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  #101  
Old 10.04.2011, 00:49
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I and all of Europe would fall apart without the German economy. US would fall apart without Chinese and Japanese finance/economy. That's numbers, nothing linguistic.
Do share...
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  #102  
Old 10.04.2011, 00:53
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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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).
There are very few Swiss that I speak English with, and with the few that I do it is because they have lived in English speaking countries for a number of years, are married to English speakers, are dual-nationals, etc. With the rest, I generally speak Italian.

The only time I normally use English at work is with clients from the Nordic countries, or eastern Europe.

Tom

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  #103  
Old 10.04.2011, 00:55
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Nope, it would simply be replaced.
With what? not in the long forseeable future.
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  #104  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:02
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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It only implies a better cummunication among a global community ...
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How about Mandarin then? Why your language exactly?
There's one thing in my opinion holding back Manadarin from becoming a rival to English as an international lingua franca---the lack of an alphabet. Even for the Chinese themselves, it is extraordinarily difficult and time consuming to learn hanzi the written language. If Mandarin were written in Roman lettering, or pinyin, I think it could rival English. As it is, except for those people planning to live in China it will be probably be easier for foreigners to learn English or another language as a lingua franca.

You can read more about this topic here:

http://pinyin.info/

In particular this piece:

http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/moser.html
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  #105  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:08
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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With what? not in the long forseeable future.
There is no inherent quality in the English language that make it irreplaceable.

Obviously, you'd want to use a simple alphabet and choose a language where achieving a basic level is fairly easy. Other than that it does not really matter if you call a table a table, a Tisch, une table una tavola etc.

I'm not dissing the English language here. But the fact that it is so widely used has more to do with the relative importance of the UK in the 19th century and the US in the 20th than with the language itself.
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  #106  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:09
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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The global economy which affects everyone ... including ... you ... would fall apart without English as the global language.
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Nope, it would simply be replaced.
rrs has it backwards. The global economy manages to get by even though billions of people---and a few Swiss businessmen---aren't fluent in English. But if the global economy were to collapse---making it impossible to easily communicate or travel around the world---English would fall apart as a lingua franca and would break up the same way Latin did when the Roman Empire fell.
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  #107  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:22
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Faltrad isn't you, and she is not English and if a Japanese replies to her in English he would not be adapting to you
I did not understand this reply at all, sorry. But I agree that Faltrad isn't me.(?!)
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Simply non-true. I never complained.
I didn't say that you complained, but we have a complaint in that direction every week. I find them hilarious, but many seem to seriously believe they have a right to do anything in English just because "I pay taxes here!"...
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Have you been to a nightclub in Switzerland? can you tell me how many Swiss songs they play? that's neither banking nor IT.
Yes. Same on the radio. Here is a thought: People do listen to the US dominated pop music. But unlike native-speakers do they not really worry too much about the text. That's why they play explicit versions on the radio all the time. My current favourite example is a remix they play all the time: Instead of the "tonight I'm loving you" radio edit do all Swiss stations play the "tonight I'm you" club edit... it's so explicit that even our forum software doesn't allow me to type it...
http://www.myvideo.ch/watch/7940668/...ght_I_m_in_You

If you'd care about the lyrics, you'd probably not do that. Anyway: Why should the Swiss care about the opinion of a US gas meter reader and some other folks living in the UK again?
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  #108  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:25
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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There is no inherent quality in the English language that make it irreplaceable.
true. Nothing lasts forever.

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Obviously, you'd want to use a simple alphabet and choose a language where achieving a basic level is fairly easy. Other than that it does not really matter if you call a table a table, a Tisch, une table una tavola etc.
Non-true. I think that Arabic was the lingua franca at some point though it is/was not simple and getting it even at a basic level isn't/wasn't at all easy.

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I'm not dissing the English language here. But the fact that it is so widely used has more to do with the relative importance of the UK in the 19th century and the US in the 20th than with the language itself.
A language becomes the lingua franca when it dominates and its speakers excel in all fields to eventually start contributing more to humanity more than their competitors. You can't earn that title simply because one's language's grammar is superior to others'
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  #109  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:30
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Anyway: Why should the Swiss care about the opinion of a US gas meter reader and some other folks living in the UK again?
Entschulschischung? but sorry, are you talking about the songs?
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  #110  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:40
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Entschulschischung? but sorry, are you talking about the songs?
No, I am not. And it's neither about you, but eddie and rrs. Both seem to have a fairly US/UK centric view on the world.

