Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Language corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #161  
Old 18.11.2010, 18:43
MusicChick's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,488
Groaned at 414 Times in 275 Posts
Thanked 20,435 Times in 10,578 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
They do? That has not been my experience. Most people speak only the language of their own region, even those on the border often only speak one of the two.
Actually, yeah, most people I work with are fluent in 3 languages, our neighbors included. Those also put pressure on themselves (and me) to blend in and be fluent in French, so I think it depends who is around you and where. I think our region is very mixed.

Quote:
View Post
Well, its not just about the language but also about learning about the country, the culture and the local norms, so its good.
I am not sure these norms he is trying to teach you, do you think his ways really represent what locals are? Sounds pretty...ignorant. Most people I met here were so far from this, it's true the humor is rather crass, so he is being funny?

Quote:
BTW, has anybody ever been offered an extra % of salary due to their ability of speaking another language?
There are people who get their job by speaking another language...Like, you and me? Language teachers?

So, yes. All major jobs I got I scored due to languages. It's a good thang.

Quote:
A very sad thread has appeared today on redundancies in a Swiss Company. Of course they will try to hang on to the best workers- but I do wonder, could the willing to learn, take an interest, speak the local language, and interact with other Swiss colleagues, make the difference here?
Absolutely.

You made a very good point. And I think in way it is very fair. I think it works like this in a normal job, in our countries...It's not about languages then, more about accepting social norms and having skills. Languages are part of it. I agree with you. If you do not come here on a specific draft, for a job already given to you, I think one really has to buckle down and just do it, even if people don't not want to. Overall, most people who were "forced" to learn like this never ever regretted, so...On the other hand, not everyone in this forum is employed, etc.

Quote:
View Post
This made me chuckle, and reminded me of a rather different language course:

I took a beginning Russian course in the early 70s; the book used was an import from the USSR, 'Russian For Everyone' I think it was called, designed not only to teach the lingo but also to open the minds of the opiated masses.

In each lesson, the gender roles were reversed. Mom was a construction worker bravely scaling tall buildings, dad the librarian appeared largely when he cooked and cleaned floors.

Made for a nice change.

(The imagery seems to have stuck all these decades later; unfortunately the Russian didn't. The only thing I can remember is: Я не говорить Россию. )
Uhm...Я не говоpю по-pусски.

Sorry, not trying to be pedantic.. Just nice I can use it again...I should teach Russian, never really thought about it.

Mom was trained a locksmith by commies and dad a weaver, in their pre uni high school. Both came handy when they taught us stuff, when we locked ourselves out or when I learned weaving and sewing, etc. Every "intellectual" had to learn a trade back then, so they wouldn't look down at proletariat, I guess it was a true emancipation. Not a bad thing, these days, it's the manual trade that survives in economical crisis, usually...
__________________
"L'homme ne peut pas remplacer son coeur avec sa tete, ni sa tete avec ses mains." J.H. Pestalozzi

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is a matter of depth.” S.P. Cadman

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." A. Einstein

Last edited by MusicChick; 18.11.2010 at 19:10.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
  #162  
Old 18.11.2010, 18:43
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Horgen
Posts: 6
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thea has no particular reputation at present
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
They do? That has not been my experience. Most people speak only the language of their own region, even those on the border often only speak one of the two.
I think that the people in german part of switzerland do talk or try talking more launguages then just german/swiss german. But the ones in italian or french part of switzerland...the same problem when you're on holiday in Italy or France...no one can speak more then one language and they dont even try! Maybe I'm wrong but thats just my experiance!
Reply With Quote
  #163  
Old 18.11.2010, 19:09
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 11,316
Groaned at 399 Times in 325 Posts
Thanked 17,303 Times in 8,753 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
I think that the people in german part of switzerland do talk or try talking more launguages then just german/swiss german. But the ones in italian or french part of switzerland...the same problem when you're on holiday in Italy or France...no one can speak more then one language and they dont even try! Maybe I'm wrong but thats just my experiance!
Where have you been? Sometimes they do, EVEN in France I must say, though, in Italy we were offered a guided tour of a castle from Valle D'Aosta only in Italian. When we bought the tickets, some Englishmen in front of us in the line got an outburst from the lady who was selling tickets..I thought it was hilarious ! I can get by with any Latin language so it didn't bother me, but I think it's rather strange for salespersons to behave like that..
Reply With Quote
  #164  
Old 18.11.2010, 20:21
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,971
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
[INDENT]

