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  #21  
Old 10.05.2021, 07:54
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Unless you are born on a German speaking country you can have as mother tongue German. It's not fair.
Yes, you can, and life isn't fair.

My daughter lives is Australian, speaks Italian at home, English in public, and Swiss German at work (she got the job because she speaks Swiss German).

Tough, deal with it.

Tom

Last edited by MusicChick; 10.05.2021 at 08:00. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 10.05.2021, 07:57
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Hey!

I've come across of a job posting where they were asking for a native speaker of German (German as a mother tongue "Deutsch Muttersprache").

I'm wondering, out of curiosity, if this isn't plain discrimination and if this is legally allowed. I'm wondering specially if you are a "native swiss" citizen, but you are from a French speaking region… they are discriminating you, even if you speak German almost like a native.

I totally understand that they can look for someone with a really good level of german… no accent or so. And even, I can understand that they can decide not to choose you if you don't have the right accent after they hear it on a interview or phone interview or whatever.

The weird thing for me is… that phrase on a job listing.

Sorry if the question is weird too… but I'm curious.

Thanks!
Things like that aren't usually governed by legality but demand/suply ratio. The employer can always word their request to have it come out legally correct.

So if the supply is higher than demand, which in Switzerland almost always is and in many things, it is better to take that requirement as their legit wish and move on to better options for you. And work on your German.

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I don't agree. What is more, usually natives don't really know how to translate. You really need to study translation to really translate properly.
This is mostly true. But are they asking for an interpreter/translator?

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..they are discriminating you, even if you speak German almost like a native.
They don't want "almost".

Do they require "almost" driving license?

Last edited by MusicChick; 10.05.2021 at 08:08.
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  #23  
Old 10.05.2021, 08:45
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

if your german is that good, you can still apply and say it on the cover letter, offering to do a phone call first.
Most german-as-a-second language speakers do not a native-like level.

Besides, some job ads aak for beautiful people, some specify even the sex. That's just as discriminatory.
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Old 10.05.2021, 08:51
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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some specify even the sex.
Positions and all?
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Old 10.05.2021, 08:55
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Positions and all?
Non-binary...undefined..pansexual
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Old 10.05.2021, 09:04
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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....
Unless you are born on a German speaking country you can have as mother tongue German. .....
Nonsense. You obviously don't realize how many Swiss/German speaking natives live all over the world. Including my parents back then.

I even didn't get a job once because I was female! For good reason, it was a team of two and there should be a male and a female for the - culturally very diverse - clientele to chose from when they had a personal problem.
Two months later the female in the team resigned and I was approached again/employed. Which clearly proved that losing out in the first round was solely based on my sex and not my skills. I had no problem with that.
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  #27  
Old 10.05.2021, 09:13
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

My daughters' mother tongue is Italian, it is not mine, not was it their mother's.

Tom
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Old 10.05.2021, 09:15
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Do you really think for a second that if they want a Swiss, they are going to take anyone else....

It's probably not the place you'd want to be in.
If they want German mother tong, that would exclude most Swiss. Even Swiss TV adds German sub titles when Swiss people speak their version of High German.
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Old 10.05.2021, 09:17
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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German mother tong
LOL - a German-Chinese mafia granny
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  #30  
Old 10.05.2021, 09:19
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Yes, you can, and life isn't fair.

My daughter lives is Australian, speaks Italian at home, English in public, and Swiss German at work (she got the job because she speaks Swiss German).

Tough, deal with it.

Tom
Typical for kids who grow up in a multicultural environment. They are truly a wonder, I imagine their minds as a nice little cupboard with multiple drawers.
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Old 10.05.2021, 09:22
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Typical for kids who grow up in a multicultural environment. They are truly a wonder, I imagine their minds as a nice little cupboard with multiple drawers.
I love this analogy! Although mainly because their minds do seem to be like their cupboards - completely disorganised, and when you open them everything comes rushing out, for my kids at least.
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  #32  
Old 10.05.2021, 09:50
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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..pansexual..
In the kitchen? It explains the dent on the top of the dishwasher!
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Old 10.05.2021, 10:18
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

Thanks a lot for your responses, they are really useful. Specially the one from Treversus, which really hits the nail in the head, specially with the article.

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Totally legal. Here is a link to a Tagesanzeiger article where a law professor from Zurich explains the current situation: http://www.altersdiskriminierung.ch/...nzeiger.ch.pdf

Bottom line: it’s legal to write anything you want into a job ad. In Switzerland can discrimination only start if a person applies and doesn’t get a job for some reason... but getting legal proof that you are discriminated against is basically impossible.
What it seems that here we have a misunderstanding of what is a "mother tongue" which, at least for me it is not the same as "first language", "main language", "native" or "bilingual". But those terns seems to be fuzzy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_...ve_language%22

Anyhow, for me a "mother tongue" is the language you speak at home with your parents, and it could be perfectly different from the main language the country you live. Mother tongue is something you can choose and you can change, since your parents choose it for you. And if you are extremely lucky you can have more than one mother tongue if you each of your parents or family members speak different language to you. For example if your father is German and your Mother is Portuguese, and each of them speak to you on each of those language, you'll have two mother tongues.

