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-   -   Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher (https://www.englishforum.ch/swiss-politics-news/102050-compulsory-language-test-intending-immigrants-cards-says-blocher.html)

adrianlondon 19.12.2010 14:08

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Don't start countering peope with facts, you'll ruin nearly all the threads on here.

OSueco 19.12.2010 14:09

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

There are many highly skilled scientists who go to the UK and the US to share their very specialised skills- and guess what?

For ONCE, and I never thought I'd ever say that, I agree with Blocher. We are not talking here about being fluent, but about being able to communicate on a basic level. What is wrong with that - even if it is for 1 or 2 years - or for life.
Did you even read what Blocher wants, he wants that people coming here should take a written test...

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 14:20

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jrspet (Post 1048819)
Yet another interesting proposal about furriners forthcoming in the New Year ..

According to 20min,

Source in DE ( crude translation into EN here )

A vote he will win by 90% plus :D

Guest 19.12.2010 14:24

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
In which case it is out of order and counterproductive, I agree. For me it is just a question of basic respect - if you choose to go and live in another country, you learn how to communicate at basic level. Irrelevant whether those people speak your language or not. The sheer arrogance of any group of people just expecting the rest of the world to learn their language and work in it, and yet not make any effort to reciprocate- is just beyond me and truly bad manners. I have no problem with English being used as a common language for business- it just makes sense. Esperanto never took on, and English is clearly the common denominator in so many fields. Accepted, done, great by me. But if you choose to live somewhere, it just makes sense to learn the language (and yes, I do appreciate there are issues relating to this in the Swiss German part - but as said before you'd have to make your own judgement as to whether standard German or your local brand would make more sense. I'd say learn as much standard German as poss, but some basic expressions for everyday greetings, shopping, etc in dialect). I just cannot fathom why this does not make sense to some of you.

As a teacher of French and German in the UK for so many years- I can assure you that until very recently, French was compulsory for all UK kids (well a second language, but for 99.9% it was French) - so most of the Brits here would have done a few years at school. And as you are very clever clogs, many of you would have done German too, as it was the formula that kids in set 1 and 2 would be offered German too.

Just basic respect and courtesy- and would be great dividends in your relationship with the locals, I am sure. What so riles me, is that so many who refuse to make any effort here, would be the very ones who would highly criticize immigrants in the UK or US for not learning English. And perhaps the ones who'd complain loudly about foreign kids costing a fortune to integrate and teach, and take up much of the teacher's time and attention, etc.
Some are more equal than others of course.

Treverus 19.12.2010 14:32

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by olygirl (Post 1048942)
All children in Switzerland are required to learn English at school. Therefore, by all rights and common sense, English should also be included as one of the compulsory languages that immigrants could choose to speak.

By the way, I doubt this will pass because too complicated to enforce.

Sorry, this is not common sense at all: the SVP obviously wants to use the language skills as a barrier for the types of foreigners they do not want to see here. Especially the ones that look differently... this would not work with accepting English as everybody speaks English nowadays, from Russia to China to India...

Sorry that it hits your nationality this time as well... when it was the others and "only Yugos" were discriminated against on the posters, you still supported the SVP ideas. You know: they don't want you to be here either - just accept it - and they definitely not want English as an official language.

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 14:33

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Corbets (Post 1048837)
100% agreed.

That said, however, requiring them to have mastery of the language before coming here is going to seriously deplete the available labor pool for Switzerland, and I don't think that will have a positive impact on the local economy.

I'd rather support a proposal along the lines of hardening the rules for long-term immigrants. If you're here for two years, you should have developed basic skills, within 5 years you should be able to converse easily, etc - not something unobtainable or even hard, but just to force integration.

Yes, you can get by with just English - but I think it's fair to expect long-term resident foreigners to learn the local languages.

Not good for the national economy ? Language schools for German, French and Italian (uuhh, forgot Romansch:) ) will be opened near CH embassies around the globe. And hundreds of CH teachers of these languages will emigrate to those places.

