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  #161  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:01
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Odile, I am sorry but I don't see how it is disrespectful when one of the incentives to relocate to CH and work on a project for the SWiss government was that you do not need to speak a foreign language...
At work, no, but if you want a life, you do.

To expect otherwise is naive.

Tom
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  #162  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:07
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I apologize, I was naive to think the Nazis were insensitive to their slave-laborers thereby catering all services to them in their respective languages. Do forgive...
And I was naive enough to think that you knew that my message applies to the years 1871-1918. And no nazi ever forced anybody to learn German in an occupied country, actually in France, it was rather them talking French, but they wanted to be obeyed in their language or any other, that is something different. Do forgive, I always overestimate other people's general knowledge.
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  #163  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:17
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

I realized today that it's debates like these that make me afraid to speak to my children on public transportation. All of us (the kids fluent) speak Swiss German and German as well as French. But, if we're overheard speaking English, I interprate the looks and assumptions that we are imperialists forcing our language on others, refusing to integrate. (Even if our primary motive for emigrating was language -- nothing else -- primaray goal was fluency.) How dare I (and my mother) speak in our 'mother' tongue -- to each other?

I don't think there's a need for English as an official language. It may well change to Mandarin in a few years and that's not bad at all. I think the debate speaks more to internal politics and how divided the regions could become. So far, Switzerland has been an excellent example of cohesion across linguistic borders more so than other countries divided by multiple languages. The risk comes not from 'English', but by refusing to 'hear' each other and focusing outwards rather than inwards . . .
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  #164  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:23
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

OH and I always speak English together if we are on our own, even in public. If people stare or give us dirty looks, we just ignore them. For us, for me in particular, it's very important English language skills are kept up to scratch. We go back to UK very regularly, have our friends and grand-children + many friends there. Nothing wrong with that.
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  #165  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:26
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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
Well I can think of one anyways
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  #166  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:43
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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At work, no, but if you want a life, you do.

To expect otherwise is naive.

Tom
Tom,

Those expats I mentioned are here to work and are on assignments. They're not particularly interested in being approached by Swiss people to befriend them and talk to them in English and socialize therewith. They're here for a reason, expect at least to get away with some English -as they were promised- when visiting the bank or when buying food basics. They're not here to add a national language and not interested in spending the rest of their lives here either...
They just want to be able to work and live whilst they work; nothing more nothing less. Once they're done with their work, they pack and go home!
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  #167  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:43
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I realized today that it's debates like these that make me afraid to speak to my children on public transportation. All of us (the kids fluent) speak Swiss German and German as well as French. But, if we're overheard speaking English, I interprate the looks and assumptions that we are imperialists forcing our language on others, refusing to integrate. (Even if our primary motive for emigrating was language -- nothing else -- primaray goal was fluency.) How dare I (and my mother) speak in our 'mother' tongue -- to each other?
Well, when my daughter and I went to vote (she for the first time) yesterday, and I explained to her in English what she had to do, I saw no such problems.

They did ask which of my two daughters it was who was voting, though.

Tom
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  #168  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:45
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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... I always overestimate other people's general knowledge.
Yes! you're overestimating something here but it isn't other people's general knowledge...
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  #169  
Old 10.04.2011, 20:52
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Tom,

Those expats I mentioned are here to work and are on assignments. They're not particularly interested in being approached by Swiss people to befriend them and talk to them in English and socialize therewith. They're here for a reason, expect at least to get away with some English -as they were promised- when visiting the bank or when buying food basics. They're not here to add a national language and not interested in spending the rest of their lives here either...
They just want to be able to work and live whilst they work; nothing more nothing less. Once they're done with their work, they pack and go home!
Sad and a huge waste. Living in another country is such a wonderful eye and mind opener- so why not make the best of it. How can an organisation guarantee them that banks, shop workers and other workers here will defo speak and understand English for them? What cheek and arrogance. But if they want to come here, work, work, work - take nothing and add nothing- it's up to them.
They'd better not come and complain about the Swiss being 'unfriendly', etc, however.
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  #170  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:02
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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I realized today that it's debates like these that make me afraid to speak to my children on public transportation. All of us (the kids fluent) speak Swiss German and German as well as French. But, if we're overheard speaking English, I interprate the looks and assumptions that we are imperialists forcing our language on others, refusing to integrate. (Even if our primary motive for emigrating was language -- nothing else -- primaray goal was fluency.) How dare I (and my mother) speak in our 'mother' tongue -- to each other?
Ironic, are we?

