Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Swiss politics/news  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #61  
Old 09.04.2011, 13:09
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: English as an official Swiss language

I would suspect that if somewhere like the UK (four countries, population 60-ish million) can get by with no Official Language (English has de facto status), then I would reckon that Switzerland (one country, population 7m-ish) can probably struggle by with just the four Official Languages
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 09.04.2011, 13:21
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 694
Groaned at 14 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 542 Times in 283 Posts
tooki has an excellent reputationtooki has an excellent reputationtooki has an excellent reputationtooki has an excellent reputation
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
Broken English has always been used as the de facto intermediary language for many on both sides of the Röstigraben. The de jure language in a company may be French or German (or Italian) but in a national company this doesn't always work. I had a friend who worked in the Post Office and he always communicated with his Swiss German colleagues in English. And English is heavily used in universities as more and more advanced degrees are taught in English only.

English will always have a special place in Switzerland. But it will never become an official language. Sorry EFers.
I made a slight correction to your post, in bold above.
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 09.04.2011, 13:25
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,503
Groaned at 2,578 Times in 1,840 Posts
Thanked 39,641 Times in 18,684 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
Fixed that for you...
Sorry, but it was equally true in ZH (where I spent four years before moving to TI).

Tom
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #64  
Old 09.04.2011, 13:52
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Helsinki, Mediterranean
Posts: 15
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Sun&SnowRadTrad has no particular reputation at present
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
I would suspect that if somewhere like the UK (four countries, population 60-ish million) can get by with no Official Language (English has de facto status), then I would reckon that Switzerland (one country, population 7m-ish) can probably struggle by with just the four Official Languages
The moment English becomes the de facto second (OK, third, hmm, fourth or, err, fifth) language of Finland I'm outta here... ditto in Turkey where I lived for five years. I think it pure chance (some would say a fanciful colonial/imperialistic hangover) that as a result of the English becoming the power it did 200 years ago, and its lasting influence in the U.S. and hence the rest of the world post 1945, that the language is so common.

It could have been French, Spanish, or German, but it isn't. And I like the fact that it is not an official language in Switzerland. And nor should it. But a language that most educated people speak, all around the world, from Hong Kong and Thailand to Tanazania, is great for people like me. But mostly offputting - when I hear English in a non-English speaking country, I invariably get embarrassed. I guess I'm lucky that the language of stock markets is English.
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 09.04.2011, 14:58
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Dear English mother tongue speakers, I give you a secret that the world is keeping from you:

Just because we, non-English mother tongue, speak English, does by no means mean that we want to make it our language. We are just good and sometimes even excellent at a foreign language that stays foreign. Yes, dear readers, here is the secret within the secret: one can speak a foreign language at excellent level but it stays foreign.

Just because speaking English means that English is your language does not mean that speaking English means that English become our language, even if our level, us foreign speakers, can be certified C2. Do people comprehend the difference here?

P.S. If you like to get personal: I am English B1 ,perhaps B2 on a good day, with no intention to change that. I have other serious language business to attend.


EDIT: I find very important to get the comment about sich verständigen and sich verstehen. If one does not comprehend the difference, one misses any language debate totally, not only in CH.
__________________
Es wird nichts ausgelassen, um mich hier herauszuekeln. Ein Lehrbuch. False accusations and attacks continue. There is no stopping righteous people when they are wrong.

Last edited by Faltrad; 09.04.2011 at 15:12.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Faltrad for this useful post:
  #66  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:07
eddiejc1's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Derwood, MD USA
Posts: 1,005
Groaned at 22 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 684 Times in 372 Posts
eddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputation
Re: English as an official Swiss language

As long as the Swiss view English as a foreign language, no matter how well they speak it, I doubt it will ever gain the status of becoming a de jure official language. However, as Wolli pointed out, for some time English has already been an unoffical de facto national language of Switzerland. This doesn't mean every Swiss is fluent in English, nor does it absolve newcomers of the responsiblity of learning the native language of the Swiss canton they move to.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:15
evilshell's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK, formerly Basel
Posts: 3,347
Groaned at 97 Times in 81 Posts
Thanked 3,093 Times in 1,341 Posts
evilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond reputeevilshell has a reputation beyond repute
Re: English as an official Swiss language

This topic was discussed last year (and before that, too, I believe): http://www.englishforum.ch/daily-lif...-language.html

