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Things you always thought about Switzerland that are wrong! 1

All Swiss speak (the) 4 (national) languages.

Wrong! There are 4 linguistic regions of different geographic dimensions (see map above), but the average Swiss only speaks her / his mother tongue.

Those with a higher education level will (probably) speak French if they are from the German speaking region of the country (Zurich) and Standard German if they are from the French speaking one (Geneva). The fact that the German Swiss speak dialects you cannot learn at any language school in everyday life should be taken into consideration.

Some Swiss learn English later in life, but never expect proficiency levels like those found in Scandinavia or the Netherlands, since this language is not taught at school.

Nevertheless, there are some cities (like Biel/Bienne or Freiburg /Fribourg), where German and French are official languages and where it is common to see people involved in bilingual conversations. I mean conversations, in which German speakers use German (dialect) and French speakers use French but yet understand each other. And during the sessions of parlament in the capital Bern all languages are allowed.

Read more about the “Languages of Switzerland”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Switzerland

Willkommen, Leute aus Indien!*

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Ranveer Singh In The Swiss Alps

Switzerland and its mountains are hugely popular in India, mainly because of films. Indian filmmakers’ passion for this country has helped make it one of the most popular destinations for Indian tourists, seeking the locations of their favourite scenes. Be sure to visit the interactive map featuring prominent Bollywood filming locations in Switzerland created by swissinfo.ch.

The famous Indian star Ranveer Singh is a Brand-Ambassador for Switzerland Tourism. Even a train has been named after him!

As a tourist, you can of course choose to communicate in English in hotels, shops and restaurants, like you would do at every other famous holiday destination worldwide. But the average Swiss – outside the crowded tourist paths –  does not actually speak English fluently (if at all) because he or she has learnt French and some Italian as foreign languages at school, since these are also national languages of Switzerland. 

If you speak with the Swiss in German during your next trip to Switzerland, you will immediately notice the difference: They will treat you like a VIP!

Although it is a very small country, Switzerland has some of the best highschools and universities worldwide. The main medium of instruction there is German, for the reasons I explained before (i.e. most students are not fluent in English). German language requirements must be fulfilled before the start of your studies. Otherwise, an admission will not be possible.

If you want to study in Switzerland, a German Language Certificate at level B2 is required.

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To finish, let me share with you my favourite Bollywood Video: Zara Gungunalein Chalo. It was shot at locations in Lucerne (0:00-0:13, 1:12-1:33, 1:41-1:52 and 3:25 till end) and its famous wooden footbridge called Kappelbrücke (01:52-2:06), in the capital Bern (0:14-1:11) – where they even eat Fondue (1:34-1:40), our national dish made of melted cheese – and in Bad Ragaz (2:51-3:24). By the way, the guy with the guitar looks rather Spanish, but who cares? Enjoy!