Actually, yeah, most people I work with are fluent in 3 languages, our neighbors included. Those also put pressure on themselves (and me) to blend in and be fluent in French, so I think it depends who is around you and where. I think our region is very mixed.
Well, of course they speak French in the French region. I don't think however the Swiss feel pressure to learn the other languages of the country which is what I was replying to.
Reply With Quote
  #165  
Old 18.11.2010, 20:25
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Some do, some don't - I did, still do.
Reply With Quote
  #166  
Old 18.11.2010, 20:37
amogles's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Zurich
Posts: 12,361
Groaned at 338 Times in 274 Posts
Thanked 26,263 Times in 11,000 Posts
amogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond reputeamogles has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post

John le Carré also had some interesting stuff to say:

http://thinkgerman.org.uk/john_le_Carré_thinks_German

excellent article
Reply With Quote
  #167  
Old 18.11.2010, 20:39
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,971
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
Some do, some don't - I did, still do.
What are you replying to?
Reply With Quote
  #168  
Old 18.11.2010, 20:45
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
Well, of course they speak French in the French region. I don't think however the Swiss feel pressure to learn the other languages of the country which is what I was replying to.
This one. I am not the only Romande who bothers to either.
Reply With Quote
  #169  
Old 18.11.2010, 20:46
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
John le Carré also had some interesting stuff to say:

http://thinkgerman.org.uk/john_le_Carré_thinks_German

I love this guy:

Quote:
Anyone who has acted as an interpreter - as I have - anyone who has played a tiny part in the corridors of political power - knows that what people say to you in your language isn’t always what they say or even think among themselves in theirs.
Reply With Quote
  #170  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:02
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,971
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
This one. I am not the only Romande who bothers to either.
You might not be the only one but I you're not in the majority and you're not really the "norm" are you? Otherwise we wouldn't even be having this discussion if all the Swiss were like you and spoke English, right?
Reply With Quote
  #171  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

LOL
Reply With Quote
  #172  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:19
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
we wouldn't even be having this discussion if all the Swiss were like you and spoke English, right?
To the Romands' defense, I've seen more of them spending time brushing up their German than working on their English. A mix of urgency in professional life, normal life in urban Switzerland and a believe that English is too easy to be working on it, as opposed to German. I have not experience Romands to be very monolingual, even if English is not one of them.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Faltrad for this useful post:
  #173  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:23
MusicChick's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,488
Groaned at 414 Times in 275 Posts
Thanked 20,435 Times in 10,578 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
View Post
Well, of course they speak French in the French region. I don't think however the Swiss feel pressure to learn the other languages of the country which is what I was replying to.
This is funny, I could quote an article on language policy laws and history of this in CH past few decades that I just submitted for publishing back home, but A. that would be kinda cheating here and I don't want to sound like a lame lecturer B. I have no time to actually translate those bits. In brief, mother tongue is slowly stopping to be a thing to ponder about for teachers, there is a giant push to actually consider a language of instruction way more important, etc. etc. since that is now what pulls people in one community (school, commune) together. So, to have French being spoken in your work/canton/school is not such an automatic thing anymore. It is true that German part is actually lot better in language acquisition, for some reason, they use unemployment rates and languages skills as indicators in their stats. There is a higher push for English in German region, before they learn other federal languages (some laws protected federal languages first, in recent history, but knowing there are already trilingual preschool institutions in Zurich and very popular, kinda illustrate the whole move towards English there...). French regions (and other regions), however, used to prioritize federal languages over English. It is getting close, since the uber popular 2012 reform together with other HarmoS changes bring focus on English being taught earlier and more evenly.

