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Old 03.06.2012, 21:46
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How did you assimilate?

Hello,

I would like to ask you what steps (if any) did you take to assimilate here in Switzerland?

I mean..and this is my personal impression..the days are passing..your life style is pretty high..but still the feeling is that your life is not really full and you are missing out something.

Anyone feels the same? What to do?

Thank you!
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:07
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Re: How did you assimilate?

If you learn the language your experience here will change for good. I stopped hating Switzerland the moment I made myself understood with the locals an they started being polite.
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:12
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Re: How did you assimilate?

A) Hang out with the locals.

B) Don't give a crap.

I'm more A, my wife B, but she's a local!

Tom
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:23
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Ask this guy
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:28
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Join some sort of social or sporting club (a local one, not an ex-pat ghetto) that's close to where you live - you'll get regular activity, and get to know some people who live near you!
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:28
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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A) Hang out with the locals.

B) Don't give a crap.

I'm more A, my wife B, but she's a local!

Tom
If you are 50% a local and got "in" at age 3 (approx), you of course hang out with the locals. But due to your "strange" ways of speaking are sent to the Sprachheilkindergarten and are taught accordingly. When you later on in school become class-best in German over practically all your school-tiime you slowly but heavily enjoy your personal triumph. And when you later on during decades are appreciated in journalism due to your supreme command of German, you "drink" your triumph like a glass of supreme champagne
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Old 03.06.2012, 22:31
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I drink Rivella at least once a day, and eat cheese pie every single Friday.



as a US expat, I'm at pretty long odds to ever truly "assimilate". although, I have to confess my kids became worried the other night when I said "han de Schwiizer Chris Farley gfunde!" to my wife and then proceeded to try and translate (horribly) Mike Mueller videos for her - who said that Swiss comedy isn't hilarious?

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Old 03.06.2012, 22:34
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Or join a class at MigrosSchule - they do everything from Tai-chi, to jewellery making, cooking, zumba, anything that takes you fancy. Pick up a leaflet about local courses - usually on the board at the side of the 'way out'.
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Old 03.06.2012, 23:09
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I havent and i probably never will. This of course doesnt mean i dont like it here
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Old 03.06.2012, 23:20
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I'm assuming that "assimilate" does NOT necessarily mean "become fluent in the local language." From what I read here, there are many people who can communicate perfectly with their Swiss neighbours and yet never become assimilated.
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Old 03.06.2012, 23:21
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Assimilate is probably not a useful word. There is no need to become the same, and change your colours like a chameleon. Even 'integrate' sounds wrong to me - would prefer 'take part' or 'join in'- but never lose your roots and your culture. Like a language, acquiring a new one does not mean losing the other. Best way is to stay strong in who you are already, and become even stronger by adapting to new circumstances, and as said above 'joining in'. Basic communicative language is the first key, and open, positive and curious attitude is the second. Bonne chance.
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Old 03.06.2012, 23:26
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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I'm assuming that "assimilate" does NOT necessarily mean "become fluent in the local language." From what I read here, there are many people who can communicate perfectly with their Swiss neighbours and yet never become assimilated.
it works BOTH ways. There are people who are perfect in their command of bot standard language and dialect but are failures in regard to assimilation, AND there are people who are not so perfect with either dialect or standard language but succeeed in regard to assimilation .
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Old 03.06.2012, 23:30
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Local farmers beep and wave at me (don't know why, and probably don't want to remember why either), so I guess I'm assimilated.

Meanwhile, my wife vehemently denies being either Ticinese or Italian (despite an Italian mother), so we are both technically Swiss-German (her from Fischenthal ZH, both from Kirchberg SG), despite that she only speaks Italian!

Anyway, back when, I used to hang out with other motorcyclists, some I've known for 25+ years.

Just hang with people with similar interests!

Tom
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Old 03.06.2012, 23:56
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I live in a village and after two years living here, the same people see me doing the same crazy things... I'm an outlier (can't help it, I'm just special and unique ) but over time my predictable (strange) ways are familiar to my neighbors and they seem ultimately reassured that me and my family - we're OK.