And why 2 years for basic skills and 5 years for easy conversation. I when in London in 72, building up on some basic skills got in Zurich, within a month was able to converse easily and after three months back home needed some courses and did the Cambridge Proficiency. So that 2 months should be sufficient for some basic skills and 5 months for easy conversation. However, a Gegenvorschlag will not make sense, as he will win through most easily. Farthermore, you can expect to have similar proposals in the German Bundestag and the French Assemblée Nationale in no time.

simplon 19.12.2010 14:35

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

In which case it is out of order and counterproductive, I agree. For me it is just a question of basic respect - if you choose to go and live in another country, you learn how to communicate at basic level. Irrelevant whether those people speak your language or not. The sheer arrogance of any group of people just expecting the rest of the world to learn their language and work in it, and yet not make any effort to reciprocate- is just beyond me and truly bad manners. I have no problem with English being used as a common language for business- it just makes sense. Esperanto never took on, and English is clearly the common denominator in so many fields. Accepted, done, great by me. But if you choose to live somewhere, it just makes sense to learn the language (and yes, I do appreciate there are issues relating to this in the Swiss German part - but as said before you'd have to make your own judgement as to whether standard German or your local brand would make more sense. I'd say learn as much standard German as poss, but some basic expressions for everyday greetings, shopping, etc in dialect).

As a teacher of French and German in the UK for so many years- I can assure you that until very recently, French was compulsory for all UK kids (well a second language, but for 99.9% it was French) - so most of the Brits here would have done a few years at school. And as you are very clever clogs, many of you would have done German too, as it was the formula that kids in set 1 and 2 would be offered German too.

Just basic respect and courtesy- and would be great dividends in your relationship with the locals, I am sure. What so riles me, is that so many who refuse to make any effort here, would be the very ones who would highly criticize immigrants in the UK or US for not learning English. Some are more equal than others of course.
Very well said. I completly agree. I think, living and working for years in country and don't making the effort to learn one of the local languages is nothing else than incredible rude and moreover pretty arrogant too.

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 14:38

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by armandair (Post 1048838)
As always, SVP, talks about a certain group of foreigners who can't speak the language, who don't want to integrate or are on the way to make a mess of lovely Switzerland.

But how about the highly educated English speaking scientist who comes to Basel to provide his intellectual capital to Novartis? Because N. can't find them within the Swiss Market? In addition some come with their kids. Are they to be discriminated as well at school ("you can't speak the language, you surely must be less smart than the German kids around you!")

If this group is affected with high or unrealistic barriers, than those will most likely not chose to come here for work.

To be honest who learns German for a stay of say 1-3 years? Ok yes, some will, but I doubt the majority will show this kind of ambition.

I also doubt that the "problem" can be solved by a language barrier.

First of all, many tourists learn a language for a stay of say 1 to 3 weeks ! And I expect a "highly educated and highly qualified" people to be able to learn basic skills in a new language within a month or two.

Sure, no problems get solved by such steps, but the vote is already won

Guest 19.12.2010 14:41

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Condescending was the other word I was looking for.;)

Faltrad 19.12.2010 14:43

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis? :msngrin::msngrin::msngrin:
This thread is the best comedy show x-mast 2010. Thanks folks!

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 14:46

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by biff (Post 1048849)
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.

The argument may be justified, but in reality does affect also Swiss nationals who move inside of the country. Most in theory have learnt at least one of the other languages but generally not enough to "integrate". Let's be clear, immigrants from Germany/Austria, France and Italy that way get preferential status, while highly educated English speakers will get accross the barrier relatively easily. Turks speak German as defacto 2nd language already inside Turkey, Spaniards and Portuguese will have no problem with Italians and Arabs have more or less French at hand generally, so that it is clear which "ex-...nation" is targetted :D (and I do not mean the ex-UK-colonies in North America ! )

OSueco 19.12.2010 14:57

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
I guess that nobody here disagree that if you come to work and live here you should be able to communicate in german, but there must be some sort of transition (which Blocher wants to remove), the only people who would pass the entry test would be germans and austrians.

Secondly the language courses here are really really bad. If I would have lived in Germany I would have spoken fluent german since long time ago, now I am stuck with this "dialect" which is not correct german and not "correct" swiss-german...

"Switzerland" has to improve the quality of German courses for foreigners, because they stink - big time!

OSueco 19.12.2010 15:01

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1049055)
Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis? :msngrin::msngrin::msngrin:
This thread is the best comedy show x-mast 2010. Thanks folks!

I work in a global company, and many swiss people there rather communicate in english than in "hoch-deutsch"...also most of the time people don't have patience (Swiss = patience? :rolleyes:) with you, even if you try to talk in german many swiss switch to english with the notorious eye-rolling...

native 19.12.2010 15:01

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wollishofener (Post 1049039)
A vote he will win by 90% plus :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wollishofener (Post 1049052)
Sure, no problems get solved by such steps, but the vote is already won

Why do you keep saying that?
Swiss voters care a lot about the economy and the SVP loses most important votes.

