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Old 05.01.2011, 23:48
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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The mistake of the Swiss is to think that Western intelligences are the most valuable, they hope avoiding dilution of the official languages they will remain strong.
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What exactly are "Western intelligences" ? And who are "they". "They" Swiss do not have any such hopes at all. "They" themselves are "diluting" the "national languages".


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The fastest growing economies are in emergent markets, how can they stay ahead of the game in they insist on only communicating with those who speak one of their languages? Rather, they should look to those within their own societies who have already crossed the cultural bridges, those who respect and understand both cultures and so can facilitate the best solutions.
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Sure, this is the reason why Switzerland has more trade with Eastern Asia and the Indian Subcontinent already than with North America. And why Switzerland has more flight-connections to those countries than to North America

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there really hasn't been much discussion in the media about whether Switzerland should adopt Islamic banking-no major vote on whether it would erode the values of Swiss traditions, no ominous threatening posters of Islamic banks taking over the country and brainwashing people, yet Islamic banking options are well accommodated!
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"Islamic banks" differ from standard banks in not charging interest-rates but by simply charging service-fees. People placing money with "Islamic banks" get a kind of reward instead of interest rates. And do not forget that most banks of Muslim countries are NOT "Islamic banks" but work along the standard way

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At a higher level the banks and industrialists deal with the Turks, Arabs and Iranians for massive import/export deals. What they fail to realize is that they may be harbouring seeds of resentment in neglecting to appreciate the value of their own ethnic populations, that could come back to bite them.
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The Arab World and Iran are doing business just as everybody and I do NOT see what "resentment" you have in mind. Winston Churchill quite correctly described the mainland of the Arab World between Morocco and Syria as "the weak underbelly of Europe". The increasingly heavy relationship between the main countries of the Arab League and the EU (Mediterranean Partnership, a brainchild of Hassan II, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Hosni Mubarak, Dominique de Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy) is gradually solving many problems (NOT all ! ) and is extremely beneficial for both sides. You mention Turkey. Turkey in a way is "the odd man out". It left its privileged position in regard to the EU. So, Mr Erdogan and the Turkish industry leaders are busily improving their relations with on one side the Arab World and on the other side Russia.
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  #302  
Old 06.01.2011, 00:04
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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A simple Freudian slip, leave the poor guy alone; he obviously has bigger ( I mean smaller) problems.
I guess so, especially as he just went lingerie/underwear/unterwaesche shopping; some things just sound better in other languages. Is underwear a feminine, masculine or neuter artikel? Do word change gender when they change language?
Is it ein handy oder eine handy? Ein natel oder eine natel?
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  #303  
Old 06.01.2011, 00:10
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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But just look at the word "check". Above 30 Swiss use this word in the standard English sense as to examine/re-calculate/look-through, BUT teens and twens use it for "understand".
Funny you're bringing that up. "Twen," as far as I know, happens to be one of those other numerous words in German that are thought to be English but aren't. A friend of mine once called that phenomenon, "reverse Englineering," encompassing all those horrible things like "Handy," "Evergreen," "Bio-Food," "Showmaster" etc..

By the way, one of my favorites among fake English words in Swiss German is the verb "foode," meaning "to eat," as in, "Chomm, mer gönd go foode," meaning, "Let's go have some chow." In English, there is the saying, "There's no noun that cannot be verbed." There are a few exceptions, though, and "food" is one of them. And then there are those Swiss youngsters who know nothing about English but dare turn the noun into a verb, something native English speakers never did and something that would be pretty difficult in German.

However, let's face it, there are lots of similar abuses of non-English words in English too. Many Americans I know are surprised to learn what words like "putz," "spiel," "entrée," "journal," "beldam(e)" etc. actually mean in the languages where they came from.
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  #304  
Old 06.01.2011, 00:14
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Funny you're bringing that up. "Twen," as far as I know, happens to be one of those other numerous words in German that are thought to be English but aren't. A friend of mine once called that phenomenon, "reverse Englineering," just like the handy and other nonsense.

