Switzerland from A – Z: D like Diversification
There is not much of traveling in it for me these days. So I can concentrate on Switzerland, which is totally worth it. I keep on with my A-Z about Switzerland. And maybe today we got to the letter which I link to, what I might appreciate the most in this country:
The state of being diversified. A different kind, unlike, multiform, various kinds…including representatives from more than one social, cultural, or economic group, especially members of ethnic or religious minority groups. (wikipedia)
Switzerland, although being tiny, is very diversified.
The country is composed by 26 cantons and there are 4 official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. When German is used in the written form, the “high German” as used in Germany will apply. However the German spoken in the street is pretty different, called the Swiss German or Schwyzerdütsch.
If you visit the canton of Bern, you will hear people speak in a different dialect than if you visit the canton Wallis and you can also recognize if someone is from Geneva or Lausanne by his French accent which differs.
To these languages add all kinds of immigrant languages of which are numerous as Switzerland is home to 23% of foreigners as per end of 2013 (Geneva is even more international with 40%). In the streets you will also hear Portuguese, Spanish, Albanian, Italian, Turkish, Tamil, Dutch, Greek…to just name a few.
And despite all this diversification the country does rather well. Or maybe it does well thanks to the diversification as we have to put more effort into living together. Comprehension and concessions are required and we all now it and try to live up to it to keep our country functioning.