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  #61  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:11
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

If people expect to be spoon fed in their mother tongue there is nothing to encourage them to learn the local lingo and integrate. I think it is ridiculous to expect English to be an option in Switzerland. They already have four national languages to deal with, why should they add a fifth? If a Swiss person had similar problems in the UK, Ireland, America or any other English speaking country they would be expected to learn English, there is no difference here.
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  #62  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:12
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

Thought it time someone pointed out that to equate the expectation of an English language option with that of a Serbian/Croatian/Bangladeshi/Arabic etc. etc. option is disingenuous. The facts are:

1) English is the international language of business. India/China/UAE/Bahrain/Qatar/Singapore and other booming economies are succeeding in large part because English is the recognised language of business. This greatly facilitates trade/staff mobility and reduces translation and cross-cultural costs. Middle Europe will be left behind internationally (forget any long-standing prejudice against US/UK - we are talking the developing world here).

2) According to UNESCO the most widely spoken languages in the world today are Chinese(Mandarin) with est. 988m speakers followed by English with 482m. German has 116m.

I quite agree that out of respect for locals and in an effort to integrate foreigners living in Switzerland ought to make an effort with the local language. The fact is many people are only here for short-term contracts, under stressful workloads, contributing much to the Swiss economy and frankly do not have time to learn contractural terms in German/French/Italian. I am tired of apologists for English language speakers and think it is time for a bit of realism. Otherwise, long-term, Switzerland will suffer.
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  #63  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:14
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Well, the fact that there is sort of petition to persuade Coop to offer services in English means that there are people who indeed have problems using the local language in Switzerland, or that they can't or won't learn the local language.

Of course, upon arriving in a foreign country, the first few months will always be difficult. But with time, one will slowly learn the language and find it easier to adjust.

But you can't say that this English option is just for the first few months of your time in Switzerland; so long as there is an English option, you will probably always select the English option and you may never be persuaded to use one of the local languages in the future.

The fact that Migros already offers an English service is a bonus for the expat community. And Coop should probably do the same just for the sake of competition. My point is that, once Coop provides an English service, there will be less motivation for some people to learn the local language. And just don't be surprised if some Swiss take this petition the wrong way.
So... because wants to do some essential daily things in English, it means they will never learn to speak the language? I may be mistaken, but I do believe that going to a supermarket, filling a trolley with shopping, looking at a number on a till and then giving your card to pay does not require much command of the local language barring "danke". I see this every day.

An online shop, however, is FULL of text, and when dealing with many little things to take note of could easily be a struggle for someone with no prior experience in German or no natural talent for languages. Being realistic, not everyone staying home during the day to do the shopping will be gifted in that area. There is no reason whatsoever why Co-Op should not cater to the significant English-speaking demograpic by spending a little time and effort translating the site in English, there is obviously a business care and a genuine requirement for it that would serve a lot of people here. What we have here seems to be a mild case of holier-than-thou "high horse" syndrome methinks.

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If people expect to be spoon fed in their mother tongue there is nothing to encourage them to learn the local lingo and integrate. I think it is ridiculous to expect English to be an option in Switzerland. They already have four national languages to deal with, why should they add a fifth? If a Swiss person had similar problems in the UK, Ireland, America or any other English speaking country they would be expected to learn English, there is no difference here.
I wonder if someone of you have actually read any of the thread. Namely the statistics for the amount of English-speaking people in Switzerland, the popularity of the language as a whole, and the target groups this option would serve. How is it ridiculous to expect it as a language when it a) already exists on many online stores and b) is spoken more than one or two (I think this included Italian also) of the official languages of the country.
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  #64  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:15
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Whilst I quite agree that out of respect for locals and in an effort to integrate foreigners living in Switzerland ought to make an effort with the local language the fact is many people are only here for short-term contracts, under stressful workloads, contributing much to the Swiss economy and frankly do not have time to learn contractural terms in German/French/Italian. I am tired of apologists for English language speakers and think it is time for a bit of realism. Otherwise, long-term, Switzerland will suffer.
How is that different from the Swiss people who are on Short term contracts in other countries?

