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  #41  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:08
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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.
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  #42  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:09
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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...
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Old 19.12.2010, 14:20
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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
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  #44  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:24
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 14:32
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #46  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:33
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 14:35
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #48  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:38
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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
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  #49  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:41
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Condescending was the other word I was looking for.
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Old 19.12.2010, 14:43
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis?
This thread is the best comedy show x-mast 2010. Thanks folks!
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  #51  
Old 19.12.2010, 14:46
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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.
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 (and I do not mean the ex-UK-colonies in North America ! )
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Old 19.12.2010, 14:57
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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!
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:01
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis?
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? ) with you, even if you try to talk in german many swiss switch to english with the notorious eye-rolling...
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:01
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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A vote he will win by 90% plus
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:02
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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Scientists learning the local lingo for Norvartis?
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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:05
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:05
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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?
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:11
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:15
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:25
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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.
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