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Old 18.12.2020, 20:40
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How does Switzerland manage four national languages?

Hi all, sorry for a slight off-topic, but what have you learned from personal communication with the Swiss people as well as your own experience about this question: How can Switzerland work as a country while having as many as four national languages?

- Having signs and cash notes in all 4 languages in the easy part.
- But how about the Swiss Army? How can its chain of command work reliably when officers at different levels may not share a language they speak fluently enough?
- How do federal government officers from different language regions communicate with each other and maintain written documentation?
- How would an average middle-aged Romandie person speak with an average middle-aged person from say Thurgau? E.g. in a domestic tourism situation.
- Any other situations you can think of where the language barrier can be a problem for the country's unity and functioning?

My personal reason for asking this is that my own country of origin has this perpetual conflict between national identity+unity on the one hand and having multiple languages spoken across the country on the other hand. In this kind of situation the Swiss experience is extremely interesting, if not easily applicable eslewhere.


Last edited by yarique; 18.12.2020 at 20:54.
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