Then if the issue of first language for me, that could be similar to mother tongue, but not linked to your family. For example could be the language of the school go attend. And then main language, which could be a totally different language you learned later in life and you carry out your life and / or work on it. For example I'm Spanish, I learned later on English and I use English as my main language now because I have most of my life on it (computer, write on it mainly, or notes…). And finally comes the terns bilingual and native which could be or not complementary to the previous ones. You can have a mother tongue and you don't really speak fluently or bilingual or as a native on it. It happens to a lot of international children, they have a mother tongue that speak with the their parents (or just one) but they are not bilingual or native on them.

Said that… for me it's really weird that they ask for a "mother tongue" since they are asking which language you spoke with at least one of your parent or you were brought up? something you can't change. You can go back in time and change the language you speak with your parents or family.

I totally understand that you can ask for certain level of a language on a job requirement, specially if it's justified. For example as some of you have explain when the post is for sales. Even I can understand, you can ask for a dialect. Of course if it's justified.

It's interesting that in the article shared by Treverus explain that everything is allowed, but

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Not every rejection because of a personal characteristic is also immediately against the law. "It has to be about a characteristic that is inextricably linked to the person, such as their religious affiliation," Licci stresses. Whether a smoker could claim a violation of personality after applying for a non-smoking job ad and being rejected because of his habit without factual justification is therefore questionable.
So in other words if they are asking for something that it's inextricably linked to you unless it's fully justify (you are a fireman and you need a specific height), would be unlawful.

I'm sure that in this case it was a mistake. They want someone that speak German as a native. The job is not even in sales, but probably it has to do some pitching and so.

Anyhow, it caught my eye and I wanted to know more about what is allowed and not on a Swiss add and if there is any anti-discrimination law around.

Thanks a lot!
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  #34  
Old 10.05.2021, 10:33
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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So in other words if they are asking for something that it's inextricably linked to you unless it's fully justify (you are a fireman and you need a specific height), would be unlawful.
No, I thought that had been explained already (Yes, it has). They can ask for anything they want.

Only where specific anti-discrimination laws, like for race or religion, exist, is there anything "unlawful" about it, and even then it's only hiring based on that, not advertising, that could be an issue.
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Old 10.05.2021, 10:34
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Anyhow, for me a "mother tongue" is the language you speak at home with your parents, and it could be perfectly different from the main language the country you live.
Utter drivel. We speak English and Dutch at home - my son speaks English, Dutch, German and Swiss German at native level. He attends Gymi - therefore passed an exam that places him in at least the top 20% of school attendees for speaking German.

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  #36  
Old 10.05.2021, 10:44
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Anyhow, for me a "mother tongue" is the language you speak at home with your parents
No, it's not, it's the language that you know best, which is normally the one you used at school, which may or may not be the one you speak with you parents.

Tom
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Old 10.05.2021, 10:55
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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I love this analogy! Although mainly because their minds do seem to be like their cupboards - completely disorganised, and when you open them everything comes rushing out, for my kids at least.
Haha, spot on. It's a phase though. I think. The eldest one is very well organised in general, even her language skills are very "precise". The youngest one is more chaotic and an extrovert so things can get pretty funny... :-)
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  #38  
Old 10.05.2021, 10:57
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Maybe the requirement is not understood correctly.

I have not met a Swiss German person who takes the literal meaning of "Deutsch Muttersprache" as the mother must speak German. It simply means, speaks German as a first language. I’ve had various interesting discussions about this with Swiss German friends, and I’ve come to the conclusion that “mother tounge” is only taken literally in some Anglo Saxon context.

If your German is good i.e. as good as if it was your first language, then you should not let it stop you applying.
Exactly this. My wife's first language isn't English. She started to learn it age 12 and speaks now like a native - even teaching English. If you met her, you wouldn't know she wasn't born in England. My children's mother tongue is English. But they're trilingual in German and dialect. When they speak German/dialect you wouldn't know they're not Swiss.

They'd never let a sentence about mother tongue stop them applying!
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  #39  
Old 10.05.2021, 11:09
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

Purely from a business perspective it makes sense.
Once I worked in a company and rarely I had to conduct phone calls with their customers in a language that was not native to me.
Many times customers were asking me about my nationality out of curiosity or sometimes if they were unsatisfied with my justified rejection of their claim they were insisting on speaking to a native speaker. Also, my inability to speak with no accent was manifesting the fact that their office was not physically located in the country of their customers, which some of them did not necessarily like.
Long story short, the world is not yet that globalized, that it wouldn't matter.
However it is truly interesting if it is not considered a discrimination from the legal P.O.V. in Switzerland. As someone has already replied it looks like it is not? I am also seeing this requirement very often.
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Old 10.05.2021, 12:18
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

OP, based on the Wiki that you linked to, you can see that everyone seems to define mother tongue or first language in a different way.

In Switzerland, it simply means that you can converse in Swiss German like a local and understand local jokes, dialect, idioms ,etc. As good as if you were born here and went to school here. This has nothing to do with your mum having to be Swiss German.
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