It is fascinating here. There is traditionally a motion towards the federal cohesion and support in terms of learning one another's lingos first (no matter how people manifest this), now what will happen soon with this, who knows...I admire all the sacrifice people do here for languages, they push themselves hard and push their kids. They will need to do even more, to be able to find work withing CH, to support mobility of the population. So, I do think there is an expectation the newcomers will share the success locals achieved and copy their language acquisition methods, how efficient they are, I will not comment on. I know my work team and they are fabulous, linguistically. It's humbling. We nag because people frown at us in the store or ostentatiously won't speak English with us, but in the large scheme multilinguism here rules.

If anyone wants to correct my segmented knowledge on this, I will appreciate it very much..
__________________
"L'homme ne peut pas remplacer son coeur avec sa tete, ni sa tete avec ses mains." J.H. Pestalozzi

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is a matter of depth.” S.P. Cadman

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." A. Einstein
Reply With Quote
  #174  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:33
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Very interesting, and the debate has been raging for a while now. My experience is that most Romands kids just do not wish to learn German anymore as first foreign language, and would prefer to start with English- whereas their parents would prefer them to learn German first.
Reply With Quote
  #175  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:35
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CH
Posts: 11,316
Groaned at 399 Times in 325 Posts
Thanked 17,303 Times in 8,753 Posts
greenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond reputegreenmount has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Yeah..it's humbling. My Swiss German friends speak excellent French (I've heard them on a few accasions when visiting the French part), they also converse with their neighbours in Italian, and to me in English and High German. I would call this - multilinguism.
Reply With Quote
  #176  
Old 18.11.2010, 21:56
MusicChick's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,488
Groaned at 414 Times in 275 Posts
Thanked 20,435 Times in 10,578 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
Very interesting, and the debate has been raging for a while now. My experience is that most Romands kids just do not wish to learn German anymore as first foreign language, and would prefer to start with English- whereas their parents would prefer them to learn German first.
It's logical. While English is cool and easier, learning German gives them another work market to conquer if things get slow here, as the last year or two were...Scary, for a lot of parents.
Reply With Quote
  #177  
Old 18.11.2010, 22:04
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

I live in a rural area, and I feel it is also because parents are more traditional and 'patriotic'.
Reply With Quote
  #178  
Old 18.11.2010, 22:23
kodokan's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Phoenix AZ, USA
Posts: 1,299
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 930 Times in 460 Posts
kodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond reputekodokan has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Interesting - all the parents I speak to round here (Lausanne-Geneva strip) are adamant they would like English first. Could be down to the Vaud/ Geneva policies of pulling in multinationals - the high paying jobs are English speaking.

Or could be they're just being polite: 'oh yes, we'd love it if little Pierre learnt YOUR language first.'.
Reply With Quote
  #179  
Old 18.11.2010, 22:25
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

a bit of both perhaps! lol. As said, it's very rural up here and many have traditional views
Reply With Quote
  #180  
Old 18.11.2010, 22:32
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Quote:
Very interesting, and the debate has been raging for a while now. My experience is that most Romands kids just do not wish to learn German anymore as first foreign language, and would prefer to start with English- whereas their parents would prefer them to learn German first.
What I've heard from Jura is even worse. They never ever wanted to learn German in the first place. Parents like grand parents and present school kids alike.
But the fact that the Romands slept in German class (and had really very few hours of this subject in school) feeds the need to work on it as (young) adults, which I have seen quite a lot of. Hence my message above.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What language(s) are you learning now? Hsiang Language corner 32 30.08.2015 11:17
German Language Book - Pimsleur Language, Good??? Mavis Language corner 7 18.11.2010 14:04
Learning German Language Rabin Sapkota Language corner 0 14.09.2009 02:02
German Language Learning books, etc Diem Language corner 2 03.11.2006 12:22


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 17:17.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0