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  #41  
Old 02.03.2008, 16:38
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I flew to London a few months ago and accidentally ran suitcase my over a woman's foot on Oxford Street ( ha ha ) , by habit switched into the French "oh, pardon c'est moi" ... if it had been a silent movie you could have told it was England since she shot me such a dirty look.

Oh, I miss home !
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  #42  
Old 02.03.2008, 18:14
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Re: Have you been here too long?

As we are to rtu to UK in June I'm trying to de-swiss myself - Can you imagine walking into the doctors waiting room in UK and giving a resounding 'Hello' *Gruetze* to everyone.......you'll get sectioned!!!
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  #43  
Old 02.03.2008, 19:06
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Nobody yet has mentioned going home and speaking that special slooow CLEEEAR english that you speak for foreigners. I remember my brother kindly saying "You know, we do understand what you say when you speak normally...".
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  #44  
Old 02.03.2008, 19:56
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Just to solve the NATEL mystery: National Automobile Telephone... the brand has been around for some years

Since I come from Germany, I have to switch off the Swiss German terms I got used to here... like:
... Gruezi! (I did that once when I entered a Shop in my homevillage, will not happen again.)
... "Nati" as the name of the national team. (the looks you get in Germany are even worse than saying Gruezi... for obvious reasons.)
... "Telefon" is used here as the device, the number or "make a call" altogether. So when I ask someone at home for his telefon, he will not give me his number, but his mobile instead...
... ending sentences with a retorical "..., oder?". People who do not know Swiss German think I expect them to answer... really confuses them.
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  #45  
Old 02.03.2008, 20:05
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Heading for the airport early one Sunday morning to pick up a friend I almost grabbed a bag of bottles to drop off at the bottle bank in Flums - instinctively I just knew that it was not on to dump bottles at 7am on a Sunday morning.

Apart from that, no, I have not been here too long at all!
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  #46  
Old 02.03.2008, 23:50
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I haven't been here that long, but when I first came, a dezi of wine seemed miniscule. Now it seems like a reasonable size
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  #47  
Old 03.03.2008, 02:11
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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I made the mistake of kissing the wrong people in Australia. Very embarassing. I have to make an effort to tone down the hand shaking as well...


I can imagine. Your best bet is not to kiss anyone from australia. You don't know where they have been, and it will probably give you skin cancer.

I recently visited Australia again after spending four years working between Switzerland and London. Take this how you like, but when I arrived at Melbourne airport, I was totally confused. There were all these white folks, but they were speaking english. It was a combination of the clean airport, the fact that people had space around them, and the european faces. I could have sworn I was landing in Zurich, so why was everyone speaking English?
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  #48  
Old 04.03.2008, 00:04
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Hi all! A newbie here.... I could still remember I tried to 3-kiss my mum at the airport. She was like "what the hell happend to my girl?". Being M'sians, we don't do hugs nor kisses. And mum still can't understand why we need to appoint a day just to do laundry...
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  #49  
Old 06.03.2008, 17:20
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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Hi all! A newbie here.... I could still remember I tried to 3-kiss my mum at the airport. She was like "what the hell happend to my girl?". Being M'sians, we don't do hugs nor kisses.
I tried to kiss my grandmother like that once. She pulled away with a grimace and announced, "I'm not one of those bloody continentals, you know !"
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  #50  
Old 06.03.2008, 18:02
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I found that when i returned (for a visit) to the US that a lot of the customs were strange to me there.

Where I am from we hug not shake hands but when we visit family in france (from my husband's side) we kiss each cheek (4 times- twice on each cheek) and I did this instead of hugging and got called a snob by my cousin :O.

Also they say I am loosing my southern accent (did I have one?).


I actually hate going home to the US because the culture is so different and strange now.
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  #51  
Old 07.03.2008, 14:39
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Going into the village shop near my parents place and saying "Gruezie mittenand" was a bit embarrassing
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  #52  
Old 07.03.2008, 15:13
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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Going into the village shop near my parents place and saying "Gruezie mittenand" was a bit embarrassing

This 'gruetzi' thing is catching and addictive, isn't it?

But the 'mittenand' part always sounds wrong and dumb coming from my foreign lips. The locals do it so effortlessly and gracefully.
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  #53  
Old 07.03.2008, 15:46
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Re: Have you been here too long?

It's interesting that when you live outside the city, people generally greet you in passing with a Gruezi Miteinand, Gruss Gott, depending where you are, but not in the city. I unfortunately have the habit and say it sometimes in the city and people give me strange looks and probably think I'm an Oberland yokel!
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  #54  
Old 07.03.2008, 15:48
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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It's interesting that when you live outside the city, people generally greet you in passing with a Gruezi Miteinand, Gruss Gott, depending where you are, but not in the city. I unfortunately have the habit and say it sometimes in the city and people give me strange looks and probably think I'm an Oberland yokel!
I got this in Thalwil, people walk around greeting eachother.
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  #55  
Old 05.06.2012, 07:55
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Resurrecting an old thread here - but rather than start a new one I thought I would join the ride...

I just had to look up the word "Untersuchung" in English to explain my plans in an e-mail to my mom. It is shocking that one loses their mother tongue in bits and pieces! Or maybe I am just losing "it" altogether!
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  #56  
Old 05.06.2012, 10:31
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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Resurrecting an old thread here - but rather than start a new one I thought I would join the ride...

I just had to look up the word "Untersuchung" in English to explain my plans in an e-mail to my mom. It is shocking that one loses their mother tongue in bits and pieces! Or maybe I am just losing "it" altogether!
It's funny, people back home (most probably) think I'm some sort of snob, trying to impress them with my "polyglotism"...when in fact my brain doesn't function as it used to - picks up and mixes up words from German, English, and when I can't say something in neither of two, I say it in French. Embarassing.
..and I used to laugh at this kind of people..

Last edited by greenmount; 05.06.2012 at 10:43.
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  #57  
Old 05.06.2012, 10:49
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I think it's just a phase, or can be triggered by changing language area, so easy here with bilingual and trilingual places..

Then you move from the language confusion into the phase of pretty efficient compartmentalization. And then the language hopping you don't even notice, you take the reality as primary, the language you use for it gets secondary to even work with that consciously.
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  #58  
Old 05.06.2012, 11:53
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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My favourite is "that makes no sense" which must be a translation from German (shirley!!)
It's becoming a favourite as my company is doing things which "make no sense". Oh the joys of expat life!
But, on the positive side, I can have a reasonable conversation now in German (but do I want to....)

We say that in Canada all the time! So it can't be a German translation...that would make no sense
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