Reality is that
- Switzerland is doing quite well right now. The country is conservative, which means they only change something if the people see a need for it. I am not conservative, but even I cannot see a good reason why Switzerland would need English as a fifth official language.
- Switzerland's most important trade partner speaks an official language, German; Switzerland has about 5.5 times more business with Germany than with the US and Canada combined. Even if you look at all countries combined is English not the dominant "lingua franca". You'll find the data here: http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/d...lank/data.html
- Pop music is absolutely no argument to make English an official language, sorry.
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  #111  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:44
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Non-true. I think that Arabic was the lingua franca at some point though it is/was not simple and getting it even at a basic level isn't/wasn't at all easy.
If you mean the original lingua franca (sabir), there was more Italian influence than arabic. Plus it was a pidgin language (though that is what English is to the overwhelming majority of the world).

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A language becomes the lingua franca when it dominates and its speakers excel in all fields to eventually start contributing more to humanity than their competitors. You can't earn that title simply because one has better grammar over another...
Nope. Colonization is the word you are looking for.

And it is not about the native speakers themselves. By definition a language becomes a lingua franca if there is a high percentage of people who speak it as a second, third or nth language. Otherwise it is just a language (like Mandarin, or Hindi).
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  #112  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:45
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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No, I am not. And it's neither about you, but eddie and rrs. Both seem to have a fairly US/UK centric view on the world.
Entschulschischung was funny nevertheless, don't you agree Trev?
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  #113  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:48
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Entschulschischung was funny nevertheless, don't you agree Trev?
To be honest, I didn't recognize, If the first and last letter is correct, you over-read mistakes like those...
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  #114  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:57
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Nope. Colonization is the word you are looking for.
Im not sure how many European countries the UK occupied as opposed to Germany whose language never made it even when they coerced the subjected peoples to speak it, by force! How many more does the UK/US colonize today??!? would Scandinavia be considered in your definition? or the NL?
Sam, you're SWiss and you're writing to me in English...Switzerland wasn't an English colony.
"a lingua franca is a language which is widely used as a basis of communication between people from different communities and cultures..."
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  #115  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:59
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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To be honest, I didn't recognize, If the first and last letter is correct, you over-read mistakes like those...
That was deliberate, it's my wife's little cousin's way of saying Entschuldigung haha it makes me laugh each time I say it.
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  #116  
Old 10.04.2011, 02:06
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Anyway: Why should the Swiss care about the opinion of a US gas meter reader and some other folks living in the UK again?
Electric, not gas. Most people in my country don't care about my opinions, either.
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  #117  
Old 10.04.2011, 02:07
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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It's important for anyone looking for a higher degree education, anyone wanting to travel to more than just the neighboring countries, anyone wanting to socialize with people, anyone liking to watch movies or read books, anyone wanting to have good job qualifications, etc.

One could say it has a certain degree of importance to easily, say, 90% of all Swiss.
So why is English not an official language in Japan then?

Sorry, but I can only again disagree. You can get a great education in other languages than English. Even if a Swiss wants to go abroad: There are great German and French universities available teaching in his mother tongue.

Same is true for "job qualification": This forum is full of complains of English speakers about companies demanding German or French. We even have a list of companies collected here that offers jobs for English speakers. If English was anywhere near as important as you say, the list would be unnecessary.

And finally books: Germans and French write as well, you do not need to know English to read a book. And just as the English copy of a Mankell book is actually a translation from Swedish can you get pretty much anything in German or French.

I am not saying that speaking English is not a great skill to have - it very much is. But "it's practical when backpacking the world" is not enough of a reason to make it an official language.
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  #118  
Old 10.04.2011, 02:09
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Electric, not gas. Most people in my country don't care about my opinions, either.
So: Have you actually ever been in Switzerland? Or any non-English speaking country? Would put your opinion into a context...
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  #119  
Old 10.04.2011, 02:12
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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So: Have you actually ever been in Switzerland? Or any non-English speaking country? Would put your opinion into a context...
In a few weeks I will be. I'm going to be staying near Montréal for a week in early May.
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  #120  
Old 10.04.2011, 02:22
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Im not sure how many European countries the UK occupied as opposed to Germany whose language never made it even when they coerced the subjected peoples to speak it, by force!
Errr... you don't need to colonize every single country. But I'm pretty sure that the fact that people in India, Hong Kong etc. understand/speak English pretty well might be linked to the nowadays vanished vastness of the British empire during the days of yore. And I'm also pretty convinced that there was a pinch of coercion going on...

I wonder if you can think of a reason why people in the US speak English.

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Sam, you're SWiss and you're writing to me in English...Switzerland wasn't an English colony.
No. Do you want to switch to french?

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"a lingua franca is a language which is widely used as a basis of communication between people from different communities and cultures..."
"a lingua franca is a language which is widely used as a basis of communication between people from different communities and cultures and languages"

Again: You only need a lingua franca if people speak different languages.

From the Oxford dictionnary:

A lingua franca is: "a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose native languages are different. "
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