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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, 9:01 am
  #31  
FredBear
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

"Steve G" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected] ups.com...

<< My wife and I are obsessive long-term planners,>>
Snip...

I think you will find that the French Speakers have difficulty coming to
terms with speaking German to the German Speakers and vice versa and neither
will speak to the Ticinese in Italian so mostly they converse to each other
in a form of English. Since most companies employ people who speak different
languages the working language is also mostly English. I think if you can
manage to get a good grip on that you won't find many problems.
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 9:34 am
  #32  
Deeply Filled Mortician
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Let is be knownst that on 2 Jan 2007 05:14:08 -0800, "Steve G"
<[email protected]> writted:

>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, 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?

Well, you are worrying too much for a start. Speaking english will get
you an awful long way if you are merely polite.

Yes, you may have minor issues, but you will be able to do most things
with a mere handful of local phrases. Italians don't speak much
english as a rule, but they wont resent you for it, instead will
appreciate your efforts at being patient and SPEAKING SLOWLY.

Having said that, English is not widely understood in the Italian part
of Switzerland, but then I survived there with no problem so you can
too.

Just learn a couple of phrases from any tourist book, and be really
polite for the rest. I guarantee you will have zero problems.
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 9:36 am
  #33  
Deeply Filled Mortician
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Let is be knownst that on 2 Jan 2007 07:02:06 -0800, "Steve G"
<[email protected]> writted:

>Many thanks. Since it looks like much of the Swiss leg of our trip will
>be the northern half (near Germany) I'll take the to-do of resurrecting
>my once-acceptable German and have my wife learn enough Italian to get
>us up over the Alps and on the road to Zurich. :-)

Forget German in the north of Switzerland. English is just as well
recognised!
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 9:56 am
  #34  
-JohnT
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

"Deeply Filled Mortician" <deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> wrote
in message news:[email protected]...
> Let is be knownst that on 2 Jan 2007 07:02:06 -0800, "Steve G"
> <[email protected]> writted:
>
>>Many thanks. Since it looks like much of the Swiss leg of our trip will
>>be the northern half (near Germany) I'll take the to-do of resurrecting
>>my once-acceptable German and have my wife learn enough Italian to get
>>us up over the Alps and on the road to Zurich. :-)
>
> Forget German in the north of Switzerland. English is just as well
> recognised!

I have great difficulty in comprehending even signs written in German. I
think that it was only on my 5th visit to Switzerland that I realised that
Wanderweg is not a place and that Gesloschen (sp) is not a beer!
Feldschlossen is! It mattered not at all in the Berner Oberland where almost
everyone connected with the tourist industry speaks good English. The only
problem I had on my last trip was in giving directions (in English) to
Wengen to someone who found them incomprehensible. He was a native of
Cheyenne, Wyoming. I also remember, years ago, checking-in to a hotel in
Montreux using my not very good and ungrammatical French and being told, in
response, in English, by a smiling receptionist that I spoke really good
French!!

JohnT
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:24 am
  #35  
-Steve G
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Zubenelgenubi wrote:
> 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.

I don't take it personally; I am always looking for helpful hints to
improve
my language skills.
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:26 am
  #36  
-Steve G
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Martin 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.

RIght you are. J'ai faite une faute. (approximately)
>
> Le Midi.
>
> Can you bottom post?

Sure, if it makes you happy. Better?
> --
>
> Martin
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:28 am
  #37  
-Steve G
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

B Vaughan wrote:
> On 2 Jan 2007 05:14:08 -0800, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
> >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. [snip].. 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, 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?
>
> 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.
>
> Given your limited goals, there's no reason why you can't learn this
> much in the three languages that would be most useful: German, French
> and Italian. It doesn't matter that the Swiss speak a variant of
> German. Almost all of them will understand the German variety.
>
> If you want to spend extra time on one language, maybe it should be
> Italian, for three reasons: 1) between you and your wife, you seem to
> already have the rudiments of German and French; 2) you seem to be
> spending more time in Italy than in Switzerland; 3) the Italians may
> be somewhat less likely to understand English than the Swiss.
> --
> 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

Thank you, Barbara. That was a well-thought-out and helpful post. Yes,
our goal
is not fluency, it's just to avoid blatantly shaming ourselves in
someone else's
country. :-)
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:33 am
  #38  
-Magda
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2 Jan 2007 15:24:40 -0800, in rec.travel.europe, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
arranged some electrons, so they looked like this:

...
... Zubenelgenubi wrote:
... > 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.
...
... I don't take it personally; I am always looking for helpful hints to
... improve my language skills.

Don't listen to this poodle, Steve - he is too stupid to learn anything.
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:37 am
  #39  
-Steve G
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

JohnT wrote:
> "Deeply Filled Mortician" <deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> wrote
> in message news:[email protected]...
> > Let is be knownst that on 2 Jan 2007 07:02:06 -0800, "Steve G"
> > <[email protected]> writted:
> >
> >>Many thanks. Since it looks like much of the Swiss leg of our trip will
> >>be the northern half (near Germany) I'll take the to-do of resurrecting
> >>my once-acceptable German and have my wife learn enough Italian to get
> >>us up over the Alps and on the road to Zurich. :-)
> >
> > Forget German in the north of Switzerland. English is just as well
> > recognised!
>
> I have great difficulty in comprehending even signs written in German. I
> think that it was only on my 5th visit to Switzerland that I realised that
> Wanderweg is not a place and that Gesloschen (sp) is not a beer!