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 15:02

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1049055)
Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis? :msngrin::msngrin::msngrin:
This thread is the best comedy show x-mast 2010. Thanks folks!

A scientist working at Novartis (not Norv... please) will live in a place where the plumber, the electrictian and the housekeeper will NOT speak English. Possibly rather Italian, Albanian or Turkish.

Treverus 19.12.2010 15:05

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OSueco (Post 1049061)
I guess that nobody here disagree that if you come to work and live here you should be able to communicate in german, but there must be some sort of transition (which Blocher wants to remove), the only people who would pass the entry test would be germans and austrians.

Don't forget the French and Italians as they speak and official language as well...

I would fully agree with you if we are talking about people waiting tables. But Switzerland has financial services and highy specialized industries as Pharma, medical technology, biotechnology and so on. These sectors do have a strong need for specialists and just as the trader in a bank is valued by his results and not his language skills are very good scientists and engineers needed in Switzerland. Not because Swiss are not smart enough, but because the supply does not meet the demand... cutting off Novartis from foreign specialists would only result in the larger players shifting their R&D abroad. The smaller ones might move entirely.

It is always the same: A hard requirements as a language test before you come here will not only keep the ones out the SVP politicially does not want here - it will also keep the ones out that are very needed here. So I am sure that this idea will not get very far.

OSueco 19.12.2010 15:05

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
How about the foreign celebrities living (or has a resident) here...like:


Or if you are rich enough you wouldn't have to learn?

Faltrad 19.12.2010 15:11

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
That is not necessarily, OSueco, about your Swiss collegues, because their English is better than their Hochdeutsch, they have chosen to work in a global company, it is rather a social status issue. Their Hochdeutsch is their language of culture and education. It IS better than their English.

But the high educated English speaking expat community will not learn the local language unless they like it as a hobby. People in this forum could explain us why and how, but I am afraid there are already many threads on the question. What ever Blocher wants, even if that is the same policy that is implemented already in Germany and in practice in France too but without the belonging legal frame, the high educated crowd will not let themselves forced into language courses, it be in CH or home country. The Blocher show is just the usual circus of his party. Totally irrelevant to even discuss it. Like Wollis said, the language thingie is so popular in every european country (and the US policy is the same in practice actually), that the law would already be in place long time ago if somebody really meant to acutally pass it.

MrVertigo 19.12.2010 15:15

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
What do the foreigner statistics tell us (Aug. 2010):

1) The nationalities with highest immigration rate to switzerland are
- Kosovo, Germany, Portugal, France, Erythrea
Due to bilateral agreement with EU, CH can only target countries like Kosovo and Erythrea (asylum seekers). EU citizens do not need to worry.

2) The reasons for legal immigration to Switzerland is mainly due to work permits and family reunification (38% and 32%).


Conclusion: for the EU citizen there is nothing CH can do about it unless the target is to definitely break the bilateral agreements. The asylum seekers usually do not go to embassy before "visiting" switzerland. Therefore the proposal means blocking "family reunification" for third countries. Big question is if this will be equally applied to US, Australian, Canadian citizens as well to Kosovo/African citizens.
What about a swiss who married a thai/russian/indian partner? The partner won't be allowed to come to CH until mastering of a national language is proven. Can the swiss ask federal court to have his/her basic rights for family reunification respected?

This type of laws are already applied in Danemark and Netherlands. Dutch citizens usually go to Belgium and live there 6 months to get residence permit for their partner and then go back to NL.

SVP is just making propaganda for elections in 2011....I'm sure they are not interested in the effective implementation of such vague rules.

kfp 19.12.2010 15:25

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
My two-penneth:

I just got here. I have 20 year old rusty German and a little French - I had to end up in Lausanne! I intend to learn French asap because I want to respect my surroundings and communicate effectively with people at work. However, all my teaching, writing and research is to be conducted in English - that's what they want. It is perhaps a sad fact, but it is a fact, that any academic institution that wants world standing must be producing and publishing in English. Even the French schools have started to acknowledge this and are hiring English speaking academics to boost their world rankings.

It would appear that this ruling can't apply to EU nationals, but it would harm Switzerland - and its elite universities - not to join this trend. Make incomers learn, sure, I think this is essential but don't stop people entering because it will harm the economy.

marton 19.12.2010 15:28

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:
http://www.englishforum.ch/images/bb.../12n3_01on.png

They would also have to staff every Swiss embassy with qualified speakers of each official language to carry out these tests. You could not carry out tests with non-qualified testers? That would lead to a lot of appeals & claims of unfairness.

