The importance of local language in Switzerland

Hey everyone,

As an expat, language questions often arise due to the need to communicate effectively in a new country. We're curious to read your experiences with learning and using the local language in Switzerland.

Here are some questions to get started:

What is the local language spoken in Switzerland? Did you learn and use it? How difficult was it to learn?

Are there any resources or services available to help expats learn the local language? What are your tips?

What is the dominant language in the business environment? Have you had to conduct business meetings in the local language?

How does language proficiency contribute to understanding the local culture? Are there any specific cultural nuances or expressions that expats should be aware of?

How important is the local language for daily tasks such as shopping, transport, health and other services in Switzerland?

Let's share tips and advice on how to improve language skills and integrate into a new environment.

Thank you for your contribution.

Cheryl Team

@Cheryl Quite an interesting topic, however also a bit confusing. In my understanding there are 4 official „languages“ in CH, however not a real common „language“ for all of CH.

Some consider „Swiss German“ a „language“, although it‘s rather a dialect spoken differently in the cantons of NW CH.

Those living in the NW should in my view learn a real language High German, rather trying to copy dialects of different cantons, as one gets around easily with a real language and not just a dialect.

In most International Firms the Corporate Language is English.

Kids learn high German, even in Public Schools and yes they pick up some dialect, however to make it worthwhile for them they should keep their emphasis on high German.