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  #121  
Old 20.12.2010, 00:04
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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...
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  #122  
Old 20.12.2010, 00:23
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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 ?!
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  #123  
Old 20.12.2010, 00:27
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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
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  #124  
Old 20.12.2010, 00:35
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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.
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  #125  
Old 20.12.2010, 00:41
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #126  
Old 20.12.2010, 01:02
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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.
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  #127  
Old 20.12.2010, 07:41
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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...
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  #128  
Old 20.12.2010, 09:25
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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.
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  #129  
Old 20.12.2010, 09:50
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.

Last edited by olygirl; 20.12.2010 at 09:54. Reason: lousy grammar
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  #130  
Old 20.12.2010, 09:53
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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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.
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  #131  
Old 20.12.2010, 10:49
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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.. 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.. Maybe he was only trying to be nice in a Swiss way, who knows.
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  #132  
Old 20.12.2010, 10:58
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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"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.
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  #133  
Old 20.12.2010, 11:31
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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....
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  #134  
Old 20.12.2010, 11:33
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #135  
Old 20.12.2010, 11:40
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

so true !!!
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  #136  
Old 20.12.2010, 11:40
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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  #137  
Old 20.12.2010, 11:57
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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.
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  #138  
Old 20.12.2010, 12:07
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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 ...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.
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  #139  
Old 20.12.2010, 12:13
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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.
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  #140  
Old 20.12.2010, 12:22
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Re: Compulsory language test for intending immigrants is on the cards, says Blocher

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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.
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