Quote:
View Post
As long as the Swiss view English as a foreign language, no matter how well they speak it, I doubt it will ever gain the status of becoming a de jure official language. However, as Wolli pointed out, for some time English has already been an unoffical de facto national language of Switzerland. This doesn't mean every Swiss is fluent in English, nor does it absolve newcomers of the responsiblity of learning the native language of the Swiss canton they move to.
Actually, the German speaking Swiss view French and Italian as foreign languages, too. And vice versa. All three are official languages of Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:30
eddiejc1's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Derwood, MD USA
Posts: 1,005
Groaned at 22 Times in 20 Posts
Thanked 684 Times in 372 Posts
eddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputationeddiejc1 has an excellent reputation
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
This topic was discussed last year (and before that, too, I believe): http://www.englishforum.ch/daily-lif...-language.html



Actually, the German speaking Swiss view French and Italian as foreign languages, too. And vice versa. All three are official languages of Switzerland.
True, but the Romande and Ticinese don't see French and Italian as foreign languages. English is a foreign language to all Swiss which makes it an ideal lingua franca. However, for that very same reason it probably will never become an official Swiss language.
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:38
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
There's been a movement towards it for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the Suisse view on the practicality of it...It would be simpler due to the costs of having to translate everything in up to 4 languages

Still, I hope it never happens, tbh...Too much cultural history tied into the language in this great little country...Homogenizing everyone into English because it's 'easy' will end up diluting the traditions & culture until it's a US satellite enclave...Who wants that anyway?
US satellite enclave? Though the US and Switzerland are sister republics, borrowing ideas from each other when forming their respective government. Switzerland is proud to be it's own neutral country and will never become a US satellite. There are for more UK English speaking people in Switzerland than there are Americans.
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:40
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
As long as the Swiss view English as a foreign language, no matter how well they speak it, I doubt it will ever gain the status of becoming a de jure official language. However, as Wolli pointed out, for some time English has already been an unoffical de facto national language of Switzerland. This doesn't mean every Swiss is fluent in English, nor does it absolve newcomers of the responsiblity of learning the native language of the Swiss canton they move to.
No one has a responsibility to learn a language of the place they move too.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank rrs for this useful post:
This user groans at rrs for this post:
  #71  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:54
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: English as an official Swiss language

So you are quite happy with those Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Poles, Rumanians, etc, etc- who continue to speak their language only, without making any effort to learn English in the UK - and expecting all documents to be translated, translators being provided for all everyday tasks, etc.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 09.04.2011, 21:59
Lejoker's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lausanne
Posts: 576
Groaned at 20 Times in 12 Posts
Thanked 285 Times in 181 Posts
Lejoker has no particular reputation at present
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
Dear English mother tongue speakers, I give you a secret that the world is keeping from you:

Just because we, non-English mother tongue, speak English, does by no means mean that we want to make it our language.
that's the whole point Faltard, you're not choosing it, but rather, it is imposed upon you. One is said to be free to choose whether or not to speak English, and if he doesn't speak it, tell me how far he'll get with the other languages -you pick them.

Go to Tokyo, Shanghai, Lima, Rio de Jeneiro or Mumbai, stop random people in the street and ask them for something as simple as where is the city center, do it in French and German and report back to us how many people actually understood you and how many answered you.
__________________
ça m'est égal
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Lejoker for this useful post:
  #73  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:02
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
So you are quite happy with those Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Poles, Rumanians, etc, etc- who continue to speak their language only, without making any effort to learn English in the UK - and expecting all documents to be translated, translators being provided for all everyday tasks, etc.
Why would it be a problem?
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:11
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
So you are quite happy with those Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Poles, Rumanians, etc, etc- who continue to speak their language only, without making any effort to learn English in the UK - and expecting all documents to be translated, translators being provided for all everyday tasks, etc.
Quite telling that you mentioned certain ethnic groups also.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:16
SamWeiseVielleicht's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bern
Posts: 725
Groaned at 11 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 893 Times in 397 Posts
SamWeiseVielleicht has a reputation beyond reputeSamWeiseVielleicht has a reputation beyond reputeSamWeiseVielleicht has a reputation beyond reputeSamWeiseVielleicht has a reputation beyond repute
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
that's the whole point Faltard, you're not choosing it, but rather, it is imposed upon you. One is said to be free to choose whether or not to speak English, and if he doesn't speak it, tell me how far he'll get with the other languages -you pick them.

