A small alpine country, unlike many of its neighbors, has four state languages at once. In Switzerland, they speak German, Italian, French and Romansh, and any resident of the country is not at all obliged to be able to express himself in each of them. According to the law, one is enough for him.
German and French in the country of the world's best watches and chocolate have their own version of sound and are called Swiss German and Swiss French, respectively.
The language map of Switzerland is colored with four colors and the areas shaded with each of them do not look quite equivalent:
- German is the most spoken language in the country. More than 63% of the population speaks on it. German-speaking Swiss live not in the north, in the center, a little in the south and partly in the east. German is the only official language in 17 of the 26 Swiss cantons.
- Just over one fifth of the country's inhabitants speak French. They live mainly in the west of the republic.
- Italian is considered native by 6.5% of the Swiss. It is common in the south in areas bordering Italy.
- The Romansh language is found in the eastern and central-eastern regions and is used in daily communication by only 0.5% of Swiss citizens.
Several other dialects that are in circulation in the country do not make much of the weather for statistics. Franco-Provencal, Gallo-Italian Lombard, Tichin and Yenish dialects, as well as Yiddish and Gypsy are spoken by a few residents of Switzerland.
In fact, everything is simple
For the polyglot and the tourist who speaks foreign languages, Switzerland is a find country. Television programs and newspapers are published here in different languages and, knowing at least one, you can always keep abreast of events and the situation in the world.
The inhabitants of the country for the most part, although they do not know all the state languages of Switzerland, they usually speak two of them perfectly. Plus English, which is widely studied as part of the school curriculum. As a result, it turns out that here they will be able to support the conversation in three languages, and therefore the proper comfort for the tourist is guaranteed everywhere.
By the way, the latest legislative initiatives of the Swiss Parliament are aimed at tightening the rules for obtaining citizenship and residence permits. Now only those who speak one of the state languages of Switzerland will be able to obtain an unlimited residence permit and citizenship.