Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Everybody should just speak English!

It certainly would make things a lot easier for me. I saw this article on Yahoo today. It seems that English is definitely on the rise in Switzerland. When I was at Berlitz yesterday signing us up for French lessons, I asked the lady in charge which language was studied by the most students at the school. I was expecting her to say German, but she said English. Apparently a lot of Swiss people go to Berlitz to study English so that they can get better jobs at international companies. I'm actually surprised that only 21.7% of Swiss people use English in their workplace. I guess it's probably because a large percentage of the people working in these places AREN'T SWISS! Plus, if the survey reported the percentage of Swiss people who actually SPEAK English instead of just speaking it at their work place, it would probably be something like 80%. This, of course, includes all of the Swiss people who say they speak "a little bit" of English.
Here's a typical conversation with a Swiss salesperson in a store:

TBF: Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Swissy: A little bit!
TBF: How much does this cost?
Swissy: That's an interesting philosophical question. Perhaps you should examine the juxtaposition of your conflict rather than extrapolating various nuances of an obliquious nature.
TBF: Huh?

Sometimes when I ask "...sprechen Sie Englisch?", they answer: "Of course!"

At this point, I run for my life.

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