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  #121  
Old 10.04.2011, 01:43
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I wonder if you can think of a reason why people in the US speak English.
Maybe because they're of English ancestry?!??! as are OZs, kiwis, canucks etc The same reason les quebecois still speak French.


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No. Do you want to switch to french?
we'd have to switch to forumfrançais.ch

India has 8 languages. Indians cannot speak all 8 so when a Tamil and a Hindu speaker meet, they use English.

It goes something like this: most Scandinavians are capable of communicating in English and so are the Dutch and lots of Germans...none of them came under British control at any given point in time. To the contrary, they were all under German control yet today they chose to learn English. It is a matter of choice and not due to colonization.


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Again: You only need a lingua franca if people speak different languages.
Of course. And do they not??
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  #122  
Old 10.04.2011, 09:36
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I made a slight correction to your post, in bold above.
Slight it may be, but wrong it is. As English is used by people on both sides who have been in English speaking countries (mostly England) for months to learn English. People who only speak "Broken English" will not do so. That many people have a bad accent in any particular language does not make their speaking such a language "Broken".

Clear is that the "English" used for intra-CH communications is full with pan-Swiss expressions. If you don't like it, speak German or French or Italian
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  #123  
Old 10.04.2011, 09:41
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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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.
Almost every economic transaction can be traced back to one that involves English. Fact is that English is the most important language globally, those that know it will have an advantage those that don't will be left behind. English has a strong ability to adapt unlike many other languages.
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  #124  
Old 10.04.2011, 09:51
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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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.
No apologies needed. I sure hope you're right.

Too many bloody English speakers here anyway.
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  #125  
Old 10.04.2011, 09:54
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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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.
Interesting is to realize that the Cantons have not the same "official languages" like the confederation. Which means that in most German speaking Cantons, there only German is official, in most French speaking Cantons only French and in the Ticino only Italian. Exceptions being Bern (D/F), Fribourg/Freiburg (F/D) and Valais/Wallis (F/D), plus Graubünden which has Romansh, German and Italian as official languages. In the multilingual Cantons, the language areas are divided territorially, which means that only one of the languages is official in most towns and villages, with only a small number of communes being officially (and practically) bilingual. In case of Graubünden it is obvious that Italian is THE language in the Valle Bregaglia, Val Mesolcina and the Val Poschiavo, while the Val Müstaïr is Romansh.
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  #126  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:03
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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.

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.
And yet Switzerland ranks dead last in terms of integrating migrants... wonder why
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  #127  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:10
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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as opposed to Germany whose language never made it even when they coerced the subjected peoples to speak it, by force!
The one and only place people were forced by law to speak German was Alsace. And that worked extreamly well at that time, you can still profit from it in German in today's Alsace.
Then they were forced by law to speak French, and it worked extreamly well too, you can fully profit from it in French in today`s Alsace.

English is nevertheless useful for us, middle class media addicted world citizens. But there is no necessity to be a middle class media addicted world citizen to have a rich and happy life in many other languages then English. One can however happily choose to be one and learn English. Frankly, it took me no effort whatsoever to learn English and I gave up correct grammar as English speakers don't agree on it. Otherwise, happy English as a Foreign Language guy here, even if I don't need it strickly speaking. I don't need romansh either, and still, I learn it.

OMG, I just compaired English to Romansh, that will bring me many ennemies
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  #128  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:12
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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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.

Really ?? It is already DONE. Just look at this http://www.admin.ch/
with the option

Beginn Sprachwahl
with English fully included

and if you go into details, not everything is translated, but most things and even complicated legal texts

or use the WEBsite of the customs authorities http://www.ezv.admin.ch/index.html

go to the language option


Beginn Sprachwahl
take English. And look at

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_fir...x.html?lang=en


or the Federal Civil Aviation Authority BAZL

http://www.bazl.admin.ch/

option


Beginn Sprachwahl
and go into English

http://www.bazl.admin.ch/index.html?lang=en


the texts of the BAZL in English are legally binding

-----------------------------------------------------

no, this does not mean that English had suddenly through
the hidden backdoor become an "official national language"
it however has become an "official federal traffic language"

