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Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Old Jan 2nd 2007, 3:36 am
  #16  
B Vaughan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>
>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there and
>that's
>what they call it. Am I missing something?

You must be; "sud" is not an adjective.

>
>Magda wrote:
>> On 2 Jan 2007 05:14:08 -0800, in rec.travel.europe, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
>> arranged some electrons, so they looked like this:
>>
>> ... My wife and I are obsessive long-term planners, so as soon as we get
>> ... back from La France Sud in March 2007, we're going to start planning
>> ... our 2009 vacation. We're thinking about doing an Italy/Switzerland
>> ... thing. Land in Rome, up through Tuscany, cross country to Venezia, over
>> ... the mountains to Switzerland, do some stuff there (it's bretty vague,
>> ... though I do want to visit Wagner's house at Tribschen and some of
>> ... Nietzsche's old haunts at Sils Maria and Basel), then drive back over
>> ... the Alps into Piemonte, and drink our way back down to Rome and fly
>> ... home. I just discovered that Switzerland has FOUR official languages.
>> ... My question: which one should we focus on over the next two years? I'm
>> ... intermediate with French,
>>
>> An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>>
>> my wife is advanced beginner in French. I
>> ... took 2 years of German in college, but long ago forgot most of it
>> ... except "Mein deutsche is schlecht." We have no Italian at all. Will
>> ... French get it done for us? If we go with German, I understand the Swiss
>> ... speak several dialects of "Swiss German" that is not at all like "high
>> ... German," so how much use will a couple of courses in "official" German
>> ... do us? Or, since we're already going to learn a dusting of Italian for
>> ... the Italian leg of our trip, will Italian be a usable language in
>> ... Switzerland?
>>
>> Yes.

--
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 4:00 am
  #17  
justforpostings
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Steve G a �crit :

< My wife and I are obsessive long-term planners, so as soon as we get
< back from La France Sud in March 2007, we're going to start planning
< our 2009 vacation. We're thinking about doing an Italy/Switzerland
< thing. Land in Rome, up through Tuscany, cross country to Venezia,
over
< the mountains to Switzerland, do some stuff there (it's bretty vague,
< though I do want to visit Wagner's house at Tribschen and some of
< Nietzsche's old haunts at Sils Maria and Basel), then drive back over
< the Alps into Piemonte, and drink our way back down to Rome and fly
< home. I just discovered that Switzerland has FOUR official languages.

"national languages" is the official designation
("Landessprachen" in German).

If you are somehow interested: www.admin.ch
is the main link to many official documents,
including Swiss Federal Constitution in several
languages, but also statistics on languages in
Switzerland

< My question: which one should we focus on over the next two years?
I'm
< intermediate with French, my wife is advanced beginner in French. I
< took 2 years of German in college, but long ago forgot most of it
< except "Mein deutsche is schlecht." We have no Italian at all.
Will
< French get it done for us? If we go with German, I understand the
Swiss
< speak several dialects of "Swiss German" that is not at all like
"high
< German," so how much use will a couple of courses in "official"
German
< do us? Or, since we're already going to learn a dusting of Italian
for
< the Italian leg of our trip, will Italian be a usable language in
< Switzerland?

As long as you stay in major business or
tourist areas, language should not be a problem
even if you speak English only. Outside,
you may still find people speaking several
languages including languages other than
the four national languages and their dialects
(at least 1 out of 5 Swiss residents is from
an other country, often enough an other
language area too), but in many areas,
chances are to meet people speaking only
their regional language, no English at all.

As most of your planned trip to Switzerland
is in mainly German speaking area, brushing
up your German might be usefull. Just dont
expect understanding any of the dialects
used in the Swiss German part of the
country (and nearby SW-Germany) even if
you should be fluent in "Hochdeutsch"
- but people will switch to Hochdeutsch when
you use that "first foreign language" to
Swiss German speakers.
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 4:12 am
  #18  
EvelynVogtGamble
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Wierd Travelers wrote:
> The main language you will use is English, you can go almost anywhere
> in Switzerland and english will be used in advertisements and by the
> people; in larger cities and tourist places more then the smaller off
> the map places.

