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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 9th 2007, 8:30 pm
  #61  
rynato
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

FYI, I have travelled extensively in Ticino, the Italian speaking part
of CH. I found that while Italian served me well in the towns and
cities, German is spoken far more often when hiking up in the
mountains, though certainly Italian works well with the operators of
the hiking huts and refuges.

In any case, since CH is such an international crossroads in every
sense, English will always serve you well there. However when
travelling abroad, it is always helpful to know some of the local
language, it can help you win all kinds of little courtesies from
locals.

I think you don't have to worry about learning Romansch, though ;-)


Steve G ha scritto:

> 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?
>
> Thanks in advance as always for any info.
 
Old Jan 9th 2007, 9:08 pm
  #62  
Giovanni Drogo
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 [email protected] wrote:

> FYI, I have travelled extensively in Ticino, the Italian speaking part
> of CH. I found that while Italian served me well in the towns and
> cities, German is spoken far more often when hiking up in the
> mountains,

which part of the mountains ? I mean, south of Gotthard and west of San
Bernardino ? What you say sounds somewhat strange, in general mountain
areas are more conservative in languages, and most of the quoted area
was of lombard dialect ... people from val di Blenio between 1300 and
1700 were coming to Milan to work as porters ("facchini") and their
somewhat harsh but definitely lombard dialect, "lengua fachigna", was
used for jokes. In 1500 there was even an academy of artists who faked
to be porters and wrote poetry in such dialect.

However there are mountain areas which are linguistic enclaves. For
instance Bosco Gurin in val Maggia above Locarno is a german-speaking
enclave (I'm not sure that's related with Walser enclaves which are
found also in Italy in Piedmont or Val d'Aosta ; another unrelated case
is the Val dei Mocheni in Trentino).

Outside Ticino I found natural to speak Italian in Poschiavo and up to
the Bernina pass (the Hospice managers had an italian surname, although
they spoke German with other customers). I would be more inclined to use
German in Chur or St Moritz ... but my colleagues used Italian with a
garage dealer in Zernez (he was of rumantsch mother language).

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Old Jan 9th 2007, 10:33 pm
  #63  
-Martin
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:44:06 +0100, Tim C. <[email protected]> wrote:

>Following up to Magda <[email protected]> :
>
>>On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, in rec.travel.europe, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
>>arranged some electrons, so they looked like this:
>>
>> ... >>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.
>>
>>You have got to be kidding me.
>>
>> Am I missing something?
>>
>>A word or two, maybe. Try "Le Sud de la France".
>
>"si si, je suis un Rock Star,
>Je 'avez un residence dans le south de france"

UR Pet Clarke and I claim ...
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 9th 2007, 10:47 pm
  #64  
Tim C .
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Following up to Martin <[email protected]> :

>On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:44:06 +0100, Tim C. <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>Following up to Magda <[email protected]> :
>>
>>>On 2 Jan 2007 07:04:51 -0800, in rec.travel.europe, "Steve G" <[email protected]>
>>>arranged some electrons, so they looked like this:
>>>
>>> ... >>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.
>>>
>>>You have got to be kidding me.
>>>
>>> Am I missing something?
>>>
>>>A word or two, maybe. Try "Le Sud de la France".
>>
>>"si si, je suis un Rock Star,
>>Je 'avez un residence dans le south de france"
>
>UR Pet Clarke and I claim ...

:-)
--
Tim C.
 
Old Jan 9th 2007, 10:49 pm
  #65  
Tim C .
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Following up to "Zubenelgenubi" <[email protected]> :

>
>Troll

Make a sentence that includes these words: pot kettle black.
--
Tim C.
 
Old Jan 9th 2007, 10:51 pm
  #66  
Tim C .
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

Following up to Deeply Filled Mortician
<deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> :

>Just learn a couple of phrases from any tourist book, and be really
>polite for the rest. I guarantee you will have zero problems.

Good advice that I wholeheartedly endorse.
--
Tim C.
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 12:26 am
  #67  
-Martin
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Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 12:51:18 +0100, Tim C. <[email protected]> wrote:

>Following up to Deeply Filled Mortician
><deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> :
>
>>Just learn a couple of phrases from any tourist book, and be really
>>polite for the rest. I guarantee you will have zero problems.
>
>Good advice that I wholeheartedly endorse.

My wife laughed at the way a French judge in last night' episode of Judge John
Deeds added "naturellement" to most sentences to show he was French, that was in
addtion to him being portrayed as dishonest drunken slimy git :-) One of the
benefits of script writers failing to learn/sleeping through GCSE French?
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 1:46 am
  #68  
-Martin
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 00:14:29 +0100, Deeply Filled Mortician
<deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> wrote:

>Let is be knownst that on Tue, 09 Jan 2007 12:54:18 -0700,
>"EvelynVogtGamble(Divamanque)" <[email protected]> writted:
>
>>
>>
>>Deeply Filled Mortician wrote:
>>
>>> Let is be knownst that on 09 Jan 2007 18:12:06 GMT, Jesper Lauridsen
>>> <[email protected]> writted:
>>>
>>>
>>>>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.
>>>
>>>
>>> Recently I had the experience of doing a job interview only in
>>> Italian, and I must say it was hard. He really put me on the spot by
>>> asking "So, tell me what you are about" (in Italian of course).
>>
>>I always had enough trouble with such asinine questions when
>>posed in English!
>
>As neither of them spoke decent English, I suspect my efforts at doing
>the interview in their were probably wasted. They seemed really
>preoccupied by the fact that I didn't have 'manufacturing' experience,
>but 'services' instead (as if there's a massive difference), which
>seemed really strange to me considering the role would require
>learning all that stuff anyway.

