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Assassin 01.05.2011 11:22

Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Voting time again in Zürich May 15, 2011. Although there are seven initiatives packed into this month's bundle of electoral paperwork, the issue that gets my goat is the arrogance of the ZH Kantonsrat in not accepting the continuation of the Swiss German dialect in the Canton's Kindergartens. Although regular German is a mainstay of schools from grade 1 through to 9, it has never been the mainstay language for the younger kiddies (ages 4 to 6).

So now the Kantonsrat is trying to push Swiss German (Mundart) out of the Kindergartens in some sort of early career enhancing attempt to breed a generation of young professionals able to master full German earlier than when they start learning it from grade one onwards.

I know where my vote is headed May 15, one big fat yes vote to keep Mundart in the Kindergartens. "Hey Canton, leave them kids alone", doing what they do best, learning by playing, interacting with other kids, using the language that they speak at home and will no doubt be using more than any other in the rest of their daily lives. Bureaucratic suppression of our mother tongue smacks of state interference and a denial of our democratic rights.

http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/zueric...1.5243532.html

The Regierungsrat has come up with an alternative if the "Yes to Mundart" is accepted which foresees a third of the Kindergarten time spoken in normal German with dialect during the balance.

Ihr wüssed was s'mache isch am 15te....

10:30 01.05.2011 11:53

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
I completely agree with the spirit of this initiative. Regional dialects, once lost or diluted, cannot be resurrected. It is important that dialects be used in at least part of students' school lives to cement the relationship between social interaction and language. Having a connection to one's (linguistic) roots also creates identity. Imagine a Switzerland without dialect, what a sad outpost of Germany that would be.

zymogen 01.05.2011 12:57

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
I just can't comprehend the obsession of swiss people with their dialects. As if it's the only thing that distinguishes them from the northern neighbour. Germans certainly don't consider Switzerland as an "outpost of Germany" whether or not swiss german is the main language. Votes like this only increase the averseness of people to standard german. On top of that it looks like the perfect opportunity to show 'them' what 'we' think about 'their' language.

Please dear people from Switzerland: do agree on a standard swiss german, develop basic grammar rules and literary language and disburden yourself from having to use high german.

Assassin 01.05.2011 13:19

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zymogen (Post 1182650)
Please dear people from Switzerland: do agree on a standard swiss german, develop basic grammar rules and literary language and disburden yourself from having to use high german.

That's not the issue. Swiss German dialects all stem from the German Allemanisch language as they populated our nation centuries ago. Although the Germans try to standardize their language with seemingly annual official changes of grammar and spelling, local dialects that are barely comparable with standard Hoch Deutsch are alive and kicking, whether Bavarian or Frankisch up to the northern tongue which few in Baden Württemberg would define as "dialect free German".

The point is should the state (or Canton in this case) tell us, or our kids how we should speak to one another? My opinion is not. State control is omnipresent in so many other arenas in our lives, why allow this further infringement into our daily world?

Faltrad 01.05.2011 13:31

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Assassin (Post 1182666)
Although the Germans try to standardize their language with seemingly annual official changes of grammar and spelling, local dialects that are barely comparable with standard Hoch Deutsch are alive and kicking, whether Bavarian or Frankisch up to the northern tongue which few in Baden Württemberg would define as "dialect free German".

And all that with High German in Germany's Kindergarten, which prooves that High German does not kill the dialects at all. Quod erat demonstrandum.

YOU just said it, re-read your post.

zymogen 01.05.2011 13:42

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Assassin (Post 1182666)
That's not the issue. Swiss German dialects all stem from the German Allemanisch language as they populated our nation centuries ago. Although the Germans try to standardize their language with seemingly annual official changes of grammar and spelling, local dialects that are barely comparable with standard Hoch Deutsch are alive and kicking, whether Bavarian or Frankisch up to the northern tongue which few in Baden Württemberg would define as "dialect free German".

The point is should the state (or Canton in this case) tell us, or our kids how we should speak to one another? My opinion is not. State control is omnipresent in so many other arenas in our lives, why allow this further infringement into our daily world?

It is part of the issue because this vote would not be necessary if the Swiss would use a standard swiss german for official purposes and dialect swiss german for interaction with friends and family. Standard german seems to be a red rag to many here.

If it's a cantonal kindergarten (just like a cantonal school) the official state language should be spoken which is standard german. The canton doesn't tell you how you should speak to one another at home in a private setting.

Faltrad 01.05.2011 13:57

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zymogen (Post 1182677)
It is part of the issue because this vote would not be necessary if the Swiss would use a standard swiss german for official purposes .

