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  #321  
Old 09.01.2011, 00:23
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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yea i guess, you kinda win but what's the point of this neuter gender??
Ask an English speaker who uses the pronoun it. Or stop using it and that.
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  #322  
Old 09.01.2011, 01:59
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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yea i guess, you kinda win but what's the point of this neuter gender??
All this der, die, das is getting my knickers in a twist. die unterwasche, der bustenhalter, die lingerie, das unterhemd? The Germans are sticklers for following rules but here I sense and identity crisis?
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  #323  
Old 09.01.2011, 02:04
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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All this der, die, das is getting my knickers in a twist. die unterwasche, der bustenhalter, die lingerie, das unterhemd? The Germans are sticklers for following rules but here I sense and identity crisis?
well, just to be a bit nitpicking, it is
Unterwäsche ... or .... UnterWAESCHE
Büstenhalter .... or .... BUEstenhalter

and second
die Wäsche is washed by females
der Halter is held by males
das Hemd is worn by males & females
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  #324  
Old 09.01.2011, 02:15
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

You want to play with German genders? Here are my two favourites:

- The is a word for women that is masculine: der Backfisch (teeny female)
- The middle age word for woman, Weib, is neutral, an is the same word as English wife... yes dude, you married a neutral being.
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  #325  
Old 09.01.2011, 09:50
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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."
Wasn't George Bernard Shaw the one who wanted to reform English spelling so that it was more logical? I've read a funny story about him asking this question as an example -how do we pronounce the word "ghoti"? The answer was "fish".
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  #326  
Old 09.01.2011, 10:25
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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...
Any grammar is simple once one has a good grasp of it. It's getting that good grasp....
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  #327  
Old 09.01.2011, 11:26
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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You want to play with German genders? Here are my two favourites:

- The is a word for women that is masculine: der Backfisch (teeny female)
- The middle age word for woman, Weib, is neutral, an is the same word as English wife... yes dude, you married a neutral being.
just as
DAS Mädchen
DAS Bübchen (Büebli)
DER Hausdrachen
DAS Buffet + DER Schrank

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  #328  
Old 09.01.2011, 19:25
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Ask an English speaker who uses the pronoun it. Or stop using it and that.
And so I did. Here is what he said: "When you lose two consecutive world wars, you have no left but grammar to declare war on...so what is better than a neuter gender?"

I thought it was pretty funny coming from an English speaker...It did make me laugh it is in reference to the high German speakers of course...
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  #329  
Old 11.01.2011, 14:55
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Wasn't George Bernard Shaw the one who wanted to reform English spelling so that it was more logical? I've read a funny story about him asking this question as an example -how do we pronounce the word "ghoti"? The answer was "fish".
I love the Ghoti example... Some more examples of the wonders of English spelling/pronunciation can be found at

http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/funnyeng.htm

e.g. "We must polish the Polish furniture."
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  #330  
Old 11.01.2011, 15:17
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

The story of 2 guys from the UK visiting Paris, Dave and Tom. A bit nervous as they've never been abroad, and can't speak much French. Been walking for hours and getting peckish, so they go into a restaurant. When they get the menus, they panic as they can't understand anything - but one of them spots 'Soupe du Jour' - and is very proud to recognize the word- and order 'Deux soupes s'il-vous-plait'. A few minutes later, soups arrive, and Tom sees there is a fly on his soup. He remembers he has a pocket dictionary with him, and looks 'fly' up, and calls the waiter 'Garçon, un mouche dans ma soup!' - waiter looks over his shoulder and replies 'mais non Monsieur, c'est UNE mouche pas un mouche' and walks away. Dave has a good look and says 'Cor - he's got bleeding good eyesight'.
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  #331  
Old 11.01.2011, 15:46
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I think it is great that a country has four official languages, recognising that people have different languages and cultures....sort of. Or is it that Switzerland can't actually get its' act together enough to be totally united in this, and other things ( eg: no National education curriculum.)

But, if I was to become fluent in German ( dream on) get the stamp of permanency, then go and live in a French speaking part of the country, how integrated am I really? Would the next step be to say that one cannot move into a canton where one does not speak the local language?

Personally, back in NZ, I have always had the greatest of respect for the eldery Chinese women I have come across - decades in the country, children ( and grandchildren) with tertiary education, but these wise looking elders have held on to their own language and not learnt English at all. I like the differentnesses of people and love to hear a multitude of languages around me.
Sounds like a post facto way of qualifying your own perceived inadequacies as a 'vibrant cultural statement'. Are you per chance also boycotting competing in the gold medal event in the Olympic freestyle? Or maybe is it more accurate to say that you haven't spent years of dedication and training to become that good at swimming?

It seems like your statement belittles the work ethic and the achievements of those willing to develop themselves, in any sphere.

Perhaps one should consider the age old saying, 'It is not a crime to be ignorant, but it is a crime to stay ignorant'.
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  #332  
Old 11.01.2011, 16:12
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Compulsory language test for intending immigrants it's a stupid thing, I see it as a failed attempt to hide official xenophobia. Nevertheless, learning the local language is a priceless asset, no matter how good or bad at languages we are, it's better (for our well-being) to give the local lingo a try.
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  #333  
Old 11.01.2011, 17:45
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Compulsory language test for intending immigrants it's a stupid thing, I see it as a failed attempt to hide official xenophobia. Nevertheless, learning the local language is a priceless asset, no matter how good or bad at languages we are, it's better (for our well-being) to give the local lingo a try.
"official" ? The proposal does NOT come from a state-official, but from a private business-tycoon
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  #334  
Old 20.01.2011, 23:17
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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"official" ? The proposal does NOT come from a state-official, but from a private business-tycoon
I still find it absurd that to become Swiss (in the "German" part) you must get a good pass in a formal language (High German) that most Swiss do not use, most speak Dialect.
See http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/...story/29866778
for an example of the sort of test you have to pass to become Swiss, entirely in High German.
Try it & see how you do.

17 years ago when I came here in Zürich almost everbody spoke Dialect & practically nobody High German. It was difficult to persuade people to use High German in everyday discussion; e.g I do not want to speak that sh*t.
I had project colleagues from Germany who used English language to order in restaurants & shops because of the negative personal reaction they got from the staff when they used High German.
Now High German is used practically everywhere; many people working in restaurants & shops now are anyway German or High German speaking.
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  #335  
Old 21.01.2011, 00:23
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

If I had to take the Cambridge Proficiency in Glasgow, which language would they test me in?
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  #336  
Old 21.01.2011, 17:32
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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I still find it absurd that to become Swiss (in the "German" part) you must get a good pass in a formal language (High German) that most Swiss do not use, most speak Dialect.
See http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/...story/29866778
for an example of the sort of test you have to pass to become Swiss, entirely in High German.
Try it & see how you do.

17 years ago when I came here in Zürich almost everbody spoke Dialect & practically nobody High German. It was difficult to persuade people to use High German in everyday discussion; e.g I do not want to speak that sh*t.
I had project colleagues from Germany who used English language to order in restaurants & shops because of the negative personal reaction they got from the staff when they used High German.
Now High German is used practically everywhere; many people working in restaurants & shops now are anyway German or High German speaking.
BUT practically NOBODY in German speaking Switzerland WRITES in dialect (exception is a particular English-speaking member of this forum, who is able to use dialect in writing ) . And, speaking a "wrong" dialect is unacceptable. I mean if you as a foreigner here in Zürich speak "Baaaseltiitsch" you can forget it, if you speak "Bärntüütsch" in Schaffhausen you will not get many points either !
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