Some HR people suffer from feelings of gross inadequacy, as in "WTF would I do
if I lost my job?"
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 7:25 am
  #69  
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 Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:52:06 +0100, Tim C.
<[email protected]> writted:

>Following up to Jesper Lauridsen <[email protected]> :
>
>>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.
>
>Rhaeto-Roman-speaking people tend to speak German as well ime, except in
>the tiny villages.
>French-speaking Swiss are the worst. French or nothing. I find they're even
>worse than the reputation that Parisians have.

No, the Italian speaking Swiss are the worst. They might learn a bit
of French and a little German, but English is out of the question.
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 9:15 am
  #70  
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 Wed, 10 Jan 2007 12:51:18 +0100, Tim C.
<[email protected]> writted:

>Following up to Deeply Filled Mortician
><deepfreudmoors@eITmISaACTUALLYiREAL!l.nu> :
>
>>Just learn a couple of phrases from any tourist book, and be really
>>polite for the rest. I guarantee you will have zero problems.
>
>Good advice that I wholeheartedly endorse.

Rest assured it will be ignored. You can't teach people things like
this, they need to find out for themselves.
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 10:01 am
  #71  
-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 Wed, 10 Jan 2007 08:52:06 +0100, Tim C.
> <[email protected]> writted:
>
>>Following up to Jesper Lauridsen <[email protected]> :
>>
>>>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.
>>
>>Rhaeto-Roman-speaking people tend to speak German as well ime, except in
>>the tiny villages.
>>French-speaking Swiss are the worst. French or nothing. I find they're
>>even
>>worse than the reputation that Parisians have.
>
> No, the Italian speaking Swiss are the worst. They might learn a bit
> of French and a little German, but English is out of the question.

I remember staying in a four star hotel in Locarno which was awful. I was
upgraded to a suite, which was furnished in black leather, and the hotel
directory suggested that I should avail myself of the services of Fraulein
Zimmerman, who was described as a masseuse. Outdoor dining, on the lakeside
patio was good in principle, except that the food and service were abysmal.
The Manager got to know that I wasn't entitrely happy with the hotel but,
when I asked if his establishment was twinned with Fawlty Towers he got more
than slightly irate. I hasten to add that in general I am more than
satisfied with hotels in Switzerland. I spend a week or more every Summer at
the four star hotel Wengenerhof in Wengen in the (German speaking) Berner
Oberland and that hotel approaches perfection at a very moderate cost.

JohnT
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 6:42 pm
  #72  
Calif Bill
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected] ups.com...
> FYI, I have travelled extensively in Ticino, the Italian speaking part
> of CH. I found that while Italian served me well in the towns and
> cities, German is spoken far more often when hiking up in the
> mountains, though certainly Italian works well with the operators of
> the hiking huts and refuges.
>
> In any case, since CH is such an international crossroads in every
> sense, English will always serve you well there. However when
> travelling abroad, it is always helpful to know some of the local
> language, it can help you win all kinds of little courtesies from
> locals.
>
> I think you don't have to worry about learning Romansch, though ;-)
>
>
> Steve G ha scritto:
>
>> 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?
>>
>> Thanks in advance as always for any info.
>

My wife's family came from Bodio and when we visited, very little English
was spoken. Is a great area for German's to vacation for skiing and hiking,
so most spoke Italian and German. Little English.
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 6:58 pm
  #73  
Tim C .
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

>No, the Italian speaking Swiss are the worst. They might learn a bit
>of French and a little German, but English is out of the question.


Oh dear! I've luckily not had too much experience of the Italian speaking
Swiss.
--
Tim C.
 
Old Jan 10th 2007, 9:07 pm
  #74  
-Martin
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Best language to focus on for Switzerland trip in 2009

On Thu, 11 Jan 2007 08:58:45 +0100, Tim C. <[email protected]> wrote:

>
>>No, the Italian speaking Swiss are the worst. They might learn a bit
>>of French and a little German, but English is out of the question.
>
>
>Oh dear! I've luckily not had too much experience of the Italian speaking
>Swiss.

I don't think I have ever met one. Don't they travel or what?
--

Martin
 
Old Jan 11th 2007, 8:38 am
  #75  
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 Thu, 11 Jan 2007 11:07:34 +0100, Martin
<[email protected]> writted:

>On Thu, 11 Jan 2007 08:58:45 +0100, Tim C. <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>
>>>No, the Italian speaking Swiss are the worst. They might learn a bit
>>>of French and a little German, but English is out of the question.
>>
>>
>>Oh dear! I've luckily not had too much experience of the Italian speaking
>>Swiss.
>
>I don't think I have ever met one. Don't they travel or what?

I know one in Genova. She speaks pretty good English, and has a decent
head on her shoulders too, business wise that it. She is not typical!
--
---
DFM - http://www.deepfriedmars.com
---
--
 

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