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Old 10.04.2011, 23:14
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

As multilingual, I witness regularly a funny phenomenon for me, but actually quite sad for the people:

French guy: I just don't understand his argument.
Danish guy: It's easy, he wants to make a point about lingua franca
French guy: yes, but the argument is not valid
Danish guy: of course it is a valid question, you are wrong.
French guy: no, the argument does not answer the question.

Now, that looks like a conversation in English. It is not. It is on one side translated French into English and translated Danish into English on the other. The core is how each of them understand the word "argument". You notice the metonymy argument->point->question. None of those three words have the same definition in the mind of the two speakers. They mean depending on the sentence: topic, single argument, argument conversation as a whole, conclusions, example and punch line. But you have to know their respective language to know that. They are argueing but actually, they are not talking about the same thing in the first place. The disagreement is solely due to the fact that their English is not real English and the definition of words are not necessarely the definition of the "Oxbridge" dictionary. Did you notice by reading this short dialogue in the first place? That's the reality of lingua franca. Now good luck as English native speakers to clean up that semantic mess. Oh wait a minute, nobody noticed, so there is nothing to clean up... but they still did not understand each other.
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  #282  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:14
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Well, of course not: I live in Switzerland.

I sometimes buy the Daily Mail for a laugh, but I always skip the first three or four pages, because I'm not remotely interested in foreign affairs.

But there, you see. I've learnt something today. I now know that an EDL is a kind of arsonist group.
Good night, hope your head feels better in the morning.
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  #283  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:37
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Vikings rather - both Harold and William were NOT French NOR British, but Viking cousins. Remember the Danelaw? Huge numbers of words and especially geographical terms, villages, etc, still are Danish in the Central to North East England. Like all words with -by at the end. And of course all the Thorpes (daughter/Tochter in German- secondary settlements).
I always found the "Normand" matter confusing. While there of course is a historic link, in practice Normandie (including those chaps who finally established Britain) was "French" while those other "Normans" often mentioned were Norwegian/Icelandic people. And sure, those Norwegians for ages controlled lots of areas of what now is Great Britain.
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  #284  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:46
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I always found the "Normand" matter confusing. While there of course is a historic link, in practice Normandie (including those chaps who finally established Britain) was "French" while those other "Normans" often mentioned were Norwegian/Icelandic people. And sure, those Norwegians for ages controlled lots of areas of what now is Great Britain.
Um...what The Normans were a highly aggressive Viking clan who took over a bit of France and began to assimilate into French culture, entirely abandoning their Viking roots within a couple of centuries. However, they never entirely assimilated, and while speaking French and copying French bureaucracy and structures, they retained their Viking aggression and tradition of expansion and conquest. Soon they conquered Britain and after that, because empire is a tough proposition, began to gradually abandon Normandy to the French. The Normans were never "French", nor were they "Norwegian".
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  #285  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:49
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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There is more and more Mickey Mouse and less and less James Joyce.
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However, James Joyce isn't necessarily better or more important than Mickey Mouse. In any case, English has more of both than any other language.
Ironically, James Joyce is buried in Zürich and was fluent in at least three of Switzerland's national languages and it wouldn't surprise me if he could hold a conversation in Romantsch. Maybe he should be the patron saint of expatriates...
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  #286  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:51
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Ironically, James Joyce is buried in Zürich and was fluent in at least three of Switzerland's national languages and it wouldn't surprise me if he could hold a conversation in Romantsch. Maybe he should be the patron saint of expatriates...
Ironically Mickey Mouse wasn't actually a mouse! What?
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  #287  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:57
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Nothing is bad about a mix and I have never inferred otherwise. It just happens not to be. English, in my opinion, has far surpassed either German or French and so it cannot be "simply" a mix of the two. This doesn't have anything to do with the English and their awesomeness. It has to do with the sheer number of people who speak it. Billions of people use it every day - to assume that French has remained competitive as a language in spite of all of this is incredibly closed minded. English since Shakespeare has risen to incredible heights and this should be recognised. Not understanding English means you're shut out of most modern culture, from film and television to music and poetry and journalism....or what is the German equivalent of the Beatles?
It was some Germanic tribes who conquered what became England, and in deep need against the Norwegians (Normands) got into an alliance with the ruler of the Normandie who then became of King of England and Grand Duke of the Normandie (just study the Royal Flag of Britain ! ) . Where did The Beatles start their career ? No Sir it was NOT Liverpool but Teutonic Hamburg ! Messrs Schiller and Goethe were as German/Austrian/Swiss as were Messrs Marx and Engels and Bach and Mozart and Haydn and Händel and Meyer and Gotthelf etc. To name Rousseau as THE French may a bit CH-centric, but why not. Italian composers like Verdi and Puccini are apparently regarded as zeros by you. By shutting out most of the culture of Europe you are shutting out yourself of reality
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  #288  
Old 10.04.2011, 23:58
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