Seriously, you shouldn't be. The reason why English became the most important lingua franca (colonization) has nothing to do with you as a person. The overwhelming majority of Swiss people do like English and English speakers.

India is actually a good example. I do believe that many an Indian person is glad that he or she does speak English, for various reasons.

But to deny that the British east India company and the Charter Act of 1833 etc. etc. (read the colonization of India) are probably the main factors that explain the importance of the English language in India seems to be, well, "historically inaccurate".
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  #171  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:03
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Sad and a huge waste. Living in another country is such a wonderful eye and mind opener- so why not make the best of it. How can an organisation guarantee them that banks, shop workers and other workers here will defo speak and understand English for them? What cheek and arrogance. But if they want to come here, work, work, work - take nothing and add nothing- it's up to them.
They'd better not come and complain about the Swiss being 'unfriendly', etc, however.
I do agree with you Odile 100%. But once again, we're not all the same ;( I know those 2 , they don't have many friends back home either...
The Uni. didn't guarantee them that bank clerks will serve their needs in English, but it was under the clause "you'll get fairly well with just English...no worries"

I am having the same debate with my wife, and I am concluding that Swiss institutions aren't in sync with the SWiss populace...that's what's causing all this! they go and fetch for foreign professionals, drop them here and let them take a run for their lives
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  #172  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:09
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

Odile,
I agree. I worked as a Swiss in Switzerland in 2 different companies before moving and we had many expats from the US. Sure, it was 20 years ago and that may have changed but they had absolutely no interest in socializing despite our repeated efforts to include them. They all belonged to American clubs then and were happily living in isolation (I guess?).
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  #173  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:46
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

This has sadly turned into a dissing expat thread for not learning the local 4 lingos.

Without English we could not have any discussions on this forum . This just proves what an important useful language English is to know thus 'The English Forum'.

It gives the opportunity for so many different nationalities living here in Switzerland the ability to converse together in one common language and enjoy this forum together , and I for one think that is great!

Is English worth learning ? Hell yeh!
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  #174  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:49
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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.



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  #175  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:51
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

Yes it is- and this is why I went to UK to learn, all those years ago- and I've even acquired British nationality, sworn my allegiance to our Queen and her descendants, a British husband, British children and grand-children, a Degree from a British Uni, a British career, etc.
But English as a Swiss National language, no, absolutely no.
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  #176  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:54
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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.




Right on DB............we needed you earlier but guess you where waiting at the finish line ! Bless you !
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  #177  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:54
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Is English worth learning ? Hell yeh! [/FONT][/SIZE]
haha more like hellz yeahh!!
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  #178  
Old 10.04.2011, 21:55
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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But English as a Swiss National language, no, absolutely no.
Why not? Surely it is better than the effete lisping of French, the simian jabbering of Italian and the bronchitic spluttering of Swiss German?
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  #179  
Old 10.04.2011, 22:02
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

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Why not? Surely it is better than the effete lisping of French, the simian jabbering of Italian and the bronchitic spluttering of Swiss German?
Am I the only one who does not find that funny? Humour is supposed to be funny, when it does not work, that's just a fail.
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  #180  
Old 10.04.2011, 22:03
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Re: English as an official Swiss language

Groan or not groan - nope, can't be 'asked'

CosmicGirl, have I or any other here asked any ex-pat to learn the 4 national languages. Don't think so I'm Swiss and I only speak 3 of them
You are totally missing the point. You go and live in another country for more than a few months - you make some effort to adapt and learn basic communicative language. Punkt Schluss - lala salama.
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