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Showing posts from November, 2012

How to Say 'Santa Claus' in Swiss German

Christmas Cookies -  Joujou  / pixelio.de Christmas is only a bit more than a month away and advent season is about to start. Soon streets in every town will be lit up with Christmas lights and filled Christmas songs. High time to brush up your Swiss German language skills for the Christmas season with this short glossary of Christmas terms. Swiss German Words for the Christmas Season Advent (advent, the season before Christmas) Adventschranz (advent wreath, usually with 4 candles) Adventskalender (Christmas calendar) Adventsmärt (advent market) Ängel (angels) Cherze (candle) Cherzezieh (making candles, candle dipping) Chrischtbaum (Christmas tree) Chrischtchindli (Christ child) Chrippe (manger) Erdnüssli (peanut, typical gift from Santa) Fitze ( Santa's stick that he uses to hit bad behaving children) Grittibänz (bread roll in the shape of a man) Gschänkli (gift, gifts) Guetzli (cookie, cookies) Hirte (shepherds) Liechterchetti (chain of li

How to Choose a Seat on a Bus in Switzerland

Swiss Postautos - Sommaruga Fabio  / pixelio.de It's very common in Switzerland to take a bus to work. Since public transportation in Switzerland is quite convenient and punctual this is perfectly fine alternative to driving yourself to work. Of course, public transportation in Switzerland isn't cheap but putting gas into your car is definitely becoming expensive as well plus you get the traffic jams that are very hard to avoid and cost a lot of time and nerves. According to the Swiss Ministry of Statistics almost 30% of working people use public transportation to go to work .  So if you're part of that Swiss group, lets do the math: if you take the bus to and from work and work five days a week, we can safely assume that you ride a bus in Switzerland at least ten times a week . This was true for myself as well for many years as well but I have since completely switched to remote work. An interesting observation While riding the bus to work a few years ago, I observed

Which Language Should You Learn When Moving to Switzerland

Language - Gerd Altmann  / pixelio.de One of the issues most expats are dealing with is language. Unless you move inside your own language region (e.g. from England to the US) you will be facing a new language in your day to day to life. Buying groceries or ordering a meal suddenly become challenging new aspects of your life. Is English sufficient?  Now, one could argue that in this age of globalization a decent knowledge of English will be sufficient to master all these situations. This is probably true for most larger cities around the world that are the home to many internationals. However, as soon as you move a bit farther into the suburbs or into the small towns you'll notice that English becomes less useful.  The situation in Switzerland is similar. In the big cities such as Zurich, Geneva or Basle you don't necessarily need to know the local language. English works fine for work and living and even the government offices offer most services in English as