So I'm giving up on assimilating, as in totally fitting in. I won't, I can't. Still, I work on my language skills bit by bit, and I work on following all the little polite rituals that folks have here. And I try to impress upon my boisterous children the need to be equally conscientious in the village.

The other day, two of my older neighbors, who've been living here for a half century or more, stopped to chat with me. They told me that my children are very well behaved and that they almost never hear them. We live on a "ruelle", so when the weather gets warm and we all open our kitchen windows - you can hear everything. They are charming ladies and I respect them - I'm glad/relieved that they are happy with us.

So in sum, try to be a good neighbor and expect those around you to take a while to get to know you. Be patient, be considerate, and be yourself!
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Old 04.06.2012, 00:56
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Re: How did you assimilate?

I have adopted 2 dogs in the last three years, did all the required classes and have met so many nice swiss through my two pups, that no one else wanted. Their story touches the swiss hearts here and since they know they are rescue dogs, they "help" me with advice and tips and are patient with my doggie "learning curve " they see that I try and they respect that. I know not a practical solution for all, but for me these dogs have been a blessing !Through them I have gotten to know my neighbours !

I would like to ask you what steps (if any) did you take to assimilate here in Switzerland?

I mean..and this is my personal impression..the days are passing..your life style is pretty high..but still the feeling is that your life is not really full and you are missing out something.

Anyone feels the same? What to do?

Thank you![/QUOTE]
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Old 04.06.2012, 01:52
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Re: How did you assimilate?

Stranger, who can understand what that word really means?
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Old 04.06.2012, 11:16
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Re: How did you assimilate?

i dont know, i live in a city and a city is independent, is anonymous. and thats what i like about city life. the nosey neighbor thing is not the case here. lets say, i havent met any yet. but on the other hand i integrate myself that way: i checked the mailbox when the neighbor from above my flat came along and looked at me and i said: friggin bills. n he laughed. 2h later i went out jogging and he came along packed like a donkey with his shopping bags full of diapers for the likkle one and he said: so youre talking about bills, eh? indicating: what is more bad? bills or stuff to carry up the 4th floor? and i took off some of his bags n said: at some point people can help each other, right? and i brought his stuff to his flat and he was happy, not expecting that at all. so i am myself, live my life, make others easy where i can. i understand swiss german perfectly and let everybody swiss know that he/she can speak swiss german to me, pleeeease! i try not to bother other people, be nice and courteous and thats it. its all i can do.
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Old 04.06.2012, 11:29
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Re: How did you assimilate?

If you find yourself with Swiss company a lot, I've found one thing that definitely brings a lot to your table is if you know the local music (with the local language). It's relatively simple but it blows peoples perceptions of you out of the water like nothing else!

Plus you emerge yourself into the local culture as your doing it.
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Old 04.06.2012, 22:31
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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Hello,

I would like to ask you what steps (if any) did you take to assimilate here in Switzerland?

I mean..and this is my personal impression..the days are passing..your life style is pretty high..but still the feeling is that your life is not really full and you are missing out something.

Anyone feels the same? What to do?

Thank you!
I believe if you are not born here you can never really "assimilate", you will always be the one that came and not "one of them", so I have given up trying, which is fine though because I'm having a blast anyway ,

for my son it's a different story, "he's in", he's born here, he speaks swiss german fluently and he understands the Swiss mentality...

as an "outsider" not born here you can not really fully understand things here, it doesn't matter how many years you live here, it's impossible...
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Old 04.06.2012, 22:54
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Re: How did you assimilate?

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I believe if you are not born here you can never really "assimilate", you will always be the one that came and not "one of them", so I have given up trying, which is fine though because I'm having a blast anyway ,

for my son it's a different story, "he's in", he's born here, he speaks swiss german fluently and he understands the Swiss mentality...

as an "outsider" not born here you can not really fully understand things here, it doesn't matter how many years you live here, it's impossible...
Nonsense!

I find things here very similar to the US, at least the parts I grew up in (CT/VT upstate NY), i.e. we rarely talked to neighbors we didn't know for at least 20 years, etc.

I'm totally at home here.

Tom
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