Offices to Serve You Abroad
USEFUL WORDS AND PHRASES
There are four official languages spoken in Switzerland: German, French, Italian and Romansch. About 18% of the population in southwest Switzerland speak French. South of the Alps, Italian (12%) is predominant throughout Ticino and parts of the Grisons (also known as the Graubunden). Most Swiss (65%) speak German. A Swiss-German dialect with a variety of local variations is used in everyday conversation; traditional German is used for business purposes. The fourth language is Romansch, an ancient hybrid of Celtic and Latin tongues spoken by about 40,000 people in the Surselva region of southeastern Switzerland. This coexistence of distinct languages results in a true “European” nation. The Romansch area is probably the most “Swiss” part of the country. French influence is evident in Lausanne, while Lugano exhibits both Italian and Swiss influences. Every Swiss child learns two or three languages. English is spoken throughout the country, but an attempt to say a few words in any of Switzerland's languages will always be appreciated.