All sounds a bit impractical.

Quote:

They would also have to staff every Swiss embassy with qualified speakers of each official language to carry out these tests. You could not carry out tests with non-qualified testers? That would lead to a lot of appeals & claims of unfairness.

All sounds a bit impractical.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1049022)
These tests exist for German in Goethe Institutes and for French in the network of centres culturels. That covers the basic needs, Switzerland itself would have little to do for it.

This idea of language tests for immigrants including so called explats untertains me to a seldom achieved level by other topics :msngrin:

These Goethe Institutes & centres culturels tests all have to be given by qualified speakers of the language. You could not carry out these tests with non-qualified testers.

The Blocher proposal is these tests are carried out in Swiss embassies.

So you agree with me that they would have to staff every Swiss embassy with qualified speakers of each official language to carry out these these tests?

Deep Purple 19.12.2010 15:35

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OSueco (Post 1049071)
How about the foreign celebrities living (or has a resident) here...like:

Or if you are rich enough you wouldn't have to learn?

Not very good examples. Most of those, if not all, speak French :rolleyes:

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 15:49

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OSueco (Post 1049061)
I guess that nobody here disagree that if you come to work and live here you should be able to communicate in german, but there must be some sort of transition (which Blocher wants to remove), the only people who would pass the entry test would be germans and austrians.

Secondly the language courses here are really really bad. If I would have lived in Germany I would have spoken fluent german since long time ago, now I am stuck with this "dialect" which is not correct german and not "correct" swiss-german...

"Switzerland" has to improve the quality of German courses for foreigners, because they stink - big time!

German teachers in CH tend to be lousy. I in primary school only had a good one in class 5 and 6. And only in 2 of 4 years secondary school. And then, in commercial school, we had a German teacher who was a Uni Doctor in Germanistics. But Swiss embassies will link up with Goethe Institutues who have top class German teachers.

In your case it depends also on the school first and on the individual teacher second. A Palestinian I know had German at the Benedict School Zurich, and his High German is really Top ! Another Palestinian, a classmate under the "command" of Dr Dr Rudolf Meier, learnt an immaculate High German with a year and a half. So, no, there are good ones around, but sure those who exercise that kind of CH-High-German ARE a nuisance !

tkn 19.12.2010 15:58

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1049055)
Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis? :msngrin::msngrin::msngrin:
This thread is the best comedy show x-mast 2010. Thanks folks!

Didn't Novartis move lots of their research to US :p

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 16:02

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

I had an arrangement with our local University in the UK, hosting their top foreign scientific researchers, from Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia - their certainly worked very hard at their job AND at learning English.
I am not sure what Blocher intends to propose exactly, but I'd say after 2 years, any living here (or indeed anywhere else) should be able to communicate on a basic every day level (grammar not being important as long as it does no affect meaning overall).

I have every sympathy with those in the German speaking part - but I'd say that they should be able to communicate in standard German.
I cannot tell you exactly about Blocher, what I however CAN tell you is that the German of educated people in Czechia, Slovakia and Hungary generally is absolutely astonishing. And I refer here to the last three decades. In case of the Bulgarians it is different in so far as for them Russian still is foreign language nr. 1. You have to realize that German was the defacto-language of the Comecon and to some extent even of the Warsaw-Pact. Quite many Poles, Czechs, Slowaks, Hungarians and Bulgarians have therefore quite a good command of German. I for many years was customer here at a dentist of Bulgarian origin, Dr Dent Antonov, whose German was absolutely superb. He since has retired and so I am now customer at Mr Dr Dent Pollak. My dentist in schooltimes was Dr Dent Antonini, and they all spoke the best of German I can think of.

19.12.2010 16:10

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
(Please correct me if I am wrong..)

I had a look at Christoph Blocker's website,

http://www.blocher.ch/index.php?id=1...ash=13794a322f

and I read that 3 years ago he went to Geneva and lectured them on how we use each others nouns in our own languages (Nothing surprising there Monsieur Blocher) However I can read German and French moderately well and I came to the conclusion that this 69 year old man (Whom has had plenty of time and opportunity to learn French here) actually lectured the French speaking audience in high German!

Whichever way you look at it, the SVP are very determined to take over Switzerland and are prepared to use any tricks necessary to get complete power, just like Adolph did after 1932. Unfortunately the SVP members are not known for their intelligence, but notable for their loyalty to Blocher.

-

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 16:16

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by native (Post 1049066)
Why do you keep saying that?
Swiss voters care a lot about the economy and the SVP loses most important votes.

