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Old 20.07.2011, 05:48
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Improve my English or learn German

Hello,

I am moving to Switzerland looking for a job during the next month, I have been looking the adverts and almost every good position have as requirement good English and German. Due to the 80/20 rule, it would take me as much time to perfect my English as to learn a basic-medium German. So I would like to know what you think it’s more important to get a job.

Cheers
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Old 20.07.2011, 09:17
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Re: Iprove my English or learn German

Definitely try and learn German. It is not easy, so start now!
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Old 20.07.2011, 09:22
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Re: Iprove my English or learn German

Your English seems good enough already.

Get to work on your German.......... then you can cry with the rest of us when you immerse yourself into the millions of dialects of Swiss-German and feel like you are wasting your time.

(it does help eventually)
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:20
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Re: Iprove my English or learn German

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Your English seems good enough already.

Get to work on your German.......... then you can cry with the rest of us when you immerse yourself into the millions of dialects of Swiss-German and feel like you are wasting your time.

(it does help eventually)
I heard a lot of times about the "dialect issue" for German speaking Switzerland and i'm curious about this story.
Here in Italy we have million of dialects, very different from official italian, often they are a complete different language. However here in Italy, speaking dialect and not italian, is considered a "cheap" behaviour. Only who belongs to very low class and had a very low school education level speaks in his own local dialect.
To make it short, i know that dialect is a great part of a local and ancient culture, but here if you speak dialect you are considered a poor illiterate.

What happens in Switzerland ? People are able to speak "high" german ? Which language is used in schools ?
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:29
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Re: Iprove my English or learn German

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I heard a lot of times about the "dialect issue" for German speaking Switzerland and i'm curious about this story.
Here in Italy we have million of dialects, very different from official italian, often they are a complete different language. However here in Italy, speaking dialect and not italian, is considered a "cheap" behaviour. Only who belongs to very low class and had a very low school education level speaks in his own local dialect.
To make it short, i know that dialect is a great part of a local and ancient culture, but here if you speak dialect you are considered a poor illiterate.

What happens in Switzerland ? People are able to speak "high" german ? Which language is used in schools ?
The Swiss (German speaking area's) all learn High German at School.

Swiss German isn't a written language, so they need something that's standardised.


Also, from what I can understand, the Swiss perceive the use of dialect completely the opposite to how you described it in Italy. The more prominent your regional accent, the prouder you are of where you're from.


Being a regional Queenslander (Australian), I also battle with clear pronounciation of 'English' words, and I've had to modify how I speak so that others can understand me.

High German is the way forward if you live in the German speaking area of Switzerland.... You'll pick up the Swiss German as you go along.
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Old 20.07.2011, 14:36
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Re: Iprove my English or learn German

Locals in German speaking Switzerland speak dialect. Rich or poor, educated or ignorant, no difference. But they learn and use High German as well. It's called diglossia, one can not turn a blind eye on the one or the other.

However: non-SwissGermans, that means thus also the other Swiss, are not expected to be dialectspeakers per se. If they are, fine. It may be a good idea if you work in a dialect only oral communication environment but High German is the official language that is expected. Anything written will be High German, written dialect being only for intimate conversations (internet is a grey zone, SMS...) or a marketing trick on purpose (publicity, sometimes a catchy phrase on a billboard).

That means: You will have to learn to write High German, and you can choose to speak High German or dialect in oral communication (your choice). If you want to go the extra mile and speak dialect as well as having a good command of High German, that's your choice. Will certain Swiss like that? Yes. Will all Swiss expect that? No. Is it normal for a non Swiss German to speak and write only High German? Yes. Is a High German only policy asking for touble? No. Is it possible that you get nasty comments if you don't have a good command of dialect? Yes. Did I hear such comments? Yes. Did I care? No. Did I however keep training my understanding of dialect? Yes. It is rude to ask for High German when you don't understand the dialect? No. Are people rude if they don't switch to High German? Yes.
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Old 20.07.2011, 17:34
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Re: Iprove my English or learn German

Thank you very much for the posts, they are very helpful. I will start my German lessons then.

Cheers.
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