I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even
manage to misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with
only English in most of Western Europe. Should one at least
TRY to acquire a smattering of the languages actually spoken
by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple politeness would
seem to dictate that.)

With regard to "which language" for Switzerland, doesn't
that depend upon where in Switzerland you plan to go? I
managed fine with German in Zurich. (Since my German is more
of the "pidgen" variety, whether they spoke Hochdeutsch or
not was immaterial.) If the OP and his wife already have
some familiarity with French and German, and are planning to
begin their Swiss visit via the portion adjacent to Italy,
it seems to me Italian would be the obvious tongue to
conentrate on. (With perhaps a brief review of German to
help him recall what he once knew.)
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 4:16 am
  #19  
Earl Evleth
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2/01/07 17:36, in article [email protected], "B
Vaughan" <[email protected]> wrote:

> First of all, no one can become fluent in another language in 2 years,
> so what you are aiming for is to learn some polite phrases, including
> such things as, "Good morning/afternoon/evening", "Please", "Thank
> you", "Where's the bathroom?", "How much?" and "May I speak
> English?".Even if you manage to ask a much more complicated question
> like, "Where is the bus station?", there's a good chance you won't
> understand the answer.

Reasaonly fluent means can you carry out an intelligent conversation
with somebody. There are different levels for that but 2 years
should allow that.

In the 1970s before we came to France permanently I hired a French speaking
student (Canadian) at the University who would come to my office and spend
conversation time with me. On our long first period in France 65-66 we
had previously brought in a local student to just have conversation.
One needs constant exposure both to the developing the hearing and
the speaking. One can discuss the recent news, this or that or anything.

Reading is easy to pick up, writing is harder. My wife became good
enough to publish a number of articles in Le Monde and that
took about 5-10 to reach that stage. She had a head start
during WWII in learning French from a tutor who was a refugee
�ut of occupied France.
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 4:44 am
  #20  
-Martin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 17:36:16 +0100, B Vaughan<[email protected]> wrote:

>On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
>wrote:
>
>>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>>
>>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there and
>>that's
>>what they call it. Am I missing something?
>
>You must be; "sud" is not an adjective.

but can be - Sud Aviation built Caravels.
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 5:43 am
  #21  
B Vaughan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 18:16:02 +0100, Earl Evleth <[email protected]>
wrote:

>On 2/01/07 17:36, in article [email protected], "B
>Vaughan" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>> First of all, no one can become fluent in another language in 2 years,
>
>Reasaonly fluent means can you carry out an intelligent conversation
>with somebody. There are different levels for that but 2 years
>should allow that.

I have a rather strict definition of "fluent". Even to carry on an
intelligent conversation would require a good deal of application
during the 2 years. It is very unlikely that anyone can become fluent
in a language in 2 years just with classroom study or language tapes.
It might be possible if the person were living in a country where the
language was spoken, and had a facility with languages.

I studied Italian for 2 years at Princeton University before I came to
Italy. I had top grades in the courses, but as I was working full
time, I didn't have time to do much other than the assigned work. (It
was a rather intensive course.) What I was really missing was extended
practice in speaking. During the summer between the two years I hired
an Italian graduate student to have an hour's conversation with me
each week, just to avoid losing ground over the sumer. When I got to
Italy, I wasn't anywhere near what I would consider fluent. I could
understand about half of what I heard on TV, and about 1/4 of what I
heard spoken on the street. I could read well enough to make sense of
newspaper articles, but exposure to other Romance languages helped me
with that. I was very tongue-tied when I tried to speak.

>In the 1970s before we came to France permanently I hired a French speaking
>student (Canadian) at the University who would come to my office and spend
>conversation time with me. On our long first period in France 65-66 we
>had previously brought in a local student to just have conversation.
>One needs constant exposure both to the developing the hearing and
>the speaking. One can discuss the recent news, this or that or anything.