Why do I keep saying that ? Because SVP chief strategist has found a "soft target" he will win. And Swiss voters may care a lot about the economy, but with this initiative, Mr Blocher targets not so much the Anglophone community in the world who are expected to cope fairly easily but the Balkans whose folks are on the records to cope either not at all or exceedingly slowly indeed. That the SVP loses many votes is what I said in the past and still say today, but THIS one they are to win.

19.12.2010 16:27

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
As long as I'm law abiding, pay my taxes and have a job the Swiss shouldn't care what language I speak.

Sure I can order food in French, ask someone where the train station is or ask how someone is. But I will be damned if I will be made to take a written test to live in this country.

I have far more important things to be getting on with than taking a French test to prove my worth to Switzerland.

Faltrad 19.12.2010 16:29

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by porsch1909 (Post 1049126)
As long as I'm law abiding, pay my taxes and have a job the Swiss shouldn't care what language I speak.

And if one of these laws is to speak the local language, how abiding will you be?

19.12.2010 16:33

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1049128)
And if one of these laws is to speak the local language, how abiding will you be?

I don't want to be in a country that makes it illegal to not speak a language.

Can you imagine the ludicracy behind getting a fine or going to prison. Reason 'Got his un and une mixed up'

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 16:38

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Treverus (Post 1049070)
Don't forget the French and Italians as they speak and official language as well...

I would fully agree with you if we are talking about people waiting tables. But Switzerland has financial services and highy specialized industries as Pharma, medical technology, biotechnology and so on. These sectors do have a strong need for specialists and just as the trader in a bank is valued by his results and not his language skills are very good scientists and engineers needed in Switzerland. Not because Swiss are not smart enough, but because the supply does not meet the demand... cutting off Novartis from foreign specialists would only result in the larger players shifting their R&D abroad. The smaller ones might move entirely.

It is always the same: A hard requirements as a language test before you come here will not only keep the ones out the SVP politicially does not want here - it will also keep the ones out that are very needed here. So I am sure that this idea will not get very far.

Sorry, but Mr Blocher knows something you omit to say and that is that Switzerland, rather in the upper market, simply needs people. Which means that Switzerland would have enough specialists of everything had it enough people, but Switzerland, just as most nations in Continental Europe, is SHRINKING. And so, his idea is to steer the immigration.

And YES, the new law WILL keep away many folks who are needed. But possibly not as many as you think. Not least as social pressure in France and in Germany to have some command of the national language is quite considerable. And in both countries there, new laws in the same line will bet introduced within 2 years

Faltrad 19.12.2010 16:49

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Keep cool Porsch, you don't have to at present time and you won't have to for quite some time. Such an initiative would pass high hands so it would be already in place if the politicians really wanted it, incl. SVP/UC/PPS.
But I just love the idea, like in a comedy show, that amuses me immensely to imagine the consequences of it. And the reaction of the english speaking minority is interesting, although the minority Blocher and co think of is notthis one, but the Balkan cultures.

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 16:56

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ittigen (Post 1049110)
(Please correct me if I am wrong..)

I had a look at Christoph Blocker's website,

http://www.blocher.ch/index.php?id=1...ash=13794a322f

and I read that 3 years ago he went to Geneva and lectured them on how we use each others nouns in our own languages (Nothing surprising there Monsieur Blocher) However I can read German and French moderately well and I came to the conclusion that this 69 year old man (Whom has had plenty of time and opportunity to learn French here) actually lectured the French speaking audience in high German!

Whichever way you look at it, the SVP are very determined to take over Switzerland and are prepared to use any tricks necessary to get complete power, just like Adolph did after 1932. Unfortunately the SVP members are not known for their intelligence, but notable for their loyalty to Blocher.

-

The SVP of course hopes to get over 30% in the 2011 elections, but to all probability will fail in this. And to have an initiative rolling on which most presumably will have the approval of all major parties will not help them. A "Gegenvorschlag" will not be required.

Over to Adolf Hitler. He never got a majority in the national parliament. He only became leader of a coalition government when the NSDAP became the largest party in the German parliament in 1933. He and his party grasped total command in 1934 after the Reichtagsbrand. Imperial President Feldmarschall Hindenburg had no choice than to nominate Adolf Hitler to form a new coalition government as the new Imperial Chancellor as Germany was a parliamentary democracy. And as Germany had remained to be an "Empire", in spite of sending the Emperor into exile, Adolf Hitler, after the death of Hindenburg adopted also the role of Head of State under the title "Führer des Deutschen Reichs" (leader of the German Empire).