Be careful, when in old text the word nordmann is mentioned (norğamenn), it does not say which clan nor with kingdom they come from. In Normandie, it was usually vikings from Danmark including present western coast of Sweden or southern coast of Norway. Nationality was irrelevant at that time, they were all norğamenn. The writing -mand for -mann is a sign of danish influence as they used that -d for glotal stop on voiced consonant and/or as spelling convention for (voiced) double consonant. If they were pronouncing that -d at some point, then it must be Danes, as they were the only ones making -nd out of -nn or keeping the old -nd and not making it -nn out of it. But no prove of exact origines of Normandie vikings has ever been established, too messed up. But they were totally romanized, speaking roman, nothing germanic at all.

Viking up north, Scotland and Ireland, were definitly norwegians, the texts are clear about them. Thanks to the Icelanders. Those kept the language intact.
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  #289  
Old 11.04.2011, 00:02
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Threads like this are hilarious, as they reveal the resentment and jealousy of the losers in the race for linguistic dominance of the world.

We won, our language is the best, now get on and learn it and stop complaining.



<snip pic of a well-known Irishman>
The French and Germans still rule over you thanks to Guillaume, Hanover, and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Who are the losers?

Now get back to your integration classes!
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  #290  
Old 11.04.2011, 00:10
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Ironically Mickey Mouse wasn't actually a mouse! What?
The discussion in this thread is about whether Switzerland should or should not adopt English as an official language, and one of the reasons why the passions are heated is resentment over English-speaking expatriates in Switzerland who don't learn one of the Swiss native languages. I thought it was ironic that James Joyce's name came up since he was famous for being fluent in several languages including all of Switzerland's major national languages, and he actually is buried in Switzerland.
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  #291  
Old 11.04.2011, 00:16
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Not understanding English means you're shut out of most modern culture, from film and television to music and poetry and journalism....or what is the German equivalent of the Beatles?
First of all, we understand English and the lyrics are quite often awkward, I wish I didn't understand English when I hear English songs. But that is my problem, I just have to live with it, it's all right.

Point is: you are missing as much by not knowing about music made in other languages. You just don't know it, so you think you don't miss anything. Dah...

Take the big singers that fill up large football stadions on their name, do you know them? I doubt it. You miss as much by speaking only English as you do my not speaking English. You just can't know that when you are monolingual. Here the names of the huge stadion fillers:
Dutch: Guus Meeuwis, Marco Borsato
German: Grünemeyer, Silbermond, Rosenstolz...
French: Mylène Farmer, Halliday, Sardou, Noah.
Add Italian and Spanish ones, that I don't know well...

We are speaking about places like stade de France with over 80.000 seats or Arena stadium in Amsterdam with over 50.000 seats. There is a full continent of people listening to non-english music as well as english music and you are missing half of it. Your taste is your taste, but just ignoring the other half does not mean it does not exist for the enjoyment of a whole continent.

Idem with any other cultural area mentioned or forgotten in your post.
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  #292  
Old 11.04.2011, 00:19
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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A lingua franca is a bridging/second language. English is this, plus the first language of 3 or 4 of the world's 6 or so most influential and powerful countries over the last 300 years. Indeed the world's only cultural and military superpower has been the UK and the USA (concurrently) over this time period.

However, James Joyce isn't necessarily better or more important than Mickey Mouse. In any case, English has more of both than any other language.
English language in Continental Europe ? Sorry but it was neither Shakespeare nor James Joyce BUT






















and such realities which made English the mandatory language !
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  #293  
Old 11.04.2011, 00:49
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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English language in Continental Europe ? Sorry but it was neither Shakespeare nor James Joyce BUT






















and such realities which made English the mandatory language !
But all that was in response to German in continental Europe!
Here is what Europe would have looked like without the Anglophones...

http://www.google.ch/imgres?imgurl=h...w=1366&bih=564

http://www.google.ch/imgres?imgurl=h...w=1366&bih=564

http://www.google.ch/imgres?imgurl=h...w=1366&bih=564

There would be no Switzerland today had it not been for the Anglophones btw, and that last guy would be reigning over us!
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  #294  
Old 11.04.2011, 01:36
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Re: English as an Official Language

In all due fairness, I don't think it was English speaking troops that marched into Berlin in May of 1945...


