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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)

OSueco 20.12.2010 01:04

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

Originally Posted by MusicChick (Post 1049468)
I actually feel bad for those high earners who spend their days in their English speaking office and helping their kids with their homework in English for their English speaking school. Since they so don't need the local language in the country where everyone speaks all sorts of everything so well...Then they get a private course by a tutor who will most probably don't push them too hard, so how much do they really need the local language and how fast do they learn? But I guess the proposal was not intended towards these, I can't tell.

There are italians which have been living here for more than 40 years here (eastern parts) and still don't speak any german, and still get by...

There are constructions sites where nobody speaks german but italian or portuguese...

There can not be a selection, either there will be a mandatory test for ALL (except for people from EU countries due to the bilateral) or nothing, anything else would be incorrect...

Wollishofener 20.12.2010 01:23

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

Originally Posted by OSueco (Post 1049522)
There are italians which have been living here for more than 40 years here (eastern parts) and still don't speak any german, and still get by...

There are constructions sites where nobody speaks german but italian or portuguese...

There can not be a selection, either there will be a mandatory test for ALL (except for people from EU countries due to the bilateral) or nothing, anything else would be incorrect...


May I remind you that Italian, at least on the Federal level, is one of the official languages mentioned ?! :p

st2lemans 20.12.2010 01:27

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

Originally Posted by OSueco (Post 1049522)
There are italians which have been living here for more than 40 years here (eastern parts) and still don't speak any german

Italian IS a Swiss language!

It's crap like this that makes me refuse to speak German!

Tom

native 20.12.2010 01:35

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
That's quite funny. Although I'm not sure if there's a big difference between an Italian and a Portuguese living in the German speaking part for 40 years and not learning German. Or is there? Anyway, it doesn't matter. They're good workers and their kids will fully integrate.

eddiejc1 20.12.2010 01:41

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

Originally Posted by st2lemans (Post 1049556)
Italian IS a Swiss language!

It's crap like this that makes me refuse to speak German!

Tom

As long as you're in Lugano you shouldn't have to worry.

Faltrad 20.12.2010 02:02

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Ironically, the Portuguese in Romansch area learn the language and make it their own within no time, while de German speaking Swiss impose German to the Rumantschs. The respect is not in the Swiss (intern) sind, it's on the immigrant side.

OSueco 20.12.2010 08:41

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
My point was, you are able to live in the german-speaking part of Switzerland all you life without knowing the language.

For me the whole official language thingie is only valid if e.g. people in the mid/eastern parts of Switzerland actually knew italian, french and Romansh.
Because a swiss doesn't care, for him it is only important if you fluently speak and understand the local dialect, everything else is bull-crap...:rolleyes:

avita 20.12.2010 10:25

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
I don't understand this "one" of the three/four languages aspect of it. Yesterday (in Zurich) I went to the pharmacy and I was not able to ask for cough syrup in French, I had to talk to the person in (her) broken English. And yes I am trying to learn German, enough to greet her, excuse myself for my crappy skills and understand when they asked what other languages I spoke (4!). If they do go on with this, they'd better do it with the "language of the intended Canton", because the rest of the languages are useless where they are not spoken.

olygirl 20.12.2010 10:50

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

Originally Posted by eddiejc1 (Post 1049378)
I'll bet other members of the SVP disagree with him. To be honest, I think most people in this forum disagree with him, too, because most people here rightly agree that even if you already know English, you should at least TRY to learn the local language in Switzerland.

Ah, but "trying"is voluntary and we are talking about a law.

And it is true, folks, that the SVP is still playing on fears of crime, unemployment and aggression which the Balkan, some East European nations and now African immigrants seem to represent in a the mind of many a Swiss. English expats really are excluded from the general "foreigner" problem.

20.12.2010 10:53

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

Originally Posted by Phos (Post 1049449)
Haven't read the thread, but from personal experience with acquaintances and professional situations, the language issues is not merely the learning of the language itself, but signifies a "willingness" to adapt and conform to local ways of thinking and doing things.