You see, in German language, there is no "Reich" (Empire) without an Emperor, so that I still cannot understand why those silly Anglophones and French in 1918-20 did not see how carefully the German leaders maintained their "Empire" through the process :D:p

zubin 19.12.2010 16:58

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
I think this obsession with 'learn the langauge if you want to belong' is at best a high-brow reaction to want of a better pastime (SVP notwithstanding); at worst nationalist snobbery.

Can someone explain to me why the same Europeans, when they are posted to India, China, the Far-East & Middle-East, don't even bother to assimmilate the rudimentary words of the local language? I've met dozens of expats of this kind, all living for 7 years or more in these countries, who only speak English to communicate. Even some who are married to locals haven't bothered to learn.
- If English is the 'language of business' there, so it is here (at least at multinational companies).


- If it's a question of shopping at village stores, it's the same everywhere; a old couple running a grocery store in KL, Kolhapur or Manila are not likely to speak English either.

- If you say 'respect what the locals want' I may demur, but often (all over Europe) colleagues couldn't care less - people with jobs to do & families to maintain seldom do.

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 16:59

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by porsch1909 (Post 1049126)
As long as I'm law abiding, pay my taxes and have a job the Swiss shouldn't care what language I speak.

Sure I can order food in French, ask someone where the train station is or ask how someone is. But I will be damned if I will be made to take a written test to live in this country.

I have far more important things to be getting on with than taking a French test to prove my worth to Switzerland.

You misunderstand something here. You can speak any language you like. And Chinese people will speak Chinese with other Chinese people. You are or rather will only be required to be able to communicate in one of the official languages of this country. So that, if you decide generally to speak Mongolian here, well becomes !

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 17:02

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by porsch1909 (Post 1049130)
I don't want to be in a country that makes it illegal to not speak a language.

Can you imagine the ludicracy behind getting a fine or going to prison. Reason 'Got his un and une mixed up'

Blocher did not say that it should be illegal for you to speak a chosen language ! His lawyers could prosecute you for libel :D

Faltrad 19.12.2010 17:17

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zubin (Post 1049160)
I think this obsession with 'learn the langauge if you want to belong' is at best a high-brow reaction to want of a better pastime (SVP notwithstanding); at worst nationalist snobbery.

But if that is the local culture, you have to cope with it. The local culture may be snob, that that is the local culture and that is the one that counts when it come to define integration and relations between insiders and outsiders. Fact of life. The importance of language will be assessed differently from place to place, I am sure you will find one that suits you.

Quote:

Can someone explain to me why the same Europeans, when they are posted to India, China, the Far-East & Middle-East, don't even bother to assimmilate the rudimentary words of the local language?
Because they feel superior. Other questions?

Wollishofener 19.12.2010 17:21

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zubin (Post 1049160)
I think this obsession with 'learn the langauge if you want to belong' is at best a high-brow reaction to want of a better pastime (SVP notwithstanding); at worst nationalist snobbery.

Can someone explain to me why the same Europeans, when they are posted to India, China, the Far-East & Middle-East, don't even bother to assimmilate the rudimentary words of the local language? I've met dozens of expats of this kind, all living for 7 years or more in these countries, who only speak English to communicate. Even some who are married to locals haven't bothered to learn.
- If English is the 'language of business' there, so it is here (at least at multinational companies).


- If it's a question of shopping at village stores, it's the same everywhere; a old couple running a grocery store in KL, Kolhapur or Manila are not likely to speak English either.

- If you say 'respect what the locals want' I may demur, but often (all over Europe) colleagues couldn't care less - people with jobs to do & families to maintain seldom do.


I don't know what kind of expats you met, but I have met many "expats" in the Middle East and in North Africa who were fluent in the local language(s). That many or even too many such expats fail to do so, is possibly what Mr Blocher wants to change, beside the point again, that those Anglophone and Frankophone expats are not what he has in mind anyway.

zubin 19.12.2010 17:40

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Because they feel superior. Other questions?[/QUOTE]

Maybe, but then 'doctor heal thyself' comes to mind. We're living in a global age where (for purposes of business at least) the world is getting smaller. Obsessing with linguistic skills is, to me, a futile pursuit.

I do take Wollishofener's point about it being part of the culture though.

Faltrad 19.12.2010 17:45

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
There are two kinds of people:
- the good in languages who think there is too much science in the world
- the good in sciences who think there is too much language in the world.

Choose your side.


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