By the way, one of my favorites among fake English words in Swiss German is the verb "foode," meaning "to eat," as in, "Chomm, mer gönd go foode," meaning, "Let's go have some chow." In English, there is the saying, "There's no noun that cannot be verbed." There are a few exceptions, though, and "food" is one of them. And then there are those Swiss youngsters who know nothing about English but dare turn the noun into a verb, something native English speakers never did and something that would be pretty difficult in German.

However, let's face it, there are lots of similar abuses of non-English words in English too. Many Americans I know are surprised to learn what words like "putz," "spiel," "entrée," "journal," "beldam(e)" etc. actually mean in the languages where they came from.
I thought it was "Chomm, mer gönd go fuettere,"

Oder?

Soooory.
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  #305  
Old 06.01.2011, 00:31
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I thought it was "Chomm, mer gönd go fuettere,"

Oder?


Yes, similar expression here "
andiamo a prendere il cibo".

Both cases refer more to animal, and not human, food/feeding, i.e. both translate to "let's go FEED", and not "let's go EAT".

Tom


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  #306  
Old 06.01.2011, 01:10
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I thought it was "Chomm, mer gönd go fuettere,"

Oder?

Soooory.
no .................................................. .....................
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  #307  
Old 06.01.2011, 01:16
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Funny you're bringing that up. "Twen," as far as I know, happens to be one of those other numerous words in German that are thought to be English but aren't. A friend of mine once called that phenomenon, "reverse Englineering," encompassing all those horrible things like "Handy," "Evergreen," "Bio-Food," "Showmaster" etc..

By the way, one of my favorites among fake English words in Swiss German is the verb "foode," meaning "to eat," as in, "Chomm, mer gönd go foode," meaning, "Let's go have some chow." In English, there is the saying, "There's no noun that cannot be verbed." There are a few exceptions, though, and "food" is one of them. And then there are those Swiss youngsters who know nothing about English but dare turn the noun into a verb, something native English speakers never did and something that would be pretty difficult in German.

However, let's face it, there are lots of similar abuses of non-English words in English too. Many Americans I know are surprised to learn what words like "putz," "spiel," "entrée," "journal," "beldam(e)" etc. actually mean in the languages where they came from.

"Evergreen" and "Showmaster" long ago have become German words. If things go badly, these words will get fully Germanized and be written
"Ewergrien" and "Schaumaaster", with the Swiss variants "Äwergrien" and "Schaumaaschter"
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  #308  
Old 06.01.2011, 01:38
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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"Evergreen" and "Showmaster" long ago have become German words. If things go badly, these words will get fully Germanized and be written
"Ewergrien" and "Schaumaaster", with the Swiss variants "Äwergrien" and "Schaumaaschter"
you have an answer for everything dont you !
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  #309  
Old 06.01.2011, 14:24
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I guess so, especially as he just went lingerie/underwear/unterwaesche shopping; some things just sound better in other languages. Is underwear a feminine, masculine or neuter artikel? Do word change gender when they change language?
Is it ein handy oder eine handy? Ein natel oder eine natel?
Do word change gender when they change language?

YES, as a native English speaker I find this is the hardest thing to learn.

You get the gender in your head for one language for basic words like moon, shirt, etc. & then you find in the next language the gender has changed.
Also there is no logic to it, for example, in German
Man's shirt - gender Neutral
lady's skirt - masculine
trousers - feminine
bra - masculine
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  #310  
Old 06.01.2011, 14:51
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Gender can even change from the general case to the specific: in French you have le journal but la Tribune.
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  #311  
Old 06.01.2011, 15:16
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Do word change gender when they change language?

YES, as a native English speaker I find this is the hardest thing to learn.

You get the gender in your head for one language for basic words like moon, shirt, etc. & then you find in the next language the gender has changed.
Also there is no logic to it, for example, in German
Man's shirt - gender Neutral
lady's skirt - masculine
trousers - feminine
bra - masculine
It takes practice and discipline...but you can learn nevertheless. Native German speakers have a harder time thinking in English because all the gender and non-gender nouns are mixed up...
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  #312  
Old 08.01.2011, 03:43
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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It takes practice and discipline...but you can learn nevertheless. Native German speakers have a harder time thinking in English because all the gender and non-gender nouns are mixed up...
That may be, but first of all, DER DIE DAS in English are all simply THE, and possessive pronouns in most languages are relatively easy to circumvent.
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  #313  
Old 08.01.2011, 23:17
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

I suspect that one of the hardest things about English aside is the spelling. I'm sure there are many people who have torn their hair out because "Edinburgh" is pronounced "ED-in-bur-rah."

