WRS Debate: English as THE national language?Tuesday, 20 April, 2010
One country, four languages living happily side by side. That’s the idea, anyway, but you don’t have to scratch far under the surface to see that Switzerland’s different cultural regions aren’t always living in a spirit of brotherly love and understanding.
Antonio Hodgers, Geneva’s member of the national parliament for the Greens, has created a storm in the Swiss press for suggesting the multiplicity of Swiss dialects make communication between the regions difficult and putting for a radical proposal to limit dialects to the private sphere and create one national language for officialdom.
But what would that language be? How about English?
To debate how that might work—or not—WRS’s Conor Lennon invites Antonio Hodgers to explain his views as well as Rudy Noser, a Zurich MP for the Liberal party who’s living in Geneva with his family and is adjusting to life in Romandie:
English still finding its way in Switzerland—and vice versaWednesday, 11 November, 2009
How important is English to Switzerland? Is it a threat to the Swiss national identity? Should it become an official language? Should it be taught in schools as the second language—above German or French? These questions and their implications affect equally—though often in different ways—both the Swiss national and expat communities. To consider those implications, WRS’s Conor Lennon brings to the discussion table:
- Yve Delaquis, translator and interpreter, Caralingua
- Felix Gutzwiller, Zurich Senator from the Liberals Party
- Prof. Dr. Georges Lüdi, Professor of French Linguistics at Basel University