Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234
Results 46 to 60 of 60

Thread: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

  1. #46
    Elite Member Barbara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    5,278

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!



    Here are the basics: we have four national languages, three of them official: German (first language of 65% of the population) French (20%), Italian (under 7%). BUT if there is any legal doubt, it's the german text that is valid for interpretation.
    It is practically impossible to get a good job without speaking German (and English is a must too for international business, banking ecc.). I never had a job interview that was completely in French. I even had one that was entirely in German, although I applied for the job with a letter written in French.
    The Italian speaking minority is blatantly ignored even from the federal administration. In my last job we were sending official federal questionnaires to be filled for statistical purposes, and I found out the statistic had been sent out forever in only the German and French versions, even in the Italian speaking part of the country. I got into a rage and translated the whole thing... took me only one effing hour, that's how little it took to make a part of the country feel less ignored / left aside, but nobody had done it before!

    Now, if the people counted as "German speaking" actually spoke German, I guess things would be ok. But it is NOT the case. They speak a huge variety of Swiss German dialects, that you can't possibly understand if you just learnt regular German in school. The words are different, the pronounciation is different, the sentence construction is different.

    Where I work now, I'm part of a 6 person team, and the only one of French mother tongue (thank God my boss is bilingual though). When i go on coffee break with my colleagues, I just have to speak in German with them, because some of them don't understand French (although they learnt it in school, but they never need to use it!). Some will make the effort to speak real German when I'm around, some not. A few days ago a colleague told me "you know, it's not easy for us to always speak German with you". My jaw dropped. I so couldn't believe it that I didn't even answer anything. But this goes on feeding the feeling of resentment against the arrogance of the overpowering majority.

    [/rant]
    "Sex is not, by default, depraved and dirty. Unless it's really good."
    morons.org

  2. #47
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    30,395

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Hmmmmmm. We have good friends here who are "Italian" Swiss. I had no idea they were from such a minority group. For what it's worth, your English is EXCELLENT so who cares?
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
    Dame Edna Everage

    Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

  3. #48
    Elite Member Barbara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    5,278

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Tell them I said hi
    It's my favourite part of the country because it's still Switzerland but it's already a bit messy like Italy

    Thanks
    "Sex is not, by default, depraved and dirty. Unless it's really good."
    morons.org

  4. #49
    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Central Duh-hio
    Posts
    22,811

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbara
    Tell them I said hi
    It's my favourite part of the country because it's still Switzerland but it's already a bit messy like Italy

    Thanks
    I am jealous that you can speak so many languages and are more fluent even in English than I am!
    I tried with languages but I just have a very hard time..even with Spanish...tried German too..just have a VERY hard time with languages..worse than MATH for Chrissakes!
    Don't slap me, cause I'm not in the mood!

  5. #50
    Hit By Ban Bus! pacific breeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    in the wild blue yonder
    Posts
    15,479

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    I'm bad at both languages and math. I understand French for the most part, but speaking it is another story altogether. My hubby is one of those people who picks up languages quickly. He is bilingual in French and Spanish, and also speaks some Italian.

  6. #51
    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    pretending to be a lurker but I'm not quiet enough
    Posts
    15,515

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Oh Barbs, I had no idea it was like that in Swiss. Thanks for your "rant." I had imagined the country to be some kind of a multilingual paradise where ppl easily picked up different languages and lived in harmony so to speak.

    I'm acutually no good at languages (or math) either just like Sojiita
    Learning English was hard enough and it took me years to be fluent. I tried to learn Spanish once but I gave that up took Mandarin in college for 2 yrs but I forgot it all!

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

  7. #52
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    a backwards hillbilly state
    Posts
    20,801

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Barbara, WOW, that was so interesting. And I agree totally with A*O & Sojita in that your English is excellent. You could easily be mistaken for a native speaker (at least in writing!)

    I feel like I really learned something today because I had no idea at all about the language situation in Switzerland. I suppose I don't know much about Switzerland at all, I'm afraid, so feel free to drop informative facts here & there. What you described makes a compelling argument for having one official language, IMO.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

  8. #53
    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    a backwards hillbilly state
    Posts
    20,801

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Barbara, WOW, that was so interesting. And I agree totally with A*O & Sojita in that your English is excellent. You could easily be mistaken for a native speaker (at least in writing!)