Quote:

Why NOT?

What makes you so different?
Well, check out Phos' answer above - he's right on the money. Of course the SVP isn't involved because they're worried about all the poor immigrants coming to Switzerland and having a bad time of it. They just want to make the immigrants look and talk exactly like the Swiss so no one will notice them, or better yet make the conditions so hard that they won't come in the first place. Unfortunately this is because the SVP is composed primarily of Catholic farmers who, even when they do understand how the world works occasionally, get votes and support by playing to the Berner's fear of the Zurcher, the Zurcher's fear of the Berner, and both of their fears of the Yugo.

What makes me different? Tax in/benefits out. In my case the ratio is firmly in favour of the Swiss Fed/Kanton Zurich. When I leave, and leave I will, I will be richer (because my wage will stay the same, but won't have to pay 26chf for an average pizza) and Kanton Zurich will be poorer. And if this SVP law passes, there won't be too many to take my place.

greenmount 20.12.2010 11:49

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

Originally Posted by kodokan (Post 1049402)
This would be a complete non-issue with my playground mum friends.

Ukranian, Albanian, Thai, etc - all marvellously fluent French speakers, because what other choice do they have? They can pretty much never go shopping or get their car serviced and expect to speak their own language. No-one's picking up an international school tab so their kids are being educated in French. So they've learnt, and learnt well.

It's only us lazy, complacent old English speakers who see any problem with this at all.

Of course, because there's no justice in the world, their language expertise is entirely taken for granted whereas my much lesser attempts at conversation are greeted with warm approval and exclamations of how clever I am. :D

Ha ha, I understand very well what you mean.... I recently went to an ophthalmologist in Zürich and we spoke all the time in High German. He asked me various questions about where I come from, what brought me here etc. and at one point he also asked "How comes a Romanian can speak German so well?" At first I was puzzled as I didn't know if I should tell him that we actually have plenty of German language teachers over there or tell him what made ME learn the language..:D I "confessed" him I started learning German before actually thinking I would ever move to a German-speaking country, the reason simply being I might need it to work for a German company in my own country...on the one hand I felt flattered that this person appreciated my language skills, on the other hand...slightly insulted..:rolleyes: Maybe he was only trying to be nice in a Swiss way, who knows.:)

Faltrad 20.12.2010 11:58

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

Originally Posted by greenmount (Post 1049759)
"How comes a Romanian can speak German so well?"

I would have been sooooo tempted to answer:
- My mother is literature nobel price winner Herta Müller.

atzeboya 20.12.2010 12:31

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Fresh and funny comment from my Swiss GF:

"mr. Blocher should take a language test too"

(he apparently doesn't speak a good German)

Sorry: small revenge from an italian who everyday feels harrassed 'cause he doesn't speak a good German....

olygirl 20.12.2010 12:33

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

Originally Posted by atzeboya (Post 1049806)
Fresh and funny comment from my Swiss GF:

"mr. Blocher should take a language test too"

(he apparently doesn't speak a good German)

Sorry: small revenge from an italian who everyday feels harrassed 'cause he doesn't speak a good German....

The irony of it all is that in general, most Swiss in the German-speaking areas can't speak proper high German.

atzeboya 20.12.2010 12:40

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
so true !!!

Faltrad 20.12.2010 12:40

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

Originally Posted by olygirl (Post 1049811)
The irony of it all is that in general, most Swiss in the German-speaking areas can't speak proper high German.

We obviously do not mingle with the same crowd. You should choose your friends better, you would hear and practice a wonderful high German in Switzerland too.