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Old 08.01.2011, 23:27
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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That may be, but first of all, DER DIE DAS in English are all simply THE, and possessive pronouns in most languages are relatively easy to circumvent.
And German grammar in my opinion is far simpler once you have a good grasp thereof than, let's say its English counterpart; it is straightforward and can't get bent much...

Ps: Das has long been abolished by most languages, even the German sister languages e.g Dutch... yet it still lives in the less wide-spread languages such as Albanian...
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Old 08.01.2011, 23:33
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I suspect that one of the hardest things about English aside is the spelling. I'm sure there are many people who have torn their hair out because "Edinburgh" is pronounced "ED-in-bur-rah."

Except in the US of A! where the pronownciation is Ed-in-burg.
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Old 08.01.2011, 23:44
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I suspect that one of the hardest things about English aside is the spelling. I'm sure there are many people who have torn their hair out because "Edinburgh" is pronounced "ED-in-bur-rah."

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Except in the US of A! where the pronownciation is Ed-in-burg.
I'm also from the U.S., but the Edinburgh in Scotland is not pronounced by the natives the way you suggest. They, not we, determine the correct way to pronounce the city.
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Old 09.01.2011, 00:00
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Ps: Das has long been abolished by most languages, even the German sister languages e.g Dutch... yet it still lives in the less wide-spread languages such as Albanian...
Sorry, I am afraid we need a little summary:

German: Three genders masculin - feminin - neutral
Dutch: Two genders common (made of old masc. and old fem.) - neutral (Relicts of feminin in pronominal use with some words, f.ex. regering...)
Danish: Two genders common - neutral
Norwegian: Three or two genders depending on the written form of reference, generally three masculin - feminin - neutral (or like danish)
Swedish: Two genders common - neutral

All neo-latin languages: Two genders masculin (made of old masc. and old neut.) and feminin
Controversy in Rumanian: Two genders, but with a mixed category (singular as masculin and plural as feminin) - the mixed nouns are sometimes called neutral.

All slavic languages: Three genders masculin - feminin - neutral

Albanais: Two genders masculin - feminin (neutral is a relict, there are traces of it)

If you need more, I can complete the list.

EDIT: I forgot a germanic one, Icelandic: Three genders: masculin - feminin - neutral (even with specific declensions in both singular and plural as opposed to the common declension of plurals in German who all took over the old feminin declension of the article).
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  #318  
Old 09.01.2011, 00:15
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Sorry, I am afraid we need a little summary:

German: Three genders masculin - feminin - neutral
Dutch: Two genders common (made of old masc. and old fem.) - neutral
Danish: Two genders common - neutral
Norwegian: Three or two genders depending on the written form of reference, generally three masculin - feminin - neutral (or like danish)
Swedish: Two genders common - neutral

All neo-latin languages: Two genders masculin (made of old masc. and old neut.) and feminin
Controversy in Rumanian: Two genders, but with a mixed category (singular as masculin and plural as feminin) - the mixed nouns are sometimes called neutral.

All slavic languages: Three genders masculin - feminin - neutral

Albanais: Two genders masculin - feminin (neutral is a relict, there are traces of it)

If you need more, I can complete the list.
I wasn't aware of the Slavic languages...in todays Dutch, the neuter gender isn't maintained in the spoken language...in Flemish it is, I think.
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  #319  
Old 09.01.2011, 00:18
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I wasn't aware of the Slavic languages...in todays Dutch, the neuter gender isn't maintained in the spoken language...in Flemish it is, I think.
Sorry again, but I insist heavily:

de is common (masc. and feminin together)
het is neutral in the entire dutch speaking area.

No difference speakin/writing.
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Old 09.01.2011, 00:20
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Sorry again, but I insist heavily:

de is common (masc. and feminin together)
het is neutral in the entire dutch speaking area.

No difference speakin/writing.
yea i guess, you kinda win but what's the point of this neuter gender??
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