue), I do cherish a chance to learn a new language frrom scratch.

The feeling is a bit daunting yet I thought no risk no gain. So a question here...can anyone share the experience of moving within Switzerland after mastering well the language of the original place, means to start afresh in a new language environment (and probably cultural too). Were you happy with the move or did you almost give up to be a beginner again? What is the attitude of places like Lausanne towards foreigners compared to Swiss-German part for example?

p/s: Thanks Mod to move this thread if it is not suitable in daily life.
Well, parts of my "wider family" lived (live) in the Romandie. Some like my Godfather (from Stein-am-Rhein) and two of my cousins (from Stein-am-Rhein and Winterthur) were/are Alémaniques who had to integrate and some were Romands or half-Romands grown up in the Romandie. It works either way if you try your best. My brother and me at times were guest in Lausanne at the home of an aunt who was full Romand and her husband who was 50/50 .
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Old 12.12.2011, 00:42
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

for the most part i would say that lausanne seems more open to foriegners than what i've heard in the german speaking parts. i've not really had any problems with that here and i really love the city of lausanne and feel quite accepted, even openly welcomed here. we have a big mix of swiss and non friends here and it's been quite easy in 2.5 years to find some really wonderful friends here that make it a home for us, and we have no plans to leave because of that. there's a bit more of a latin slightly chaotic (though swissly chaotic) feel here that keeps things normal.

and while i love visiting the swiss german parts and we have great friends there too, i wouldn't want to make the move from here to there- but that's simpy my own feeling and experience, if you are ready for a change, it's a good babystep change to make...good luck
(plus french is so nice to learn and to speak)
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Old 12.12.2011, 01:03
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

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...Geneva (where no one speaks French)....
I could swear I heard someone speaking it the other day. Maybe "almost no one" would be true, though.
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Old 15.12.2011, 22:09
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

I am in French side, and I wouldn't like to change. German people are more reserved. On the other hand, they know English better.
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Old 15.12.2011, 22:48
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

21 years ago, after four years in ZH, I moved to TI, not knowing any Italian.

Still here.

Tom
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Old 15.12.2011, 23:49
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

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I am in French side, and I wouldn't like to change. German people are more reserved. On the other hand, they know English better.
Funny you say that, one of the reasons I left Lausanne was because I couldn't stand the way Lausannois were so reserved and never told you how they really felt. In Zurich people are more low-key but at the same time more up-front, in my experience. To each their own
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Old 16.12.2011, 11:08
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

Like Tom, I did a few years in CHDE before moving down here, I would go for it, it's great that you can move to a new language / culture without changing country. The biggest hurdle is learning another language (again), it should be easier than picking up the first foreign language, but it makes for a long time (for me 2 x 3-4 years) where you're not fluent and a bit socially handicapped, so go easy on yourself. You could also look for a job where you get to use a little of the first foreign language so you can still make progress there too.
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Old 18.12.2011, 16:37
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

You cannot really make generalisations, but I do feel happier in French speaking villages and towns, mainly in my opinion, because the people give off a happier aura.

I always thought the French Swiss were more easy going: maybe in private life this is true, but Swiss French managers can be very tough indeed.

I think foreigners in west Switzerland often have dark skins, and so there appear to be more of them, whereas in the east the foreigners tend to be from eastern Europe and match up with the population.

From what I have read and heard, avoiding Geneva would be good advice: I lived there two months, but now it seems to be run by cowboys, for the benefit of the criminals. My favourite city is Neuchâtel, but the taxes are very high. Fribourg is also very nice, and has low taxes.
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Old 18.12.2011, 16:45
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Re: Would you start all over again in the other side of Switzerland?

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in the east the foreigners tend to be from eastern Europe and match up with the population.
Same in Ticino, where most foreigners are Italian.

Tom
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