Most Swiss people speak at least two probably more languages, why is it only English speaking people that expect special treatment and are unwilling to try to communicate with their hosts in their language.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:18
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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How is that different from the Swiss people who are on Short term contracts in other countries?

Most Swiss people speak at least two probably more languages, why is it only English speaking people that expect special treatment and are unwilling to try to communicate with their hosts in their language.
Because, as I said in my post, English is the second most widely spoken language in the world and is the international language of business. End of story. It is as simple as that.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:20
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Because, as I said in my post, English is the second most widely spoken language in the world and is the international language of business. End of story. It is as simple as that.
Then it should be in Chinese too. It doesn't matter if its the most used language in the world, it is not a language of the country.

Should all <French> (insert any non English speaking country here)Supermarkets offer English sites too? There is a huge expat community in almost every country you care to think of.
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  #67  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:21
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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How is that different from the Swiss people who are on Short term contracts in other countries?
Are you actually comparing the amount of Swiss people on short-term in various other countries, with that of the number of English-speaking short-term contracts in this country? If so then... sigh.
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  #68  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:22
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Are you actually comparing the amount of Swiss people on short-term in various other countries, with that of the number of English-speaking short-term contracts in this country? If so then... sigh.
There are a lot more then you think!!!
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  #69  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:24
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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There are a lot more then you think!!!
Cool, please provide some statistics for me to mull over, paying specific attention to how the native language of the Swiss short-termers in question weighs up proportionally with the languages of their host countries. Then we'll compare that to Zurich.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:29
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Then it should be in Chinese too. It doesn't matter if its the most used language in the world, it is not a language of the country.

Should all <French> (insert any non English speaking country here)Supermarkets offer English sites too? There is a huge expat community in almost every country you care to think of.
One day it will be Chinese too. In the meantime the wealth (debt? ) is in the hands of the English speakers. All I'm saying is that if Switzerland insists on doggedly ignoring the significance of English then she will lose competitive advantage against countries such as those I listed in my post who recognise the genuine economic importance of the English language.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:29
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Cool, please provide some statistics for me to mull over, paying specific attention to how the native language of the Swiss short-termers in question weighs up proportionally with the languages of their host countries. Then we'll compare that to Zurich.
I have travelled quite a bit since first becoming associated (including living in a few places) with Switzerland. Most places I have been I have met Swiss expats. I also know enough Swiss people to know that most of them at some point or another have lived in another country other then Switzerland.

Where does it stop, should things be translated into Spanish for Spanish expats? Czech for Czech expats etc? There was a huge influx of Czechs in the 60's they had to learn the language, what makes us so special as English speakers that we expect special treatment? I find it totally arrogant to expect locals to conform to our needs in their country.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:30
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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One day it will be Chinese too. In the meantime the wealth (debt? ) is in the hands of the English speakers. All I'm saying is that if Switzerland insists on doggedly ignoring the significance of English then she will lose competitive advantage against countries such as those I listed in my post who recognise the genuine economic importance of the English language.
I don't think Switzerland ignores the significance of English after all most Swiss speak it along with a few other languages. Why shouldn't us English speakers reciprocate?
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  #73  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:33
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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I don't think Switzerland ignores the significance of English after all most Swiss speak it along with a few other languages. Why shouldn't us English speakers reciprocate?
My last post on this subject! Right - my point was that we should reciprocate but that people on short term contract who are expected to understand contractural terms in German/Italian/French but not English might well just decide not to bother and go to some other low-tax jurisdiction.

Now I'm off to enjoy a Sunday afternoon walk.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:34
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

What's important about English is that is the most widely spoken second language. By providing English you reach far more people than just US and UK citizens.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:35
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

Done!
Thanks, - can we do it for Ikea too??
:-)
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  #76  
Old 18.10.2009, 14:37
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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I have travelled quite a bit since first becoming associated (including living in a few places) with Switzerland. Most places I have been I have met Swiss expats. I also know enough Swiss people to know that most of them at some point or another have lived in another country other then Switzerland..
Ahh right... so nothing other than a subjective opinion based on meeting a few people. I'll wait for some clearer figures.

