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Showing posts from November, 2012

How to Say 'Santa Claus' in Swiss German

Christmas Cookies -  Joujou  / 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

Which Language Should You Learn When Moving to Switzerland

Language - Gerd Altmann  / 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