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Old 26.05.2012, 23:26
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Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

Dear EF'ers,

Living in Western Switzerland for a few years now, and have come to understand numerous French-specific etiquette that does not seem to translate well in Central/Northern Switzerland where the attitude is more direct, to the point and "customer oriented" (e.g. Zurich) - cheers to the Swiss Germans for that ;-)

What are some of the etiquettes in Central/North parts that should be respected in contrast to that of the West? For example:

1. Not knowing Swiss German, how to kindly request to speak in English?
2. Ordering food at restaurants
3. Travelling on public transportation
4. Noise level tolerance
5. General civility and behavior in public

Lastly, any good links/sites to pick up on some useful and commonly used Swiss German words and phrases for daily use at shops, restaurants and at the work place?

Tschüss!
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Old 26.05.2012, 23:40
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Re: Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

If you've been living in the Suisse Romande for a few years now, why don't you just do what the rest of us do when we venture "north"? Immediately greet them with a hearty "bonjour" and proceed to speak in French?

They quickly backstep toute de suite!
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Old 27.05.2012, 02:58
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Re: Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

1. Not knowing Swiss German, how to kindly request to speak in English?
Do: 'Scuse me Sir, I don't understand Swiss German. Do you speak English?
Don't: Judging by your gargling and harrumphing, you obviously have to vomit. Why don't you leave and come back, when you found a civilized way to express yourself?

2. Ordering food at restaurants
Do: Do you have a menu in English? Oh, you don't ... Could you please translate for me?
Don't: C'mon! Bring ze Schnitzel and ze Wurst! Vorwärts, vorwärts!

3. Travelling on public transportation
Do: Buy a ticket, go through the door and take a seat.
Don't: Smash the window, climb through and hang from the bars upside down.

4. General civility and behavior in public
Do: As you do in Western Switzerland.
Don't: Talk about how much more you like Western Switzerland.

5. Noise level tolerance
Do: Be quiet.
Don't: Sorry, no exaggeration here.
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Old 27.05.2012, 04:34
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Re: Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

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1. Not knowing Swiss German, how to kindly request to speak in English?
2. Ordering food at restaurants
3. Travelling on public transportation
4. Noise level tolerance
5. General civility and behavior in public

Lastly, any good links/sites to pick up on some useful and commonly used Swiss German words and phrases for daily use at shops, restaurants and at the work place?

Tschüss!
1. Not knowing Swiss German, how to kindly request to speak in English?
= Do you speak English .... parlez-vous français ?
2. Ordering food at restaurants
= Ich hätte gerne .......................... danke
3. Travelling on public transportation
Take your ticket from the machine or at a counter
-- einmal Bünzen zweite Klasse
--- Bünzen retour zweite Klasse
4. Noise level tolerance
NONE ! you have to be civillized
5. General civility and behavior in public
Do as best as you can !

Some words ?

- you want a standard beer ? = ä Schtange bitte
- you want 2 dl of red wine ? = än Zweier Rotwii bitte
- you want a coffee with cream ? = än Kafi Cräm bitte
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Old 27.05.2012, 14:06
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Re: Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

With the invasion of Germans into Zürich, the chances of having a waiter, shop assistant or whatever who understands Swiss-German are rapidly diminishing.
Just like in many towns in the USA, hardly anyone speaks English anymore and you're more often better off in Spanish.
Speak whatever language you fancy and see what comes back at you and adapt.
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Old 27.05.2012, 19:13
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Re: Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

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With the invasion of Germans into Zürich, the chances of having a waiter, shop assistant or whatever who understands Swiss-German are rapidly diminishing.
Just like in many towns in the USA, hardly anyone speaks English anymore and you're more often better off in Spanish.
Speak whatever language you fancy and see what comes back at you and adapt.
That's very sad, is it seriously happening? I thought germans were taking good jobs, not waiters and stuff, la Suisse Romande already lost its dialects except for some few local words, I hope the swiss germans take note of that and defend their culture
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Old 28.05.2012, 12:51
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Re: Western vs. Central/Northern Switzerland Etiquette

Quote:
I thought germans were taking good jobs, not waiters and stuff,
They're taking all of them, good, bad, ugly whatever.

Quote:
4. General civility and behavior in public
Do: As you do in Western Switzerland.
Don't: Talk about how much more you like Western Switzerland.
This one made me laugh.
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