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  #21  
Old 09.07.2012, 13:21
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Yeah, I do know basic french, but when you go to a clinic and you talk to a receptionist who has the face that says "I-am-so-stressed-today-i-dont-have-time-to-talk-to-people-like-you-" and she speaks french so fast that I couldn't follow. And she's giving you sighs and frowns because you cant understand each other...
That has nothing to do with Switzerland.
It's more a French thing.
They want you to at least make an effort to speak French.
(Or High-German, failing that - they don't really want to hear Swiss-German either, if it's a foreign language to them...)
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Old 09.07.2012, 13:37
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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O.K. I know the feeling and that kind of "face". Could you ask someone else to make an appt. for you if your language skills are not yet adequate?
Anyway, usually here doctors are very good, patient and take time to listen to all your concerns, without having that "subtle" smirk I have encountered in other places. But keep in mind that even if most of them speak good English, you do have to check out in advance if they indeed do so, and while you are there keep it simple and to the point otherwise you'll confuse them and will eventually have the impression they are incompetent. If you have some concerns or questions just ask, they don't know what your expectations are and how things "backhome" are done..
Oh well, this is for the German speaking part, I don't know how the Frenchies are.
No worries, I'm not chatty when it comes to doctors, I ask them the most important concerns, and thats it... ^_^...
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  #23  
Old 09.07.2012, 15:02
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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That has nothing to do with Switzerland.
It's more a French thing.
They want you to at least make an effort to speak French.
(Or High-German, failing that - they don't really want to hear Swiss-German either, if it's a foreign language to them...)
I dont wanna be a racist... ... I am doing the best I can to learn the language... I've been living here for like less than a year, so It will take sometime for me to learn... I know some helpful phrases, but this experience will push me to learn french more... ^^
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  #24  
Old 09.07.2012, 21:18
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Yeah, I do know basic french, but when you go to a clinic and you talk to a receptionist who has the face that says "I-am-so-stressed-today-i-dont-have-time-to-talk-to-people-like-you-" and she speaks french so fast that I couldn't follow. And she's giving you sighs and frowns because you cant understand each other... Ah well, the life in Swiss.^_^

Today, I am calling again, so hopefully I can have an appointment this week.
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That has nothing to do with Switzerland.
It's more a French thing.
They want you to at least make an effort to speak French.
(Or High-German, failing that - they don't really want to hear Swiss-German either, if it's a foreign language to them...)
To be fair, this happens in English-speaking countries as well (I should say, in at least one that I know quite well).

In my old profession, we'd often have people either visiting (I lived in a tourist area part of the time) or who were immigrants, sometimes with very "iffy" English. Many times my colleagues would sent them my way, not because I could speak the language in question, but because none of them had the patience to deal with trying to sort through the barrier.



Meanwhile, doctor.ch (top left has language options) is a pretty good site to search for a doctor as their entries list what languages they speak and what specialties they have. Sometimes you maybe need to "travel" a little bit for one, but in my experience, it's been worthwhile.

Call up the office, and ask if anyone speaks English (you maybe want to look up French equivalent of "Excuse me / I'm sorry, my French is not so good, but I'd like an appointment with Dr. X") - if the receptionist responds in a positive fashion (as in, not dismissive or rude just because of language), you can feel fairly certain that the office itself knows how to deal with language issues calmly. That's part of what makes me happy with my current office (GYN and GP in the same practice actually), not all of the staff speak English so well, but they're all calm and patient when we have to muddle through with my bad German and their bad English.
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Old 09.07.2012, 23:02
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

For the majority of us non Anglo-Saxons- there is little chance of finding a specialist in most parts of the world who will speak out language It's 'sink or swim' and most of us choose the latter for survival. But I do understand what you mean.

Many doctors and specialists will speak some English and will be willing to try - but most receptionists won't, that is for sure.
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  #26  
Old 10.07.2012, 09:44
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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No worries, I'm not chatty when it comes to doctors, I ask them the most important concerns, and thats it... ^_^...
I am sure you do, my point was to keep in mind that although they might speak good English, it's still not their mother tongue and many can't quite understand when you speak fast or the choice of words is typical for the country or region you come from. Sometimes it's difficult to understand various accents, even for good English (as a foreign language) speakers.
You'll be fine, if you go past the receptionists ...
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Old 10.07.2012, 09:55
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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For the majority of us non Anglo-Saxons- there is little chance of finding a specialist in most parts of the world who will speak out language It's 'sink or swim' and most of us choose the latter for survival. But I do understand what you mean.

Many doctors and specialists will speak some English and will be willing to try - but most receptionists won't, that is for sure.
I am in it now. In Basel, all our doctors spoke French and/or English, so I was comfortable at all time. Here, I have to speak Spanish with everyone and often the doctors too. Unless they are very specialized, they usually can get around some French and/or English. I am dealing with a very complex health issue right now and I trully and deeply appreciate every little French and/or English I can get from all people involved. It help to reduce the stress level related to it.

But on my daily life, I refuse to have people talking to me in English in a store. I keep answering in Spanish while I have to say, I see so many people, tourists or expats, not trying a tiny bit to speak the language. I find this so so rude and disrespectful. Even in Basel I managed to learn some key words and sentences.
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Old 10.07.2012, 10:58
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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But on my daily life, I refuse to have people talking to me in English in a store. I keep answering in Spanish while I have to say, I see so many people, tourists or expats, not trying a tiny bit to speak the language. I find this so so rude and disrespectful. Even in Basel I managed to learn some key words and sentences.
What is wrong when tourists don't try even a tiny bit to speak the language? Do you always try to speak the language wherever you go? Would you think the same if it wasn't a latin language speaking country, but say, some Asian country or whatever very "exotic"? Hmm... Really...
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Old 10.07.2012, 11:02
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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What is wrong when tourists don't try even a tiny bit to speak the language? Do you always try to speak the language wherever you go? Would you think the same if it wasn't a latin language speaking country, but say, some Asian country or whatever very "exotic"? Hmm... Really...
Yes! I always learn to say Hi, please and thank you. That's the minimum, really.
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Old 10.07.2012, 14:43
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Yes! I always learn to say Hi, please and thank you. That's the minimum, really.
Whatever you say.
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Old 10.07.2012, 15:19
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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What is wrong when tourists don't try even a tiny bit to speak the language? Do you always try to speak the language wherever you go? Would you think the same if it wasn't a latin language speaking country, but say, some Asian country or whatever very "exotic"? Hmm... Really...
As a tourist, I'd try to learn hello, please and thank you - if they exisit, and "I don't speak______". But as a resident here, I know enough German to make and cancel an appointment, ask for a drug refil, stuff like that.
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Old 10.07.2012, 16:07
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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I am sure you do, my point was to keep in mind that although they might speak good English, it's still not their mother tongue and many can't quite understand when you speak fast or the choice of words is typical for the country or region you come from. Sometimes it's difficult to understand various accents, even for good English (as a foreign language) speakers.
You'll be fine, if you go past the receptionists ...
And I did my check up today! I was assisted by another receptionist. She was nice, and speaks french slowly, I was able to understand her, in some way. She told me to just to practice my french and continue learning except the bad words... hahahaha.. :P:P :P... ^_^... She was a sweet lady. I tried my best to tell something about me in French, and it wasn't that bad, I guess she appreciates my effort. ^_^...
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