Guest 20.12.2010 12:57

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
I can assure you that we pay plenty of taxes here Economisto - and yet my OH, in his 60s and a scientist, is making great efforts to learn French. As said before, just a matter of courtesy and respect. The fact that paying (high) taxes should exonerate us from making an effort is so condescending to me - as said before, bring back the Raj. We pay a lot more taxes in Neuchatel then Zug :(

The Italians around here arrived in the 50s, the Spanish and Portuguese a bit later - 2nd and 3rd generation now. They still have their Clubs, but I do not know a SINGLE one who does not speak sufficient French to communicate well. Same with all the immigrants from ex-Yugoslavia.

MusicChick 20.12.2010 13:07

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

I can assure you that we pay plenty of taxes here Economisto - and yet my OH, in his 60s and a scientist, is making great efforts to learn French. As said before, just a matter of courtesy and respect.
How will this idea of courtesy and respect change, though, when you start demandind it by law..it's like telling somebody to love your new country and demand it by law. One cannot demand true respect, can one. I also agree all people should learn. But making it a law, trying to check it, would be just another opressive way to use selectively against some individuals who happen to be out of favor here at a specific time. And the whole "you anglophones are ok" attitude is weird, honestly. It works the other way, too, when some people can pity me for coming from Eastern Europe, they like me. The minute they realize I don't need pity, they are not so keen anymore, and start nagging about me being actually an under cover anglophone :D...Everyone has an example how good it is to learn the local language, my life actually started here the second I was able to communicate, but that does not mean I would agree with irrealistic plan to "check" and "push" the assessment of some potential newcomers. If it is a matter of quotas, or cash, missing legislature, then fix it, but let's not come up with some utopian scenarios..The tests will measure crap, people will cheat, there will be bribery, etc etc. Besides, if one offers shelter to a refugee in need, how can you really stipulate? Then just don't offer it. I can't see my gov stipulating newcomers to learn Czech since nobody would succeed. :D

Faltrad 20.12.2010 13:13

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
When people don't do it without a law, making a law is like having nothing to loose.

Message to Mr. Blocher:
You have no idea how natural it is to be good in languages for people are in the Balkans, they'll learn German or anything else in less time than you needed to learn French and with a better result if they want to. Ex-Jugoslavia should be on your travel and study programme, I suggest Studiosus Reise, they offer good cultural travels with educated guides. You'll learn a lot.

20.12.2010 13:22

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

I can assure you that we pay plenty of taxes here Economisto - and yet my OH, in his 60s and a scientist, is making great efforts to learn French. As said before, just a matter of courtesy and respect. The fact that paying (high) taxes should exonerate us from making an effort is so condescending to me - as said before, bring back the Raj. We pay a lot more taxes in Neuchatel then Zug :(

The Italians around here arrived in the 50s, the Spanish and Portuguese a bit later - 2nd and 3rd generation now. They still have their Clubs, but I do not know a SINGLE one who does not speak sufficient French to communicate well. Same with all the immigrants from ex-Yugoslavia.
As musicchick says: courtest and respect can't be legislated - if you make someone learn a language, then it's no longer courtesy. But I understand your point, I just disagree with it. Firstly, I am not a privileged guest of Switzerland - it's give and take, and the Swiss know this all too well. It's why Kantons like Zug negotiate so hard to get foreigners to relocate their companies there. So you see, this isn't my argument, it's the argument of the Swiss themselves. They're willing to bend over backwards to attract the right type of foreigner even to the extent of charging them less tax than their equivalent Swiss neighbour. And that's perfectly correct - as I've said before, without the international perspective, whether it's the immigrants living and working here, or the Swiss external trade in Pharma and financial services, the Swiss would have to rely on their massive oil reserves....wait....

Anyway, maybe the Swiss could make a little more of an effort with English, considering it's the lingua franca of 2.5bn people around the world and without immigrants Switzerland would be, well, not doing great.

My better point really is that I dislike integration. There are really good reasons to have all sorts of immigrants beyond the economic considerations. Immigrants enrich all of our lives. Perhaps one day we'll be able to get a curry in Zurich that doesn't taste like a sausage roll, or a kebab that doesn't taste like a sausage roll or a....

Or just make everyone who lives here conform to an anachronistic stereotype of what it means to be "Swiss" lord help us.

Faltrad 20.12.2010 13:28

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

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1049865)
maybe the Swiss could make a little more of an effort with English, considering it's the lingua franca of 2.5bn people around the world and without immigrants Switzerland would be, well, not doing great.

Maybe the immigrants could make a little more of an effort with the national languages considering it's the languages of the country. Without Switzerland, immigrants would be, well, not doing great.

But I understand your point, I just disagree with it.

olygirl 20.12.2010 13:31

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

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1049865)
Anyway, maybe the Swiss could make a little more of an effort with English, considering it's the lingua franca of 2.5bn people around the world and without immigrants Switzerland would be, well, not doing great.

My son has been learning English at the public school since the third grade. Young people ARE learning English which is why I'm convinced English has/will become the language in which the Swiss Germans, Italians and French will/are using to communicate with each other.

Even my SVP Swiss neighbours know this to be the truth because they're the ones who told me about the development as seen in their own families.

20.12.2010 13:34

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

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1049870)
Maybe the immigrants could make a little more of an effort with the national languages considering it's the languages of the country. Without Switzerland, immigrants would be, well, not doing great.

But I understand your point, I just disagree with it.

Well, without Switzerland the immigrants would be somewhere else I suppose. But the reality is the power differential - some immigrants need Switzerland more than Switzerland needs them, but for many it's the other way around. Saying that, culturally I think Switzerland could do with a spat of multiculturalism. I'd love to be able to get a decent Thali plate in Zurich.

Faltrad 20.12.2010 13:54

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Frankly, the Swiss are doing their part: they learn AND practice English even if by local standards, the English speakers are not always aware how rude they are when speak English to everybody as if it would be the local language, because they do not mean it in a rude way at all. I even suspect most of them to really feel guilty about lack of language skills. But it's all about perception. And Swiss accept from English speakers what they never would accept from even Italian speakers if they were shouting proudly that their national language should be understood from Skt Gallen to Geneva via Basel and Sion (which they are not doing, let that be clear).

Are the immigrants doing their part?
- The Balkanic immigrant: yes. Even the first generation speaks German and/or dialect to a more than acceptable level.
- Latin immigrants: yes and no. In latin Switzerland, yes, even in Rumantsch area where the Portuguese follow rumantsch curriculum and school system. In German speaking Switzerland, the second generation is German speaking (I suspect even that second generation are not that great in portuguese, italian, spanish).
- The English speaking immigrants? well...

MrVertigo 20.12.2010 13:56

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

Originally Posted by MusicChick (Post 1049848)
How will this idea of courtesy and respect change, though, when you start demandind it by law..it's like telling somebody to love your new country and demand it by law. One cannot demand true respect, can one. I also agree all people should learn. But making it a law, trying to check it, would be just another opressive way to use selectively against some individuals who happen to be out of favor here at a specific time. And the whole "you anglophones are ok" attitude is weird, honestly. It works the other way, too, when some people can pity me for coming from Eastern Europe, they like me. The minute they realize I don't need pity, they are not so keen anymore, and start nagging about me being actually an under cover anglophone :D...Everyone has an example how good it is to learn the local language, my life actually started here the second I was able to communicate, but that does not mean I would agree with irrealistic plan to "check" and "push" the assessment of some potential newcomers. If it is a matter of quotas, or cash, missing legislature, then fix it, but let's not come up with some utopian scenarios..The tests will measure crap, people will cheat, there will be bribery, etc etc. Besides, if one offers shelter to a refugee in need, how can you really stipulate? Then just don't offer it. I can't see my gov stipulating newcomers to learn Czech since nobody would succeed. :D

The aim of SVP is to reduce massively legal immigration through family reunification. They want all the kosovars, turks, africans, thai who want to bring their families here to go through a long, tedious and unsure process.
I agree also on the "english foreigners not targeted": this argument is usually used when there is embarassement about the morality of the decision/law or process. But if decoded, it means you (english/german/french/italian foreigners) are next on the list when things get worse.