We drove around on the Autobahn for 3 days in 2003 before we realized
that "Ausfahrt"
wasn't a big city that had somehow missed being included on our map of
Germany.
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 5:17 pm
  #40  
-Martin
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: scRunge Le Dud de La France... (WAS: martin l'?ne donne de mauvaises le?ons

On 2 Jan 2007 13:26:45 -0800, "Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]>
wrote:

>
>scRunge wrote:
>
>> Hahahah martin giving lessons and fails completely !
>> Try again, spammer.
>
>
>He speaks better French than you...

He also knows what a spammer is, something scRunge and Jaquarse don't. Could
they be the same person?
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 6:14 pm
  #41  
Gregory Morrow
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: scRunge Le Dud de La France... (WAS: martin l'�ne donne de mauvaises le�ons

Martin wrote:

> On 2 Jan 2007 13:26:45 -0800, "Gregory Morrow" <[email protected]>
> wrote:
>
> >
> >scRunge wrote:
> >
> >> Hahahah martin giving lessons and fails completely !
> >> Try again, spammer.
> >
> >
> >He speaks better French than you...
>
> He also knows what a spammer is, something scRunge and Jaquarse don't. Could
> they be the same person?


Hmmmmm...*very* possible...perhaps Runge and Jacqueline even share the
same strap - on...!!!

--
Best
Greg
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:15 pm
  #42  
Earl Evleth
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2/01/07 19:43, in article [email protected], "B
Vaughan" <[email protected]> wrote:

> 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".

I don�t since I view it as an ongoing process at least
for a long period of time, the first 10 years when one is
totally immersed in the culture.

> I studied Italian for 2 years at Princeton University before I came to
> Italy.
`
We first came to France fairly cold turkey in 1965 for a year. I had no
class room training anywhere although I passed the written French and German
exams of my Ph.D. So I learned spoken French in on the job, especially
after 1974. On the job one spoke French, so one did not have the choice of
backsliding into spoken English.

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

As I said, one needs conversational tutors, a lot of weekly exposure, maybe
an hour a day, minimum of 3 or so a week for a year. It helps. One
eventually gets to the point that one is not tired out after an hour of
effort, that it when the transition point is reached. Another indication
that the neurons are finally organizing is dreaming in the language.

>> 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.

She only took two years in high school and not much in college. What
she started out doing here is keeping a personal diary, one day she would
write in French, the next day in French. Eventually she picked up
a French journalistic style which for Le Monde is a bit like painting
a picture. French has a lower vocabulary than English but some things
can be said better in French than English. At the time Le Monde
wanted articles about the United States, so, for example she wrote
one up on the oil fields of the Bakersfield area of California
(�Derricks�, LE MONDE, 25-26 septembre 1983), which was a childhood
memory, her father having been an oil engineer with Shell. One she
did on a bet, about hunting wild turkeys in upstate NY (�Chasse au dindon
sauvage�, CONNAISSANCE DE LA CHASSE, septembre 1984) and still another
on about dogs during the occupation (�L�Occupation, c��tait une vie de
chien�, 30 MILLIONS D�AMIS, ao�t 1987). She did a lot of this out
of love of writing but got paid for everything, which is also
a reward for a writer. She had opportunities.

One summer we took our vacation in Bretagne and it started raining, and
kept on. What to do?? Being an also an historian of WWII, she said
let's visit the war and resistance museums in the area, so we did.
Then she got the idea to write up the near totality of all such
museums in France, so we toured France to do that. She finally
wrote it up and had it published (�Regards am�ricains sur les mus�es de la
R�sistance�, HISTORIENS-G�OGRAPHES, 1993). Anyway, last year with the
release of a man from prison we have been helping for 10 years, provided
another writing opportunity. Who knows, are current problems with
a stalker and forger is likely to provide another. Life goes on, there
is always something to be written.

Do you publish things?
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:21 pm
  #43  
Deeply Filled Mortician
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Let is be knownst that on 2 Jan 2007 15:37:07 -0800, "Steve G"
<[email protected]> writted:

>
>JohnT wrote:
>> "Deeply Filled Mortician" <deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> wrote
>> in message news:[email protected]...
>> > Let is be knownst that on 2 Jan 2007 07:02:06 -0800, "Steve G"
>> > <[email protected]> writted:
>> >
>> >>Many thanks. Since it looks like much of the Swiss leg of our trip will
>> >>be the northern half (near Germany) I'll take the to-do of resurrecting
>> >>my once-acceptable German and have my wife learn enough Italian to get
>> >>us up over the Alps and on the road to Zurich. :-)
>> >
>> > Forget German in the north of Switzerland. English is just as well
>> > recognised!
>>
>> I have great difficulty in comprehending even signs written in German. I
>> think that it was only on my 5th visit to Switzerland that I realised that
>> Wanderweg is not a place and that Gesloschen (sp) is not a beer!
>
>We drove around on the Autobahn for 3 days in 2003 before we realized
>that "Ausfahrt"
>wasn't a big city that had somehow missed being included on our map of
>Germany.

When you travel through Italy to Switzerland, you may need to change
trains at Sottopassaggio.
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 2nd 2007, 10:30 pm
  #44  
Zubenelgenubi
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Troll
 
Old Jan 9th 2007, 5:12 am
  #45  
Jesper Lauridsen
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On 2007-01-02, Wolfgang Schwanke <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> For the German and Italian speakers, French is just a foreign language
> they learn at school. The same is true for Italian respectively. I
> think all Swiss are supposed to learn each other's languages, but they
> don't necessarily mean they speak them well enough. At least that's
> what Swiss people tell.

I've had the experience of trying to communicate with Swiss people who
spoke neither German, Italian or English.
 

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