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Old 09.05.2021, 20:59
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German as a mother tongue?

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!
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Old 09.05.2021, 21:11
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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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!
I don't know the legal answer to this, but I prefer a honest list of requirements so that I don't waste my time applying.
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Old 09.05.2021, 21:38
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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I don't know the legal answer to this, but I prefer a honest list of requirements so that I don't waste my time applying.
FTFY

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I don't know the legal answer to this, but I prefer a honest REAL list of requirements THAT ARE LEGAL so that I don't waste my time applying
I would like make an emphasis on the REAL since sometimes they are asking for things that are quite difficult, but I guess the mindset is… "what do you lose for asking?".

Anyhow I would prefer do not digress… I would like to know if that is legal to ask.
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Old 09.05.2021, 21:48
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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FTFY



I would like make an emphasis on the REAL since sometimes they are asking for things that are quite difficult, but I guess the mindset is… "what do you lose for asking?".

Anyhow I would prefer do not digress… I would like to know if that is legal to ask.
A friend once applied to a job with such a requirement. In the very last stage of the application process, the company actually checked with the parents and it turned out that the mother didn't speak German at all.
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Old 10.05.2021, 07:46
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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A friend once applied to a job with such a requirement. In the very last stage of the application process, the company actually checked with the parents and it turned out that the mother didn't speak German at all.
I remember that. His dad spoke German but it wasn't good enough.

And to the OP - if they stipulate such things at the advertising stage, is this an employer you really want to work for?
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Old 09.05.2021, 22:09
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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I would like to know if that is legal to ask.
Why on earth would it NOT be legal?

Tp,
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Old 09.05.2021, 22:39
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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As an example, I think a professional translator or interpreter job "requires" mother tongue of the language into which documents/speeches/etc. are being translated.
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.

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A friend once applied to a job with such a requirement. In the very last stage of the application process, the company actually checked with the parents and it turned out that the mother didn't speak German at all.
You are kidding me, right?

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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.
Yeah yeah. But I'm wondering about the legality of that. Of course I don't want to even apply to that position.

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Why on earth would it NOT be legal?

Tp,
Because you aren't asking for a technical ability… of even if you have or not a work permit… but for a background you can't choose or improve. Unless you are born on a German speaking country you can have as mother tongue German. It's not fair. Again, I can understand that you can ask for a certain level of German or even perfect German. I can't understand mother tongue. For me it's like… they were saying, we require your skin color to be white. Or be a natural redhead. You can't change that or improve.
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Old 09.05.2021, 22:52
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

For some tasks, such a translating into German, the requisite education must be there (or at least, the job is much more likely to be done at a high standard if the person is qualified), but also German as mother-tongue. It is, in such a context, a tecnical ability.

Not all persons with German mother-tongue will know how to translate properly into German. That's true. But 3Wishes is right that, for a proper translation into German, it takes someone of German mother tongue.

Even outside of translation, sometimes it's about communicating. I knew a man who sold farm equipment. He was hired because he spoke Swiss German and used to be a farmer. When he travelled from one farm to the next, he did what no non-Swiss-German mother-tonguer, and no non-farmer could do: he got alongside those farmers and helped them with their tasks, while talking to them about the equipment they already had, and listening to their concerns, before trying to sell them anything. When they did need something, they called him.
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Old 10.05.2021, 05:23
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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I can't understand mother tongue. For me it's like… they were saying, we require your skin color to be white. Or be a natural redhead. You can't change that or improve.
Don’t confuse logic with the law and particularly in civil law jurisdictions. The law is written in terms of what you can’t do not what you can do. So unless there is a law saying you can’t filter for only people born on weekends, you can, legal drafters can’t think of every dumb idea people are going to come up with.

Last edited by Guest; 10.05.2021 at 09:58. Reason: Fixing your accidental second "can't" to "can"
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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, 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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Old 09.05.2021, 21:38
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

I don't think it's discriminatory or illegal. The employer can still choose to hire someone who is not a native speaker, but who has the skills they seek. To me, they're clearly indicating applicants need a high level due to what the job entails so that they avoid applications from people who won't be up to the task. I don't think it's related to accents.

As an example, I think a professional translator or interpreter job "requires" mother tongue of the language into which documents/speeches/etc. are being translated.
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Old 09.05.2021, 21:57
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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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.
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.
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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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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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Old 10.05.2021, 16:40
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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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.
It's sailing close to the wind, but this is Switzerland and anything goes. They want someone brought up with or amongst German and they would know things about the language that even someone fully fluent might not understand. As this would or could be region specific I'm not sure if for them that would exclude Swiss German speakers or German German speakers.
Discrimination would be "Korean person wanted to work in restaurant" but you also see that here.
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Old 10.05.2021, 16:57
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

Having a certain level of proficiency which can be established via recognised tests and courses is acceptable. Asking for a Native Speaker is not Legal in any developed society.

https://fra.europa.eu/en/eu-charter/...discrimination => Language is an aspect.

I find it astonishing what we can get away with in Switzerland : )

I would be interesting if a native German speaker with tourette's turns up for the interview
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Old 10.05.2021, 17:01
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Having a certain level of proficiency which can be established via recognised tests and courses is acceptable. Asking for a Native Speaker is not Legal in any developed society.

https://fra.europa.eu/en/eu-charter/...discrimination => Language is an aspect.

I find it astonishing what we can get away with in Switzerland : )

I would be interesting if a native German speaker with tourette's turns up for the interview
Is "native and native-like" more civilized? Because I see that all the time.
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Old 10.05.2021, 17:29
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Re: German as a mother tongue?

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Is "native and native-like" more civilized? Because I see that all the time.
I suppose the issue is how it's worded, how does one establish a qualification of a native speaker except for using skin colour or place of birth as proof ?

Whereas if it said Proficient then one one can have a Japanese or a Russian who is Proficient in German.

The language for the Job-description seems to indicate race and I assume is not a requirement for the job, take that away and you could have an African speaking Proficient German.

After all there is a language Proficiency requirement when applying for a Swiss Passport ? It does not say Native Speaker or Native-Like.
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