A propos czech government: they checked gay asylum seekers by showing them straight-sex porn and measuring if they were excited or not :) The EU is asking to stop the practice.

The only thing we are sure about: the most humiliating practices to reduce immigration could become mainstream anytime soon. Every government is ready to anesthetize moral values when low-level instincts of population is praised. The series of initiatives from SVP is just driving the swiss population to accept step by step the most intolerable decisions regarding foreigners.

JiminyNZ 20.12.2010 14:05

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

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1049865)
As musicchick says: courtest and respect can't be legislated - if you make someone learn a language, then it's no longer courtesy.

I'd be the first to love it if all new migrants would have the courtesy and respect to learn the local language and make some effort to understand the local culture. It's sad if there are enough who don't to motivate such a law, whatever the host country is.

As a side note, I've had some of the most magic moments in my life while in China thanks to the few words of Mandarin I had learned. Sad are those who can't live such moments.

Quote:

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1049865)
Anyway, maybe the Swiss could make a little more of an effort with English, considering it's the lingua franca of 2.5bn people around the world and without immigrants Switzerland would be, well, not doing great.

Actually, maybe it's time to learn Mandarin Chinese instead. Why plan for the short term ;)

20.12.2010 14:07

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

Originally Posted by JiminyNZ (Post 1049929)
I'd be the first to love it if all new migrants would have the courtesy and respect to learn the local language and make some effort to understand the local culture. It's sad if there are enough who don't to motivate such a law, whatever the host country is.

As a side note, I've had some of the most magic moments in my life while in China thanks to the few words of Mandarin I had learned. Sad are those who can't live such moments.



Actually, maybe it's time to learn Mandarin Chinese instead. Why plan for the short term ;)

It is pleasurable to know some of the local lingo, you're right. And if we're really planning ahead, let's learn Angolan Portuguese and Thai.

meloncollie 20.12.2010 14:20

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
While I agree that one should try to learn the local language, that language skills are becoming the default measuring stick of a person's worth is a tad short-sighted as an immigration policy.

For example:

My husband's German is pretty awful - no question, he'd have trouble passing a test.

He is, however, perfectly able to understand and to interact with any and everyone. He just plows ahead, letting the grammar chips fall where they may. He is well liked around town and enjoys sharing a laugh and a beer with the local farmers; he is quite well integrated in that sense. (Far better than I am - although I expect I could pass the German test fairly easily.) That my husband mis-declines his adjectives, tosses in the odd English expression, considers the use of gender, case and even sometimes tense as superfluous to requirements :eek: does not really affect to his ability to fit in.

We've been here 12 years - why is his German so poor? Well, because he spends much of his time outside of Switzerland; his job is only coincidentally located here. But because he is here, jobs have stayed in Switzerland that would otherwise have moved to Asia. Which seems a tad more significant a contribution to the preservation of the Swiss way of life than his grasp of German grammar.

Just sayin'. :)

Faltrad 20.12.2010 14:28

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Even the Blocher's proposal is not about grammar - at all. Just that you know.

kodokan 20.12.2010 14:32

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

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 1049951)

My husband's German is pretty awful - no question, he'd have trouble passing a test.

He sounds just like mine - dreadful French, but always willing to have a go and always manages to shop/ make appointments/ get the car serviced or whatever it was he set out to do. But he too spends up to 50% of his time in other European countries or the USA; it's hard to buckle down to French study when you're jetlagged or hearing Czech spoken all around.

My French is ok, around B1, sneaking into B2 with a favourable wind. The kids are in local school, so they're fluent. So as a family, we're pretty integrated linguistically and not a bother to the authorities as I do all the admin stuff that requires French.

