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Old 17.12.2013, 20:54
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Does almost everyone speak English?

Is it safe to say that practically everyone in Zurich speaks pretty good English?

What about Zug, Lucerne and Schwyz?

I guess many older people don't speak English. Any other groups in particular?
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Old 17.12.2013, 20:56
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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Is it safe to say that practically everyone in Zurich speaks pretty good English?

What about Zug, Lucerne and Schwyz?

I guess many older people don't speak English. Any other groups in particular?
No, it isn't safe to assume that, even if they did they might want to speak a Swiss language specially if you settle down here
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Old 17.12.2013, 20:59
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

My wife doesn't, most people I have ever worked with or have known (here or in Zurich) don't, most of my kids' friends don't.

So, no.

Tom
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:04
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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Is it safe to say that practically everyone in Zurich speaks pretty good English?

What about Zug, Lucerne and Schwyz?
Depends whether they want something from you or you want something from them.
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:04
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

You can be supprise.

I met few 60-70 years old peaople on my way and they had fluent english.

But is really difficult to find english speakers in groceries shops like Migros, Coop.
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:37
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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You can be supprise.

I met few 60-70 years old peaople on my way and they had fluent english.

But is really difficult to find english speakers in groceries shops like Migros, Coop.
Or on the English Forum, it would seem...
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:40
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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What about... Schwyz?
You need German in most of Schwyz - actually, you need to understand Swiss German. Keeping up your end of the conversation in High German is OK, but don't expect HG back.

If you only get as far as (most of) Ausserschwyz, you might be able to get by with enough bad high German to ask forgiveness for your lack of fluency, and then some kind soul will hopefully take pity on you and switch to English. But beyond the Etzel you really do need German.

But a smile is universal. While brushing up on your German, a friendly smile will still get you a long way in Schwyz.

---

Do be aware of the new language requirements under discussion at the moment.
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:48
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

In Zürich you can get by with English as a tourist, but when it comes to living here then no, a local language is a must. It's true that a lot of expats work for English speaking companies and they can survive their tour of duty speaking only English, but the jobs they have are pretty specialised. For general work the local language is absolutely required.

Exceptions do exist, especially in the gastro industry, but you need to be very prepared to learn the language fast.
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:52
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

What can I add? English isn't a Swiss language for heaven's sake. So why make an assumption that most people will speak it? German, French, Italian and Romansch are the official languages of the country.
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Old 17.12.2013, 21:56
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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What can I add? English isn't a Swiss language for heaven's sake. So why make an assumption that most people will speak it? German, French, Italian and Romansch are the official languages of the country.
Yeah, it's not like English is the world's most popular language to learn and use when visiting new countries nor nuthin...
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:21
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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Is it safe to say that practically everyone in Zurich speaks pretty good English?

What about Zug, Lucerne and Schwyz?

I guess many older people don't speak English. Any other groups in particular?

English, Canadian , American (sort off),Irish ,Scottish(maybe)etc etc
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:22
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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But is really difficult to find english speakers in groceries shops like Migros, Coop.
Indeed, my wife always speaks Italian, even in Svizzera Interna (aka the non-Italian speaking bits), and I was quite surprised how often they could understand, and respond, to her!

Tom
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:23
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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You can be supprise.

I met few 60-70 years old peaople on my way and they had fluent english.

But is really difficult to find english speakers in groceries shops like Migros, Coop.
That's not old
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:24
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

I look English and on the third occasion in 4 months today, have been spoken to in English by default !
Walking to work today, in freezing fog/mist two young women walking towards me on path. As they got nearer, one said "Good Morning in Swiss German" and before I could reply, spoke to me in English asking if I could spare two minutes to speak with them. Yes I replied how can I help you and was handed an English copy of "Watch Tower" that she pulled from her bag.
Oh well ...lol
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:25
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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Yeah, it's not like English is the world's most popular language to learn and use when visiting new countries nor nuthin...
Umm, last new country we were in (Slovenia), Italian worked a treat.

English, forget it (I asked ).

Hell, even in Portugal, if I didn't speak French, I would have been in real trouble, as I was lost and the cop I asked for directions didn't speak English (but perfect French).

Tom
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:27
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

A bit like the housing market- location, location, location.

Here in the boonies nobody speaks English- well one woman does, she is from Berkshire- and my OH, of course- oh and me. But that is it
In Zurich, a significant % of people do speak English, the majority foreigners I imagine, but quite a few Swiss too. But most do not.
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:29
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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Umm, last new country we were in (Slovenia), Italian worked a treat.

English, forget it (I asked ).

Tom

But they understand the austrians .This is hard to understand
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:39
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

I never take it for granted that anyone will be able to speak English, not since a few years ago when my daughter had to stay in the Kinderspital with pneumonia and none of the nurses spoke English. I was so thankful I spoke some German, and since then I would never presume to think that someone automatically would speak English.

Instead I treat it as a nice surprise if they do, but otherwise struggle along in German. Makes things much easier when you approach it like that!
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:40
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

Nomal, wie bitte?
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Old 17.12.2013, 22:49
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Re: Does almost everyone speak English?

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What can I add? English isn't a Swiss language for heaven's sake. So why make an assumption that most people will speak it? German, French, Italian and Romansch are the official languages of the country.
I'm sure being fluent in Romansch is FAR more useful than knowing English.
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