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Old 24.01.2017, 16:30
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If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be considered by most to be an outsider in the Swiss-German society?

Does everyone in Switzerland who speaks fluent Swiss-German also speak fluent standard German?
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:34
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

Most Swiss speak both- as they are taught standard German at school, especially in higher grades. But the answer to your question depends very much on where in Switzerland, and your own attitude.
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:37
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

Avoid living in rural areas, and don't join right wing political parties. Then people will speak to you.
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:40
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

Being fluent in German won't grant you immediate acceptance. Case point: the almost 300 000 Germans living here, who take a lot of sh!t sometimes for nothing else but the fact that they were born in Germany.

It will depend on many factors, internal ones as your own culture, personality, work and friendships, and external factors like the mentality of the people of the place you will live in.
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:52
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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Most Swiss speak both- as they are taught standard German at school, especially in higher grades.
Likewise English, Frech, and Italian.

And most speak German pretty much at the same level as those.

(they understand it fine, but speaking is another thing)

Tom
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:52
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

I don't think it is always the "standard German" which makes the Swiss hackles rise, but the phraseology. "Ich bekomme ein Bier" doesn't go down well here. It is not necessary to pick up dialect words but it helps if when someone says "Trottoir" you don't immediately say "Ach. Sie meinen Bürgersteig". And Ticketeria is Fahrkartenschalter and please don't ask me where the Sons of Tell got that from!
Keep your sense of humour and allow a joke against yourself once in a while and you'll manage.
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:56
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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Most Swiss Germans speak both- as they are taught standard German at school, especially in higher grades. But the answer to your question depends very much on where in Switzerland, and your own attitude.
FTFY.

Most Swiss in the German speaking part maybe but I doubt very much if those in Romandie or Ticino speak both. I doubt that most of them in those areas speak either of them to a high level.

Most Swiss Germans yes, most Swiss no. Swiss Germans are in the majority but not all the Swiss in Switzerland are Swiss Germans.

Last edited by Belgianmum; 24.01.2017 at 22:25.
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:58
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be considered by most to be an outsider in the Swiss-German society?
Yes - but only by those members of society you wouldn't want to associate with anyway.

If you don't speak the same Swiss German, it can be difficult with some folk.

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Does everyone in Switzerland who speaks fluent Swiss-German also speak fluent standard German?
Absolutely not.
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Old 24.01.2017, 16:58
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be considered by most to be an outsider in the Swiss-German society?
Congratulations to the OP, who was very clear with his question.
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:05
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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Most Swiss in the German speaking part maybe but I doubt very much if those in Romandie or Ticino speak both. I doubt that most of them in those areas speak either of them to a high level.
You'd be wrong about Ticino, as most go to school in the German part for upper education, and they all learn it at school (unlike English).

And most tourists are German-speakers (of one kind or another), so anyone who works in that sector will speak it.

Few frontaliers in Ticino speak German, however.

Tom
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:18
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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I don't think it is always the "standard German" which makes the Swiss hackles rise, but the phraseology. "Ich bekomme ein Bier" doesn't go down well here. It is not necessary to pick up dialect words but it helps if when someone says "Trottoir" you don't immediately say "Ach. Sie meinen Bürgersteig". And Ticketeria is Fahrkartenschalter and please don't ask me where the Sons of Tell got that from!
Keep your sense of humour and allow a joke against yourself once in a while and you'll manage.
I very much agree with this.

Standard German is better than pretending to speak dialect when you can't.

I know lots of Germans who speak their own dialects when here in Switzerland rather than standard German, and people like that and possibly even prefer it. The other day on the train I was sitting with a Bernese guy and a Saxonian, each speaking their own dialect and getting on fine together.

But if dialect doesn't come natural to you, don't try and force it. It sounds really cr@p.
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:22
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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You'd be wrong about Ticino, as most go to school in the German part for upper education, and they all learn it at school.

Few frontaliers in Ticino speak German, however.

Tom
Well you learn something new every day. Why do the go to schools in the German speaking part?

The level of German they learn here in the French speaking part even by the end of school is pretty low.
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:22
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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You'd be wrong about Ticino, as most go to school in the German part for upper education, and they all learn it at school (unlike English).

And most tourists are German-speakers (of one kind or another), so anyone who works in that sector will speak it.

Few frontaliers in Ticino speak German, however.

Tom
Ticinesi even have their own special dialect of Swiss German that a lot of people find agreeable because its sort of a mix of all the main dialects with the ugly bits left out and some nice bits of their own mixed in. But if they need to they can stick it out in perfect high German. So they're basically quadri-lingual by default.
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:25
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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Well you learn something new every day. Why do the go to schools in the German speaking part?
Beacuse there is no university in the Ticino, or at least for a long time there wasn't and there are still many subjects not offered there.

Ticino also has strong ties towards the Gerrman speaking cantons, especially Zürich.
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:28
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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Well you learn something new every day. Why do the go to schools in the German speaking part?
Because, until recently, there weren't any here, and of the few that are here now, the courses are very limited, so most still go up north, a few to the Romandie, and a few to Italy.

Almost all of the Ticinese I've ever worked with went to ETHZ (one went to EPFL), for example.

Tom
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Old 24.01.2017, 17:30
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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Because, until recently, there weren't any here, and of the few that are here now, the courses are very limited, so most still go up north, a few to the Romandie, and a few to Italy.

Almost all of the Ticinese I've ever worked with went to ETHZ (one went to EPFL), for example.

Tom
The Ticinesi parties at the ETHZ are famous.
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Old 24.01.2017, 18:07
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be considered by most to be an outsider in the Swiss-German society?

Does everyone in Switzerland who speaks fluent Swiss-German also speak fluent standard German?


It won't help you if you join a Swiss yodel choir!
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Old 24.01.2017, 18:29
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be considered by most to be an outsider in the Swiss-German society?

Does everyone in Switzerland who speaks fluent Swiss-German also speak fluent standard German?
I don't know why, but my Swiss wifes uncle refuses to speak high German with me. I'm pretty certain he even speeds up his Swiss German with me.
So as long as you don't need to speak to my wifes uncle, you should be fine with just high German

As an aside, I've been told by 2 separate people that I shouldn't attempt to speak Swiss German and stick to high German. They said I'd sound silly.
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Old 24.01.2017, 18:37
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

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As an aside, I've been told by 2 separate people that I shouldn't attempt to speak Swiss German and stick to high German. They said I'd sound silly.
An ex-girlfriend, when I mentioned that I speak some Swiss German, said 'no, you don't, you speak high German with a Swiss accent".

On the other hand, I've got this biker friend from Einsiedeln who always speaks Swiss German to me as he knows that I understand it, even if I don't speak it.

Tom
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Old 24.01.2017, 19:01
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Re: If I speak fluent standard German, will I still be an outsider in the culture?

Put a "r" after all your "k"s and end all your words in "i", don't smile when you speak and you have a head start with Swiss-German!
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