It's genuinely has no impact on the Swiss authorities that hubby doesn't speak even halfway decent French. Maybe for families they could have a system of allowing in the wage earner regardless, as long as the spouse at home with the kids has the language skills. That's a better path to long-term integration for that family anyway.

20.12.2010 14:40

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.
What is wrong with that? Well nothing, except that Switzerland will be left with only the poorer, more dependent immigrants who really need to be here. The multimillionaire, top-tax-bracket hedge funders that Switzerland really needs will just hop off elsewhere. This is a room temperature IQ, Daily Mail-esque proposal designed to sound reasonable while being utterly stupid and unworkable.

paysdoufs 20.12.2010 15:12

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

Originally Posted by economisto (Post 1049980)
What is wrong with that? Well nothing, except that Switzerland will be left with only the poorer, more dependent immigrants who really need to be here. The multimillionaire, top-tax-bracket hedge funders that Switzerland really needs will just hop off elsewhere. This is a room temperature IQ, Daily Mail-esque proposal designed to sound reasonable while being utterly stupid and unworkable.

Oh Economisto ! May I dear to address myself directly to the great hedge fund trader that you seem to be? If so, here are two citations your condescending attitude has reminded me of:

One is in French, and it simply goes "Tu ne te prends vraiment pas pour de la merde!" (And, personally, that's really hard to stand...)

The second is in German and much more profound: "Die Friedhöfe sind voll mit unersetzlichen Leuten"

I am sure you will find fellow EF participants to translate the local lingo for you ;)

Faltrad 20.12.2010 15:20

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Translation (it's the rule):

"Tu ne te prends vraiment pas pour de la merde!" - you have a high opinion about yourself (you really don't consider yourself to be sh!t)

"Die Friedhöfe sind voll mit unersetzlichen Leuten" - The graveyeards are full of irreplaceable people.

paysdoufs 20.12.2010 15:42

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

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1050051)
Translation (it's the rule):

"Tu ne te prends vraiment pas pour de la merde!" - you have a high opinion about yourself (you really don't consider yourself to be sh!t)

"Die Friedhöfe sind voll mit unersetzlichen Leuten" - The graveyeards are full of irreplaceable people.

Do you think he will get the sarcasm when it's not explicitly mentioned/translated as well?

MusicChick 20.12.2010 15:57

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

Originally Posted by MrVertigo (Post 1049904)
A propos czech government: they checked gay asylum seekers by showing them straight-sex porn and measuring if they were excited or not :) The EU is asking to stop the practice.

Oops, now, that's worse than assessing people's langauge skills, innit. It's not even funny. I guess at least I learned a new word, "phallometric". Wunderbar.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1050051)
Translation (it's the rule):

"Tu ne te prends vraiment pas pour de la merde!" - you have a high opinion about yourself (you really don't consider yourself to be sh!t)

"Die Friedhöfe sind voll mit unersetzlichen Leuten" - The graveyeards are full of irreplaceable people.

Thanks Faltrad for translating.

Paysdoufs, it never takes long in this country to let others know they mean nothing. I wonder why, such a national sport. What's the allergy to self assured people? It's not always a phoney thing, some people just have clear opinion about stuff. I personally do think it is a wonderful thing to integrate, but why make it such a quest. Isn't anyone normally really geared to integrate? Why make it an obligatory thing, something pushed on people by locals and check it by some committee, since they feel like they are "allowing" the guests to stay...When locals get measured for integration within the society, it will be only fair to do so with newcomers, but until then, it's a little naieve. People either feel embraced, welcomed, get treated as a part of community, or they don't. If we are asked for monetarily contribution while get treated as is we were just guests who need to do more than locals themselves to prove ourselves and our genuine intentions, makes no sense...To force somebody, based on some lofty and really unmeasurable thing as language aptitude which varies from one person to another, it's just pointless. Some people are a part of community, pay huge taxes and contribute in other ways without B1-B2 skills, some locals have native command and are part of nada. Swiss themselves don't want to belong, innit, by principle, so why make this such a procedure with other people just because we are not ready to vacuum some sidewalks and accept stiff ceremonial ways and get pushed around. So what is this "them" and "us" thing about...just a complex. Ok. Rant over. :msncrazy:

Oops, I forgot, I wouldn't ever criticize people here for how well they speak English. Far better than anywhere I remember. Maybe as well as in Germany.