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Where does it stop, should things be translated into Spanish for Spanish expats? Czech for Czech expats etc? There was a huge influx of Czechs in the 60's they had to learn the language, what makes us so special as English speakers that we expect special treatment? I find it totally arrogant to expect locals to conform to our needs in their country.
Im not quite sure which part of "catering toward a specific and hugely significant proportion of the population that speak native English" you are finding difficult to grips with, and I don't mean that sarcastically. How is the Spanish-speaking or Czech-speaking demographic relevant to the topic at hand? We are talking about English, one of the main international business languages, and one spoken by more people than speak two of Switzerlands "official" languages. What argument is there against that? Seems pretty clear-cut to me.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:42
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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What we have here seems to be a mild case of holier-than-thou "high horse" syndrome methinks.
Excuse me?? Who is the one petitioning a Swiss supermarket to provide a service in English because he/she thinks it is justified because there are "a lot" of English speaking people in this country?

Just because I made efforts to learn German does not mean that I should be criticised for recommending that others should do the same.
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:45
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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Then it should be in Chinese too. It doesn't matter if its the most used language in the world, it is not a language of the country.

Should all <French> (insert any non English speaking country here)Supermarkets offer English sites too? There is a huge expat community in almost every country you care to think of.
Funny, the Popcorn I've opened while reading this thread says 'Popcorn' on the label. Weird.

I agree, Eire, it should be in Mandarin too, if there are enough Mandarinli's to make it worthwhile. But there ain't. There are enough English speakers to justify sticking another language on the end of a website.

It's in Coop's interests to cater for a large customer base. I really don't buy the "Integrate" argument in this case.

On this note, a friendly, fresh-faced chap greeted me in Coop the other day. Being a curious sort, I asked if he worked there; "Yup, just in as a trainee manager. I've been in the US recently where we're sent to study the American model of service provision".

(All of this, incidently, was in German. I told him I was English speaking but happy to speak Swiss German to him. He wanted to speak English, so we took turns. Anyway, I digress)

I told him about this thread, and the comments it had raised. "Aha," he said "I guess you'd like to see more hypermarkets and huge choice".

"Nah, I'm actually against these huge places. I like small supermarkets, with two important features which so far seem to be lacking in Coop:
a) super fresh fruit and veg
b) friendly and helpful staff

The prices I can cater for myself, but to raise the profile of Coop in a stodgy, relatively uncompetitive market is excellent produce and the human touch. In a decade of living here, you're the first person from Coop ever to ask my opinion as a customer. What d'ya say?"

At that point, I realised we should either go for a beer together, I should apply for a job there or we go our merry way.

He listened, though, and agreed about the website
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:49
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

It could prove to be a good educational tool for websites of large companies to have the option of viewing the text in German, French, Italian & English.....

For those with not much to do during the day or over the weekend, they could learn essential German/French/Italian (given that food and drink are essential), which could prove to be one of, if not the foundation upon which that person enhances their ability to speak the language most used in their canton or area.

Just a thought......
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Old 18.10.2009, 14:49
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Re: Coop and Migros Home Delivery in English please read

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One day it will be Chinese too. In the meantime the wealth (debt? ) is in the hands of the English speakers. All I'm saying is that if Switzerland insists on doggedly ignoring the significance of English then she will lose competitive advantage against countries such as those I listed in my post who recognise the genuine economic importance of the English language.
Yes, I agree that English is important for business. For example, a Swiss bank that deals with customers in the UK or US needs to be able to communicate well in English. Even expat customers in Switzerland would benefit from an English service for banking matters because most people would want more certainty about knowing what's happening with their money.

But a supermarket that operates only in Switzerland??

If a person were to decline moving to Switzerland because one of the supermarkets does not offer an English service, well, what can I say?
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