This question has been decided long time ago. The Dutch did it, the Swiss didn't.

The state impose High GErman on you the latest the first time a student takes an exam. Whether state impose High German or an hypothetical unified Swiss German language does not change anything for Assassin: The state imposes the language, but in CH, the state is the people, so High German is imposed by the people.

For those who don't like standard High German? Learn Romansh, they still have that discussion about unified norm and alphabetisation language, but the case is closed for German in this country.

cannut 01.05.2011 14:04

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Faltrad (Post 1182688)
This question has been decided long time ago. The Dutch did it, the Swiss didn't.

The state impose High GErman on you the latest the first time a student takes an exam. Whether state impose High German or an hypothetical unified Swiss German language does not change anything for Assassin: The state imposes the language, but in CH, the state is the people, so High German is imposed by the people.

For those who don't like standard High German? Learn Romansh, they still have that discussion about unified norm and alphabetisation language, but the case is closed for German in this country.

Explain Pl.;)

Crumbs 01.05.2011 14:05

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
A good mix is best, IMO. It's important to keep traditional Swiss German conversation and songs in Kindergarten. But I don't see why High German should be banned, where it makes sense.

Sandgrounder 01.05.2011 14:49

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crumbs (Post 1182695)
A good mix is best, IMO. It's important to keep traditional Swiss German conversation and songs in Kindergarten. But I don't see why High German should be banned, where it makes sense.

i thought it was only the "formal" classroom subjects that would be taught in high German and stuff like art, sports and extra curricular activities would remain in Swiss German. Maybe I misunderstood the initiative?

Crumbs 01.05.2011 14:56

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sandgrounder (Post 1182715)
i thought it was only the "formal" classroom subjects that would be taught in high German and stuff like art, sports and extra curricular activities would remain in Swiss German. Maybe I misunderstood the initiative?

I must say, I haven't read the initiative yet. We have a "Grundstufe" in our school - so High German is mandatory and has been since it was introduced a few years ago. The teachers promote both languages, where our children go to school, so it's not really been an issue for us.
I can't find any disadvantage of a combined system: the children all switch from High German to Swiss German without any problems, as far as I can tell. I'll be taking a good look at the initiative pamphlet, though, to make sure it stays that way.

Texaner 01.05.2011 16:06

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
I haven't read the initiative directly either, but the NZZ article seems to indicate that the Regierungsrat's "counterproposal" (which is identical to the original 2008 curriculum that prompted this initiative in the first place) only requires 1/3 of lessons to be carried in some combination of dialect and standard German. That leaves dialect the sole method of communication for 2/3 of the time, and allows the introduction of some lessons in German (without completely displacing dialect) during the remaining 1/3.

Küsnacht 01.05.2011 17:08

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
The Swiss dialects are as much in danger of extinction as Jive in the US or Cockney in the UK, neither of which are officially taught in the schools, yet firmly rooted in their respective local cultures.

No matter what is spoken at school the dialects will be cultivated in the playgrounds and at home. It is not the school's mission to teach kids proper Schwyyzerdüütsch. It is the school's mission to prepare kids for life in the real world, not just in German-Speaking Switzerland. Swiss are routinely ridiculed for their poor command of the nuances of High German, much as many native English speaking Asians or Africans are considered, let's say "less cool", for the way they speak English - unless of course they come with huge amounts of money looking for partners.

If the present school system believes it is perfectly acceptable to compel foreign children to learn both Schwyyzerdüütsch and High German in the Kindergarten, how can it be argued that to compel Swiss German children to speak High German in the Kindergarten would be an imposition or an excessive burden to them?

Bottom-line: The earlier a child learns the language he will later be hearing, speaking and reading, the better his academic results and his professional communications will be later.

cannut 01.05.2011 17:54

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Assassin (Post 1182568)

Mundart in the Kindergartens. "Hey Canton, leave them kids alone", doing what they do best, learning by playing, interacting with other kids, using the language that they speak at home and will no doubt be using more than any other in the rest of their daily lives.
Ihr wüssed was s'mache isch am 15te....

Quote:

Originally Posted by Küsnacht (Post 1182789)
It is the school's mission to prepare kids for life in the real world, not just in German-Speaking Switzerland. Swiss are routinely ridiculed for their poor command of the nuances of High German,
If the present school system believes it is perfectly acceptable to compel foreign children to learn both Schwyyzerdüütsch and High German in the Kindergarten, how can it be argued that to compel Swiss German children to speak High German in the Kindergarten would be an imposition or an excessive burden to them?

Bottom-line: The earlier a child learns the language he will later be hearing, speaking and reading, the better his academic results and his professional communications will be later.