ask your family lawyer about the difference
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  #129  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:13
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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And yet Switzerland ranks dead last in terms of integrating migrants... wonder why
Implying that English speaking Expats would integrate more easily if the whole country was speaking English? Your logic is scary.
By the same logic, Swiss would have to start learning SPaning, Portugese, Albanian and Serb, leaving English at teh dead last end of that queue.
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  #130  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:25
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Implying that English speaking Expats would integrate more easily if the whole country was speaking English? Your logic is scary.
By the same logic, Swiss would have to start learning SPaning, Portugese, Albanian and Serb, leaving English at teh dead last end of that queue.
In terms of importance economically those other languages don't compare to English.Why can a city like London adapt and cater to different languages , but a supposedly more effecient city like Zurich can't.
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  #131  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:36
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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In terms of importance economically those other languages don't compare to English.Why can a city like London adapt and cater to different languages , but a supposedly more effecient city like Zurich can't.
I just have understood two things: your world is English and money only. That makes you a very small minority in the world.

The aria about London adapting and cater to different languages is very funny. That's stand-up comedy material. Zürich, or Oberarschwil for that matter, never said they can't be English speaking and cater for the world's 6000+ languages, but they do make clear regularly that they don't want to. I know that you do not understand that, but neither Zürich, nor Oberarschwil actually find that relevant to real life. Just because they can.
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  #132  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:45
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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In terms of importance economically those other languages don't compare to English.Why can a city like London adapt and cater to different languages , but a supposedly more effecient city like Zurich can't.

I have been to London repeatedly and as much as I love that great city, I never at any time had the impression that London adapts and caters to different languages. While I would NOT describe London as not efficient, as London in fact IS efficient. Living there long time, YOU of course know all the hick-ups and failures. But you can believe me that this also is the case with Zurich.

The City of Zurich however publishes information in Serbian, Albanian, Turkish, Tamil, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. The VBZ has its WEBsite also in Englishhttp://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/vbz/en/index.html
http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/vbz/en/index.html . Even basic school-teachers have a decent knowledge of at least English and French and many of them in some other languages as well .

There are programs for information-meetings done in Serbian, Albanian, Turkish, Tamil, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. Swiss radio stations have regular broadcasts in some of these languages.

What however makes things difficult for foreigners in Switzerland are
- that when moving by more than 100kms you most likely have to cope with another language
- that when moving by more than 50kms you most likely can forget 30% of all knowledge in dialect you had
- that when moving by 20kms you may land up in another Canton with lots of different laws and regulations AND with a different mentality
- that Switzerland in rethorics is "the free land of the Free" but in reality is a tightly and narrowly regulated country
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  #133  
Old 10.04.2011, 11:48
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

I am thinking that it is difficultly enough to be understanding everything what in English might be wroted by peoples but this forum is enormously helping me to make understanding much better by me. When I am borrowing informations from other peoples to translated being, it is useful, not, I think, to make it clearer in English. That's nice, I think, yes...?
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  #134  
Old 10.04.2011, 11:50
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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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.

The clerk at my local post office , cashier at the supermarket and many other people in shops speak to me in perfect English and actually enjoy to do so. However working in banking here I can quite clearly inform you in many areas the English is poor or simply non existent!

It would be interesting if all the expats left the financial insitutions together with their English language in tow and let the financial centres in Zurich and Geneva get on with trading with the rest of the world with their 4 languages and limited English speakers.

Just a thought ...............

I feel truly blessed to be a mother tongue English speaker.

God bless the Queen and our motherland!
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  #135  
Old 10.04.2011, 11:53
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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God bless the Queen and our motherland!
Really? That's a bit sugary isn't it?
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  #136  
Old 10.04.2011, 12:02
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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.

Is there only 2 of us that realise this? Thanks for pointing that out to everyone!

Switzerland would be privileged if we allowed them to adopt our beautiful, great language!
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Old 10.04.2011, 12:05
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Really? That's a bit sugary isn't it?

Its times like this I get very patriotic !
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  #138  
Old 10.04.2011, 12:07
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Its times like this I get very patriotic !
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Switzerland would be privileged if we allowed them to adopt our beautiful, great language!
I am hesitating between cosmetic and comic girl
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  #139  
Old 10.04.2011, 12:22
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I am hesitating between cosmetic and comic girl

Thats the beauty of English .............. not everybody understands it obviously!
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  #140  
Old 10.04.2011, 13:03
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Thats the beauty of English .............. not everybody understands it obviously!
Everybody understands this $$$. Its the international language. The more $$$ you have, the better you are understood.
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