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English

This is a post for all the times I didn’t post about this subject.

I let it fall away.
It was hateful.
It was silly.
It was so not me.

However, I will post it now.

Why do so many English people in Switzerland (and outside Switzerland) carry on as if Americans do not speak proper English when I have heard their English? It isn’t always proper.

Why not understand that the language is important while understanding there are uneducated people in all countries?

I was in an interview and the English woman snorted when the Swiss man stated that I could speak English since I was American.

I hated her for that.

It was so mean and stupid what she did.

I could have reminded her that English is so widespread due to America. But, I didn’t.

I love when Africans speak English because it is so beautiful.

English is MY LANGUAGE.
It is the language of so many others.

That is something to celebrate.
Not cut.

I am proud that I speak English.
I am not English.
My great-grandmother was.

I am American but honestly speak Franglais most of the time. :)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • expatraveler June 8, 2010, 4:50 am

    I speak Franglais a lot too! I think it’s fun that way! :-) I believe it is more people with British roots that cut down the language or act that way, but that’s just my observation.

    • Pumpkin June 8, 2010, 6:00 am

      I think you are right about it being more people with British roots that behave this way. It isn’t all British but enough that it gets to be ridiculous sometimes.

      I think French (in general) are guilty of this way of thinking in regard to the French spoken outside of France. It is funny that the French speaking part of Canada does more to protect the language than the French do.

  • sev June 8, 2010, 10:23 pm

    Im English , and i can explain this but im temporarily to scared too :-) i take your point completely . If every one promises not to hit me ill explain the english point of view . NOT MINE PERSONALLY i hasten to add . Ive friends in most countries and can get by good enough in several languages . Ive respect for all . Im for mending bridges and aiding understanding here .

    • Pumpkin June 9, 2010, 10:01 am

      Sev, I almost e-mailed you before posting this to ask you to explain the English viewpoint to me. I know you are very open-minded and I trust you.

      • sev June 9, 2010, 8:37 pm

        Ok , ill risk it then :-))
        It isnt anything to do with intelligence as you may think . Its partly because words that we have in English are spelled differently in America such as colour , color . Taking out the additional letter makes it seem that the English language is being simplified by the Americans . Why change the spelling ?. The other reason is gentle teasing gone to far . Because in England we are small and close to Scotland Ireland , Wales , France , intercountry teasing is high on the joke list .Especially with Ireland . Its meant mostly in fun except by the few . It gets out of hand . Americans havnt experienced this because America is H U G E compared to us , as you know now living in Switzerland , border hopping i s easy . i drove back through Switzerland , France , Germany , Luxembourg Belgium , Nearly Holland and England in two days . Its teasing . Its not meant to be rude . However there is always some that go to far . that lady was rude . i agree. .
        Id just like to say abusing the english language is RIFE in England , sad but true .
        Part of the problem is Americans call it English .It would probably be better if it was called American , and therefore all the differences become legit .
        An examle of teasing , i have an adopted (by me) brother who is a Scott , we banter good naturedly about his abuse of English all the time but its in jest , totally . He says wee , i say little , we both argue we are right :-) neither of us take offence because we are in in the joke . Does that make any sense at all ?? im not brilliant at explaining .
        Newspapers have played a big part too , i found out recently how much America can be misrepresented in the press . Probably the English are too , we just dont know about it !
        Thankyou for trusting me :-)

        • Pumpkin June 10, 2010, 9:24 am

          Thank you for explaining. I still don’t think that American-English is so different from British-English that it should be named American. Swiss-German isn’t close to German any longer. A Swiss-German and German speaker cannot understand each other because the languages are so different. However, I can understand other English speakers from other countries perfectly even if there are slight differences. I think it is fine to refer to the English we speak in America as American-English when refering to those slight differences but to say that Americans speak American is just silly. There are some Americans that do say they speak American but when I hear that I don’t like it. For me, it is too patriotic and that scares me. It makes me think of WWII.

          I understand the joking because in the States we make fun of British accents, Irish and Scottish accents as well as Southern accents (from the States) or if you are a Notherner like I am the Southerners make fun of you. And, it is all in good fun nothing more. :D

          • sev June 10, 2010, 9:43 am

            :-) well , anyway , its not my opinion , just the way others see it . That lady though was rude and she is probably rude in everything . some people just are.
            too patriotic ? american English works well .
            I know about the Swiss german , german difference . I can understand the swiss when im in Switzerland but i struggle in Germany although what ive learnt is german , im used to hearing the siwss speak . Swiss german when i see it written up in the valleys though stumps me . I think im learning a mix by being there and ill end up all mixed up. Swiss magazines are in german and all the signs and i can read them all . In switzerland i say Gruetzi but in germany , guten morgen :-) confusing . Is the french spoken in Switzerland the same as it is in france ? My french is workable but no more .

  • Pumpkin June 10, 2010, 10:33 am

    Sev,

    I think it is awesome that you can speak Swiss-German! I can’t speak either Swiss-German or German and it frustrates me when we visit Swiss-German Cantons. I have heard that Swiss-German is easy to learn after you learn High-German. I hope to learn both one day (soon I hope). I would love to be able to communicate as you do in both of these languages. I have been told by a Swiss-German mother here (originally from Bale) that she cannot understand Swiss-German in Zurich. I think that is interesting.

    There are differences in Swiss-French and French. The differences are slight and remind me of the differences in English and American-English or Canadian-English. There are, also, slight differences between Cantons that are French speaking. For instance, in Lausanne the accent and use of words is a little different than say here in the Franches-Montanges. The Swiss here say quatre-vingts for 80 while in other French-speaking areas of Switzerland they say huitante (old French). The Swiss here do say septante (70) and nonante (90) (both are old French) so it is strange that they don’t say huitante as well. The French do not use these old French forms any longer. It confuses me and I mix them all up now when trying to say these numbers in French!!! In France, I had only one way to say these numbers and it was easier for me.

    One of the most recent differences I have noted (btw. Swiss-French and French) is the use of the word adieu here. In France, adieu means goodbye forever (as in death or you will never see this person again for whatever reason) while here it means simply goodbye (and you will see each other again). In France, when you say goodbye the words that you typically use are “au revoir”, “a bientot” or “salute”.

    Another difference is the use of “hello”. At least it sounds like hello in English but maybe it is something from German? French NEVER say hello. The Swiss here, also, say bye-bye. The first time I had a Swiss mother tell me bye-bye I thought she did it to use a little English with me which surprised me because no one speaks English with me here even if they can. Afterwards, I noticed that they say bye-bye to everyone they say tu to. Tu is the informal version of you while vous is formally used. So, I think that English has crept into the French used here in ways it hasn’t in France. I heard a boy on the bus use the word “locker” (said in a French way not as in English) in reference to saying a door is locked. Afterwards, a Swiss mother used “fermer” with him which is correct French and the boy started using this word rather than “locker”.

    The Swiss here in the Jura do use French “incorrectly” at times but it is kinda cute. Like they will say when speaking about a woman…La Sev…for example. This means the Sev. It is not at all correct French. However, it is sweet and I like it. I would never say it (nor would I like my children to) because it isn’t correct but I don’t mind that others do.

    I have heard that in some parts of France they will sometimes use the language a little like in Switzerland. So, I can only generalize what is or isn’t used in France as opposed to Switzerland!!! I think that is funny. :D

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