Last edited by eddiejc1; 11.04.2011 at 02:48. Reason: Adding picture of Soviet soldier raising USSR flag over Reichstag
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  #295  
Old 11.04.2011, 10:03
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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The discussion in this thread is about whether Switzerland should or should not adopt English as an official language, and one of the reasons why the passions are heated is resentment over English-speaking expatriates in Switzerland who don't learn one of the Swiss native languages.
Thanks for stating the obvious. I mentioned this a couple of pages ago ! These are two completly different discussions.

When I was at school in the motherland back in the last century when passports were BLACK, French was compulsary, then German was an option. So its quite common for English people to have some knowledge of these languages already.

I think Swiss people could learn a lot about intergrating with the outside world if we allowed them to adopt our superb language! I think English as a 5th official language is a benefit to the SWISS, people are so inward they are not seeing the benefits.


I await my groans and personal insults before I go out and wave my flag on Zurich day..... Amen
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Old 11.04.2011, 11:18
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Thanks for stating the obvious. I mentioned this a couple of pages ago ! These are two completly different discussions.

When I was at school in the motherland back in the last century when passports were BLACK, French was compulsary, then German was an option. So its quite common for English people to have some knowledge of these languages already.

I think Swiss people could learn a lot about intergrating with the outside world if we allowed them to adopt our superb language! I think English as a 5th official language is a benefit to the SWISS, people are so inward they are not seeing the benefits.


I await my groans and personal insults before I go out and wave my flag on Zurich day..... Amen
Imagine the world without English?? who'd live in it? It'll be a world of darkness, boredom and a total waste...it all changed with the birth of the English language! we're now one big happy family...while the haters burn deep inside (who still have to speak English with the rest of us)
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  #297  
Old 11.04.2011, 17:33
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I think English as a 5th official language is a benefit to the SWISS, people are so inward they are not seeing the benefits.
With your own logic: You are so inward, you are not seeing that it is not a question of benefits.

Nobody wants a world without English, and nobody wants a world with only English either. Now you may replace "English" with any language or animal of your choice. Have fun.

P.S. And I don't give out groans.
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  #298  
Old 11.04.2011, 19:21
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Re: English as an Official Language

However bees are a lot more important than elephants - when they go we'll be in deep doodoo.

Last edited by Odile; 11.04.2011 at 20:09.
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  #299  
Old 11.04.2011, 20:02
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Imagine the world without English?? who'd live in it?
All the FUN people!

Really, English really isn't important to my life at all.

Tom
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Old 11.04.2011, 20:09
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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First of all, we understand English and the lyrics are quite often awkward, I wish I didn't understand English when I hear English songs. But that is my problem, I just have to live with it, it's all right.

Point is: you are missing as much by not knowing about music made in other languages. You just don't know it, so you think you don't miss anything. Dah...

Take the big singers that fill up large football stadions on their name, do you know them? I doubt it. You miss as much by speaking only English as you do my not speaking English. You just can't know that when you are monolingual. Here the names of the huge stadion fillers:
Dutch: Guus Meeuwis, Marco Borsato
German: Grünemeyer, Silbermond, Rosenstolz...
French: Mylène Farmer, Halliday, Sardou, Noah.
Add Italian and Spanish ones, that I don't know well...

We are speaking about places like stade de France with over 80.000 seats or Arena stadium in Amsterdam with over 50.000 seats. There is a full continent of people listening to non-english music as well as english music and you are missing half of it. Your taste is your taste, but just ignoring the other half does not mean it does not exist for the enjoyment of a whole continent.

Idem with any other cultural area mentioned or forgotten in your post.
Well, personally I think most languages don't work well for rock music, other than English and Italian (I LOVE Italian hard rock). French is particularly bad! (let's face it, Johnny Holiday is as good as French rock gets!)

For Italian, Vasco, Nek, Spagna, Ligabue, Litfiba are all favorites (saw Litfiba in Lugano last November).

Tom
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