Go to Tokyo, Shanghai, Lima, Rio de Jeneiro or Mumbai, stop random people in the street and ask them for something as simple as where is the city center, do it in French and German and report back to us how many people actually understood you and how many answered you.
Yes, but all you need is a very basic form of English:

"City-center where?" "There (points), 500 meters walk."

Having a language as an "official language" for the administration is a totally different story. We'd need thousands of native speakers for that. And those native speakers would have to be able to understand legal texts in at least one of the other languages on a very high level. Not gonna happen anytime soon.
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:18
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
One is said to be free to choose whether or not to speak English, and if he doesn't speak it, tell me how far he'll get with the other languages -you pick them.
Of course, for tourism, English is just practical, and yes, English is imposed on us. This language or another one, latin, esperanto, you name it, that's the same in a way.

But living without English is not only perfectly possible but it is the case for most people and even in Amsterdam or Hamburg, I needed no English whatsoever, I had a rich life with Dutch, German and French, just because that was my life. Other people had a rich life without French but with English in that same setting. Short version: one only need the languages that go with one's life. So look at your life in the eyes and learn languages accordingly. Whether English is one of them or not, frankly, that's not the main issue.

In Swiss context, I just don't use English ever. I don't need it, and I do not answer if a Swiss speaks to me in English as we will have at least one or two languages in common, sometimes even three. Plenty to choose from without English. If other people need English or think they need English, the simple reality of things will straighten up things: English in that context is bad english and it is only a primitive simple pragmatic tool with no connection to identity and affect whatsoever. And life is not just a pragmatic tool. L'essentiel est ailleurs (The core of things is somewhere else).
__________________
Es wird nichts ausgelassen, um mich hier herauszuekeln. Ein Lehrbuch. False accusations and attacks continue. There is no stopping righteous people when they are wrong.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Faltrad for this useful post:
  #77  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:25
nomad66's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Zurich / Down Under
Posts: 222
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 110 Times in 66 Posts
nomad66 has made some interesting contributions
Re: English as an official Swiss language

French, as the official diplomatic language of the world, has not been so so successful. SO, why not english as an alternative medium of coummunciation? It does not mandate that one has to give up one's native languageu/culture. It only implies a better cummunication among a global community ...
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:29
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
Quite telling that you mentioned certain ethnic groups also.
'Telling' in what sense?
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:31
Treverus's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Work in ZH, live in SZ
Posts: 12,351
Groaned at 363 Times in 293 Posts
Thanked 23,673 Times in 8,567 Posts
Treverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond repute
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
View Post
Go to Tokyo, Shanghai, Lima, Rio de Jeneiro or Mumbai, stop random people in the street and ask them for something as simple as where is the city center, do it in French and German and report back to us how many people actually understood you and how many answered you.
You see, THAT's the point: I never expect that the entire world has to adapt to me. English speakers on EF frequently complain that their rural Swiss RAV advisor, postman, traffic cop or city hall clerk dared to not speak English fluently... Just imagine! He doesn't! The world language! I do not see why the entire world needs to be able to communicate with one language anyway. And find it pretty arrogant to expect everyone to make your life easier.

English has close to zero importance to easily 90% of all Swiss. Just because most expats work in banking, IT or ideally banking IT - where everyone works entirely in English as the imported programmers don't manage to learn German and the users are all over the planet anyway - they expect the rest of Switzerland to be the same. It really really isn't.

I think Switzerland has more than enough official languages and really doesn't need to introduce English in order to comfort some expats that right now already seem to do just fine.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Treverus for this useful post:
  #80  
Old 09.04.2011, 22:36
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 91 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: English as an official Swiss language

Quote:
'Telling' in what sense?
As in why were those ethnic groups specifically mentioned?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
english switzlernad




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Would you like to have Swiss German as an official language in place of High German? alessione Language corner 104 16.02.2015 15:46
Official French - English translation music_man Language corner 5 03.10.2010 16:28
English - Official Language of EU Dervaish Jokes/funnies 15 20.08.2009 15:27
'Official' transcript translation, English-->German? unde Permits/visas/government 0 20.04.2009 08:40
British English to be the official language in Europe Jazz Jokes/funnies 0 17.09.2007 19:24


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:02.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0