You had the great advantage of learning French in France. These people
will be learning it wherever it is they live.

>Reading is easy to pick up, writing is harder.

I find writing easier than speaking, because you get a chance to look
it over.

> My wife became good
>enough to publish a number of articles in Le Monde and that
>took about 5-10 to reach that stage. She had a head start
>during WWII in learning French from a tutor who was a refugee
>�ut of occupied France.

I imagine she also had the advantage of being very young when she
learned.
--
Barbara Vaughan
My email address is my first initial followed by my surname at libero dot it
I answer travel questions only in the newsgroup
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 6:49 am
  #22  
Nightjar
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

"Martin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:12:15 +0100, Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>>>
>>>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there and
>>>that's
>>>what they call it. Am I missing something?
>>
>>What they really call it.
>>
>>
>>La sud de la France.
>
> DuH!
> Le sud de La France

I've more usually heard it simply called 'le Sud'.

Colin Bignell
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:06 am
  #23  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Welcome to frau magda's happy newsgroup !
To answer you, german is you best bet to read around you, but you(ll never
understand much of what is said...
Otherwise stay in the french speaking parts but that would be a pity !
Congrats for trying to speak other languages !
Very seldom people on this group do try.

"Magda" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
> On 2 Jan 2007 05:14:08 -0800, in rec.travel.europe, "Steve G"
> <[email protected]>
> arranged some electrons, so they looked like this:
>
> ... My wife and I are obsessive long-term planners, so as soon as we get
> ... back from La France Sud in March 2007, we're going to start planning
> ... our 2009 vacation. We're thinking about doing an Italy/Switzerland
> ... thing. Land in Rome, up through Tuscany, cross country to Venezia,
> over
> ... the mountains to Switzerland, do some stuff there (it's bretty vague,
> ... though I do want to visit Wagner's house at Tribschen and some of
> ... Nietzsche's old haunts at Sils Maria and Basel), then drive back over
> ... the Alps into Piemonte, and drink our way back down to Rome and fly
> ... home. I just discovered that Switzerland has FOUR official languages.
> ... My question: which one should we focus on over the next two years? I'm
> ... intermediate with French,
>
> An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>
> my wife is advanced beginner in French. I
> ... took 2 years of German in college, but long ago forgot most of it
> ... except "Mein deutsche is schlecht." We have no Italian at all. Will
> ... French get it done for us? If we go with German, I understand the
> Swiss
> ... speak several dialects of "Swiss German" that is not at all like "high
> ... German," so how much use will a couple of courses in "official" German
> ... do us? Or, since we're already going to learn a dusting of Italian for
> ... the Italian leg of our trip, will Italian be a usable language in
> ... Switzerland?
>
> Yes.
>
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:07 am
  #24  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: martin the lone spammer

Duh here comes spammer again

"Martin" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
> On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>>
>>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there and
>>that's
>>what they call it. Am I missing something?
>
> What they really call it.
>
>
> La sud de la France.
>
> Le Midi.
>
> Can you bottom post?
> --
>
> Martin
>
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:08 am
  #25  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: martin l'

Hahahah martin giving lessons and fails completely !
Try again, spammer.

"Martin" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
> On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:12:15 +0100, Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>>>
>>>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there and
>>>that's
>>>what they call it. Am I missing something?
>>
>>What they really call it.
>>
>>
>>La sud de la France.
>
> DuH!
> Le sud de La France
> --
>
> Martin
>
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:09 am
  #26  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Cretin

"Martin" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le message de news:
[email protected]...
> On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:41:07 +0100, Magda <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:15:41 +0100, in rec.travel.europe, Martin
>><[email protected]> arranged
>>some electrons, so they looked like this:
>>
>> ... On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:12:15 +0100, Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
>> ...
>> ... >On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
>> wrote:
>> ... >
>> ... >>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
>> ... >>
>> ... >>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there
>> and
>> ... >>that's
>> ... >>what they call it. Am I missing something?
>> ... >
>> ... >What they really call it.
>> ... >
>> ... >
>> ... >La sud de la France.
>> ...
>> ... DuH!
>> ... Le sud de La France
>>
>>Tu commences bien l'année...
>
> It was a typo, 'onest. :-)
> --
>
> Martin
>
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:09 am
  #27  
Runge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Lol
Unreadable

"EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)" <[email protected]> a écrit dans le
message de news: [email protected]...
>
>
> Wierd Travelers wrote:
>> The main language you will use is English, you can go almost anywhere
>> in Switzerland and english will be used in advertisements and by the
>> people; in larger cities and tourist places more then the smaller off
>> the map places.
>
> I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even manage to
> misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with only English in most of
> Western Europe. Should one at least TRY to acquire a smattering of the
> languages actually spoken by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple
> politeness would seem to dictate that.)
>
> With regard to "which language" for Switzerland, doesn't that depend upon
> where in Switzerland you plan to go? I managed fine with German in
> Zurich. (Since my German is more of the "pidgen" variety, whether they
> spoke Hochdeutsch or not was immaterial.) If the OP and his wife already
> have some familiarity with French and German, and are planning to begin
> their Swiss visit via the portion adjacent to Italy, it seems to me
> Italian would be the obvious tongue to conentrate on. (With perhaps a
> brief review of German to help him recall what he once knew.)
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:26 am
  #28  
Gregory Morrow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default scRunge Le Dud de La France... (WAS: martin l'�ne donne de mauvaises le�ons

scRunge wrote:

> Hahahah martin giving lessons and fails completely !
> Try again, spammer.


He speaks better French than you...

--
Best
Greg


>
> "Martin" <[email protected]> a �crit dans le message de news:
> [email protected]...
> > On Tue, 02 Jan 2007 16:12:15 +0100, Martin <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> >>On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]> wrote:
> >>
> >>>>>An "intermediate" would not say "La France Sud".
> >>>
> >>>Why not? I have friends who are native French who are from there and
> >>>that's
> >>>what they call it. Am I missing something?
> >>
> >>What they really call it.
> >>
> >>
> >>La sud de la France.
> >
> > DuH!
> > Le sud de La France
> > --
> >
> > Martin
> >
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:29 am
  #29  
Gregory Morrow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Piggy the Squasher (WAS:: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Piggy oinks:

> Magda is quick to pounce on the grammer and syntax errors of others but
> offers the world little else. The last time Magda pounced on a man she
> squashed him and was arrested for assault.


The time will come when *you* will be squashed, mon petit Piggosh...!!!

--
Best
Greg
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 8:33 am
  #30  
Gregory Morrow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default scRunge the Pidgeon (WAS:: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

scRunge wrote:

> Lol
> Unreadable


scRunge just "flew his coop"...his master hopes he never returns!

--
best
Greg


>
> "EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)" <[email protected]> a �crit dans le
> message de news: [email protected]...
> >
> >
> > Wierd Travelers wrote:
> >> The main language you will use is English, you can go almost anywhere
> >> in Switzerland and english will be used in advertisements and by the
> >> people; in larger cities and tourist places more then the smaller off
> >> the map places.
> >
> > I think your screen name says it all! (Although you even manage to
> > misspell "weird".) Yes, one CAN "get by" with only English in most of
> > Western Europe. Should one at least TRY to acquire a smattering of the
> > languages actually spoken by the citizens? Yes, of course! (Simple
> > politeness would seem to dictate that.)
> >
> > With regard to "which language" for Switzerland, doesn't that depend upon
> > where in Switzerland you plan to go? I managed fine with German in
> > Zurich. (Since my German is more of the "pidgen" variety, whether they
> > spoke Hochdeutsch or not was immaterial.) If the OP and his wife already
> > have some familiarity with French and German, and are planning to begin
> > their Swiss visit via the portion adjacent to Italy, it seems to me
> > Italian would be the obvious tongue to conentrate on. (With perhaps a
> > brief review of German to help him recall what he once knew.)
 

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