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Old 11.04.2020, 23:27
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Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Hello,

This is my first message. I moved to Zurich (from Montreal, Canada) at the end of February 2020. I am a post-doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich, working in the Department of Biology. I am now working from home like most people due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

I don't have any knowledge of German language. However I am fluent in French, so that helps a lot even in Zurich.

Looking forward to meet new people later, hopefully once this Covid-19 pandemic ends.

CanuckQC
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Old 11.04.2020, 23:30
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Hello and welcome to the EF.
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Old 11.04.2020, 23:48
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Bienvenue!
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Old 12.04.2020, 07:56
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

canadian here as well
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Old 12.04.2020, 09:05
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Welcome to the forum and to Switzerland.
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Old 12.04.2020, 11:14
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Canajun, Eh? What part of the jog-free you be at, eh?
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Old 12.04.2020, 12:16
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Hi, and welcome to the EF and Switzerland! You got a rough deal with timing, but at least you got in before it became too difficult to travel!

Enjoy your time in Switzerland - it will get better.
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Old 14.04.2020, 02:38
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Thank you for your messages.


I think I will miss Canada (except the healthcare system) but I found a great opportunity here in terms of academic career. Salaries are much higher and I will be able to save a considerable amount of money each month, so I am not complaining at all.

If I can learn basics in German, that would be great. I feel like I face huge limitations when I need to order something in a restaurant. For example, I was at a Pizzeria place where the cashier doesn’t speak English at all. I had to communicate with him via Google Translate.
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Old 14.04.2020, 07:00
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

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For example, I was at a Pizzeria place where the cashier doesn’t speak English at all. I had to communicate with him via Google Translate.
Essayez d'utiliser le français !
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Old 14.04.2020, 08:08
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Welcome! Happy to chat if you have questions about Z, feel free to send a DM.

A+
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Old 14.04.2020, 08:35
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Hi and welcome!

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TI feel like I face huge limitations when I need to order something in a restaurant.
This is quite easy to fix, almost any online course or app will help you cover the basic vocabulary for food in a couple of months. Often food is exactly where they start from :-)
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Old 14.04.2020, 10:52
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

welcome to the forum. in a few weeks we should be back to normal
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Old 14.04.2020, 11:42
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Dear OP, hello and welcome to the forum. Just an FYI, French, just like in Canada is not widely spoken here, except for in the French region. Now, you should be doing well with English, as it is widely spoken, save a select few places and you must have picked one of the those 2 places.
Oh, and there is a Tim Hortons which just opened up next to the train station. (just kidding )
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Old 04.05.2020, 18:14
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Hi, Canuck! I am also new to Zurich -- my husband is also a postdoc at ETH Zurich (Honggerberg), he is a biologist but is here doing some interdisciplinary research with the Materials Sciences department. We moved from Boston at the beginning of March. I am grateful that we got settled before the lockdown and are able to work, but I am looking forward to the days where we can interact with more people. It would be lovely to connect once it is safe to do so (perhaps over a beverage)!
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Old 16.05.2020, 17:52
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Welcome to Switzerland! Some basic German will definitely help you, especially when it comes to food. My husband is a post doc at ETH and took classes through the language center and it helped him a lot (https://www.sprachenzentrum.uzh.ch/en.html)! It will really be helpful too if you hope to travel around CH, especially to some of the smaller towns. Here are free resources I found helpful in trying to learn just some basic German. He used them to supplement his language center courses.
  • https://www.dw.com/de/deutsch-lernen...m-nicht/s-2163
  • the LEO dictionary app by LeoGmbH - sometimes it's better than Google translate
  • The Coop weekly mailing - You can read little stories about Switzerland and it really helps with the food because you can look at pictures and the German word for it.
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Old 17.05.2020, 10:38
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

For reading practice, you can use the 20minuten free newspaper (like 24H in Montréal). It is written at a very easy/grade-school reading level.

You can pick up the printed version if you are out or use the epaper version (link below), that way you can translate words on another open tab. Since these papers, DE, FR and IT are very local, you can not use the FR version to translate the DE version.

Link DE: https://epaper.20minuten.ch/?locale=...h/2020-05-17/1
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Old 17.05.2020, 12:00
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Try Duolingo, Ive been using that for languages, it's pretty good and if you're lazy and miss too many days then it puts you back to the beginning so it motivates you not to skip days!
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Old 17.05.2020, 14:08
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Re: Moved to Zurich, from Canada

Like many places in the world, people here speak or at least understand more English than they’re willing to admit upon first meeting. If you can muster the courage to try even the most basic German phrases, you’ll usually break the ice and the pizza guy will happily switch to English or at least accept that you’re doing your best to accommodate the language difference. It’s when English speakers just start speaking arrogantly, expecting the other to fully accommodate them that you’ll get the icy “sorry I don’t speak English” reply.

Just start with, “sorry, meine Deutsch ist nicht so gut, darf ich Englisch/Französische sprechen?” Then you establish a modest position asking permission, and set it up so that you may speak English/French but he/she doesn’t have to. Even later when you understand much more German than you can speak, this phrase will come in handy. Then you’ll be able to experience the very cool feeling of carrying on a conversation in two languages, while each party is comfortable speaking their native tongue.

Good luck. It get easier!
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