Kuesnacht is absolute right ,forget the kid`s being Kids . We should put those little ones into university as soon the can say "mama":eek: Yea the real world give me a brake

Assassin 01.05.2011 19:34

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cannut (Post 1182810)
Kuesnacht is absolute right ,forget the kid`s being Kids . We should put those little ones into university as soon the can say "mama":eek: Yea the real world give me a brake

Understand the sarcasm, but it's not way off what's happening in Switzerland anyway. It's not that it's a bad thing bringing children up to understand a few languages to give them a better chance on the jobs market because Switzerland plays a big part in international business, it's just that some people can't let small children be small children and get used to the idea that pre-school kids don't need to have an even earlier exposure to Hoch Deutsch much more than they really need Latin, Nuclear Physics or applied Geology at their age. It's about freedom of choice and many in the Canton of Zürich is trying to take that liberty away. We have the choice to stop that May 15.

I realize that my "freedom of choice" opinion was 180 degrees the opposite on the "banning of military service guns at home issue" earlier this year before some sly fox tries to ram that argument back down my throat, but that was a whole different ball game.

Sky 01.05.2011 22:05

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
It's not really a dialect when several million people speak it, is it ?
It's been around longer than Hoch D and linguistically is pure (due to its isolation)
I still can not understand it, but I respect my in-laws and feel that it shouldn't be lost.... but given a proper definition.
It's a pity though that it hasn't become a written language.
Abolishing it in kindergarden would just be a loss.
The impact will only be visible in a generation though.

Faltrad 01.05.2011 22:32

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Küsnacht (Post 1182789)
It is not the school's mission to teach kids proper Schwyyzerdüütsch. (...)
Bottom-line: The earlier a child learns the language he will later be hearing, speaking and reading, the better his academic results and his professional communications will be later.

For the first part, it depends what place you give it. There is nothing wrong, like we do even in Gymnasium, to take Swiss German as dialect in order to analyse linguistical patterns and phenomenons that are relevant for the general understanding of languages, as long as it ends up being relevant for learning High German better. Going through dialect can be a good way to arrive at High German explained better. The structure of rhythms in poetry can be shown with a rap in dialect, no problem, but the goal is to read and comment Trakl, Goethe, Celan or Rilke. Finding a iambic pentameter rap is hard, but the study of vowel length and diphtongues can be part of that work both in High German and Dialekt. Doing so, we also get a couple of grammar rules of the dialect straight, and colleagues even have in middle school a spelling project for Baseldeutsch based on divers language spellings and creation of a new one based on local language traditions. They learn hell of a lot about their dialect in German class in that setting and aoout the historical linguistic rules and links between dialects (not only Swiss German) and standart German.

For the second part, I don't know... In Gymnasium, I can't recognise if they had dialect in Kindergarten or High German. But fact is that German students from Germany coming to our school are often better in German than Swiss German students, actually only for boys, I don't see such a difference among Swiss girls. Swiss German boys really really really need a lot more High German between Kindergarten and Gymnasium. I don't care when they start with it, but it'd better be more intensive than it is today. But Kindergarten in itself does not determine their level of German 10 years later. What happens between Kindergarden and Gymi is far more important, both in school and outside of school.

eddiejc1 02.05.2011 09:17

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
I've learned the hard way on this sensitive topic to not give advice since I'm not Swiss and don't live in CH. However, there's no reason why I can't ask a question. Does this thread mean that SWISS in the German-speaking part of CH are worried that their kids aren't fluent enough in high German? Also, am I right to assume that in those same areas, standard German is the most important language to learn?

P.S. I've safely arrived in Canada Romaine but I haven't been able to get a good night's sleep.

cannut 02.05.2011 12:25

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by eddiejc1 (Post 1183134)
I've learned the hard way on this sensitive topic to not give advice since I'm not Swiss and don't live in CH. However, there's no reason why I can't ask a question. Does this thread mean that SWISS in the German-speaking part of CH are worried that their kids aren't fluent enough in high German? Also, am I right to assume that in those same areas, standard German is the most important language to learn?

P.S. I've safely arrived in Canada Romaine but I haven't been able to get a good night's sleep.

What happened ,the French Canadian women keeping you awake :msngrin:

eddiejc1 02.05.2011 14:26

Re: Keeping Swiss German in Kanton Zürich Kindergartens
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cannut (Post 1183335)
What happened ,the French Canadian women keeping you awake :msngrin:

I wish it was them! I think it was the unfamiliarity with my hotel bed. Today I do some exploring and maybe see Montreal. (Pardon, but I don't know how to type accents on my iPad.)


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