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  #61  
Old 19.12.2010, 15:28
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.

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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.
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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
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?
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  #62  
Old 19.12.2010, 15:35
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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
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  #63  
Old 19.12.2010, 15:49
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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.

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 !
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Old 19.12.2010, 15:58
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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!
Didn't Novartis move lots of their research to US
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  #65  
Old 19.12.2010, 16:02
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #66  
Old 19.12.2010, 16:10
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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.

-
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  #67  
Old 19.12.2010, 16:16
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #68  
Old 19.12.2010, 16:27
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:29
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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?
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:33
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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'
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:38
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:49
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:56
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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(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
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:58
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 16:59
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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 !
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Old 19.12.2010, 17:02
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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
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Old 19.12.2010, 17:17
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.

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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?
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  #78  
Old 19.12.2010, 17:21
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 17:40
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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.
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Old 19.12.2010, 17:45
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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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