Faltrad 20.12.2010 15:58

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Paysdoufs,
Just don't forget the translation, people need it here (one never knows where in multilingual CH they are and what language competence people have, so English seems the more natural choice in a forum for English speaking expat community. That became the logical rule here).

Guest 20.12.2010 16:18

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

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 1049951)
My husband's German is pretty awful - no question, he'd have trouble passing a test.


"Habe du probleme?"

That is a joke phrase going around with the local kids when poking fun at hostile foreigners. Alright, it isn't grammatically correct, but it is understandable, no? Now, don't tell me the government wants to enforce grammar too. Now, that would be ridiculous. Even some Swiss politicians let loose with bad german grammar.

Guest 20.12.2010 16:35

Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher
 
Meloncollie and Kokodan - your OH's grammar is ****, that is absolutely no problem as far as I'm concerned. They communicate, on a basic level - and that is great. Of course I understand that respect and courtesy cannot be enforced by Law - and I really don't give a Monkey's about respect for the 'Government' - I cannot understand how anybody can choose to live in a country and make no effort, and as such show little respect for the people who share their lives, be it at work, in their local community, etc.

I agree a test beforehand would be totally counterproductive. But to expect after 2 years, that people can communicate at a basic level, orally and aurally - would be abso fair enough.

I await with trepidation the day Switzerland collapses in a heap when you do move Economisto. :msntongue: How will we cope?:rolleyes: lol. Whether you are contributing financially to a system or not, even substantially- is irrelevant to the human requirement to show basic respect to the local population, surely.

Keith66 20.12.2010 16:41

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 )

Let's up they also include a test in common sense, which Mr Blocher would fail and be thrown out of the contry he is desperate to ruin!

20.12.2010 16:46

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

Originally Posted by paysdoufs (Post 1050037)
Oh Economisto ! May I dear to address myself directly to the great hedge fund trader that you seem to be? If so, here are two citations your condescending attitude has reminded me of:

One is in French, and it simply goes "Tu ne te prends vraiment pas pour de la merde!" (And, personally, that's really hard to stand...)

The second is in German and much more profound: "Die Friedhöfe sind voll mit unersetzlichen Leuten"

I am sure you will find fellow EF participants to translate the local lingo for you ;)


Quote:

Originally Posted by paysdoufs (Post 1050074)
Do you think he will get the sarcasm when it's not explicitly mentioned/translated as well?

Quote:

I await with trepidation the day Switzerland collapses in a heap when you do move Economisto. :msntongue: How will we cope?:rolleyes: lol
Ahh, all these personal attacks, coupled with SVP support and a complete failure to answer or rebut my post.

For the record:
I'm not a hedge fund trader or similar.
No, I don't consider myself to be "shit" but it's unsurprising the French identify with that idiom to such an extent.
I'm not talking about myself.

Odile: no, Switzerland won't collapse in a heap without me, although by any measure it'll miss me more than I'll miss it. But Switzerland will collapse in a heap if it starts asking the net contributors to start jumping through linguistic hoops.

It's totally reasonable to ask immigrants to learn a language! But to enforce that language to people who are net contributors, and who will simply not come in the first place is a silly notion.

I will be in Sprungli on Bahnhofstrasse tomorrow at 10am if you'd like to come and attack me personally. Failing that, it'd be nice if you simply answered my points, or ignored them.


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