    I feel like I really learned something today because I had no idea at all about the language situation in Switzerland. I suppose I don't know much about Switzerland at all, I'm afraid, so feel free to drop informative facts here & there.

    What you described makes a compelling argument for having one official language, IMO.
    "I've cautiously embraced jeggings"
    Emma Peel aka Pacific Breeze aka Wilde1 aka gogodancer aka maribou

    Yip, yip, yip in your tiny indignation. Bark furiously on, lady dog.

  9. #54
    Elite Member Barbara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    5,278

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Thanks for the comments and compliments

    Quote Originally Posted by Sojiita
    I am jealous that you can speak so many languages and are more fluent even in English than I am!
    I tried with languages but I just have a very hard time..even with Spanish...tried German too..just have a VERY hard time with languages..worse than MATH for Chrissakes!


    I just... like languages, if I had time I'd learn more, I tried to learn Spanish a few years ago but I stopped after the basics. I'll have to give a try at modern Greek so I can retire on a Greek island after winning the lottery

    On the other hand I have trouble with maths and everything that implies numbers... but being an economist I have to pretend all the time so my peers don't find out


    Quote Originally Posted by moomies
    I had imagined the country to be some kind of a multilingual paradise where ppl easily picked up different languages and lived in harmony so to speak.
    We have developed a "second best" to harmony, it's called compromise (at the benefit of the strongest) and it usually sucks

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobelia
    What you described makes a compelling argument for having one official language, IMO.
    Yes and no. The positive part of it is that you have no choice but to learn one or two forreign languages as a little kid already, and that's when your brain has the biggest possibilities to adjust and absorb, I think.
    "Sex is not, by default, depraved and dirty. Unless it's really good."
    morons.org

  10. #55
    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    27,741

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Barbara, I think your situation is interesting because it really does a good job of showing both sides of the language issue. I can see how it's frustrating to not have any consistency,esp. if you're in the majority and I also sympathize with your "resentment against the arrogance of the overpowering majority." Been there, done that.

    But you are far ahead of the curve with all the languages you know, and like everyone said, your English is excellent!! And I admire your patience, too!

  11. #56
    Hit By Ban Bus! ediebrooks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In another dimension, untouched by time
    Posts
    6,830

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Barbara, you obviously have a gift for languages, and to echo everyone else, your English is superb. Since you know so many other languages, you could probably pick up Spanish easily, too.

  12. #57
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    30,395

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Yeah - I studied Spanish for a 3-4 years and it seems to be very straightforward. The grammar is logical and the spelling/pronunciation is too.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
    Dame Edna Everage

    Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

  13. #58
    Elite Member Barbara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    5,278

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Stop throwing flowers at me

    *BANG!* I think my ego just exploded
    "Sex is not, by default, depraved and dirty. Unless it's really good."
    morons.org

  14. #59
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM
    Posts
    55,372

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    Well spanish and french have a lot in common

    I'd like to give german a try, but i need to build up more phlegm first.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  15. #60
    A*O
    A*O is offline
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! A*O's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Being Paula
    Posts
    30,395

    Default Re: English Language First In America Dammit!!!!

    French and Spanish are similar but if I was leaning a language from scratch I'd go for Spanish for the reasons stated above. I have NFI what's going on with German. I tried it for a couple of years at HS (compulsory) and just couldn't 'get' it.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
    Dame Edna Everage

    Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst 1234

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Why Nazi analogies and language are on the rise
    By Grimmlok in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: September 1st, 2006, 01:30 PM
  2. Shakira denies language sellout
    By MaryJane in forum Gossip Archive
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: January 30th, 2006, 06:34 PM
  3. What body language says about Star Couples
    By muchlove in forum Miscellaneous
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: December 3rd, 2005, 08:41 AM
  4. Pete Doherty can't find his passport, dammit!
    By buttmunch in forum Gossip Archive
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: November 11th, 2005, 05:00 PM
  5. 'Ladies' banned in language guide
    By DisruptiveHair in forum News
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: November 4th, 2005, 02:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •