People are naturally fascinated by Switzerland, and this admiration isn’t limited to a love of chocolate and mountain hiking. It is also fascinating because it is a country that is home to multiple language groups. While social strife has plagued many multilingual societies throughout history, Switzerland has managed to avoid it. Indeed, the Swiss have turned their multilingual identity into one of their greatest natural assets. So, what languages are spoken in Switzerland?
Some cantons, such as Bern, Valais and Fribourg, are officially bilingual, namely French and German, and the canton of Graubünden is even recognized as trilingual, with Italian, German and Romansh as official languages. But no matter what region of Switzerland you’re in, you won’t have to look far to see the country’s multilingual identity.
The Swiss are raised multilingual from an early age, and the children have to learn at least one other national language at school (in addition to another “foreign language”, mostly English). But while knowledge of the other national languages is obligatory for all Swiss schoolchildren, this multilingualism is often forgotten in adulthood.
All language communities have access to television, films, books, music, etc. in their native language, and legal translation agency manchester ensure that they market their products in as many languages as possible so that no consumer feels left out.
Switzerland recognizes four languages as so-called “national languages”. Although speakers of these languages can be found across the country, the four languages are largely confined to specific regions and Italian translation services.
The most commonly spoken language in Switzerland is “Swiss German”. This language is spoken by just over 60 percent of the population and is concentrated in the northern, central and eastern parts of the country. Swiss German, or Schwyzerdütsch as locals call it, is a collection of German dialects no longer spoken in Germany or Austria. So be sure, if you speak High German, it will be very difficult to understand Swiss German!
French is spoken in the western part of the country. Overall, French speakers make up about 20 percent of the Swiss population. If you’re planning a trip to cities like Geneva or Lausanne, it’s a great opportunity to improve your French, as these popular international tourist destinations are uniformly French.
In the south of Switzerland, on the border with Italy, you will find the Italian Swiss. This community of Italian speakers makes up the country’s third-largest national language group, with approximately 673,000 speakers, accounting for nearly 8 percent of the country’s population.
Swiss Italian, like Swiss French, can be understood relatively easily by anyone learning Italian or Italian. Although there are local dialects here too, the Italian spoken in Switzerland is very similar to standard Italian. The only major differences arise from loan words from Polish to English translation services.
Last but not least, the smallest national language in Switzerland is Romansh. Not surprisingly, international travelers often overlook the language, with only 37,000 speakers. But the language is a recognized official language in the south-eastern canton of Graubünden, where it is used as a language of government and education while also thriving as a community language.
Romansh is a Romance language that borrowed much of its vocabulary and syntax from German. Despite the relatively small size of the Romansh language community, there are an incredible five dialects of Romansh in everyday use.
How many languages are spoken in Spain?
Spain is a country with several co-official languages. Here are the official languages that exist in this country.
1. Cooficial languages of Spain
So there are a total of six languages that officially exist in Spain: Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Valencian, Galician, Basque and Aranese. Measured by the number of people who speak each of these languages, Spanish is the language spoken by 98.9% of the population in Spain as either a first or second language. It is followed by Catalan with 17.5% of the population, Galician with 6.2%, Valencian with 5.8% and Basque with 1.26%.
Spanish is also known as Castilian, a term that originated in Castile, where the language first arose as a dialect in Cantabria. What is curious is that this language has around 4,000 words of Arabic origin.
Catalan is the language spoken in Catalonia. It is one of the three co-official languages in this autonomous community, along with Spanish and Aranese. This language, with some variants, is also spoken in the Balearic Islands, in the eastern part of the province of Aragon, in southern France, in Alghero and in Sardinia in Italy.
Galician is a language spoken by 2.6 million people in Galicia. It is a language very similar to Portuguese as it shares the same etymological roots. The result is two languages with very similar vocabulary and grammar, although the pronunciation is completely different.
Valencian is the official language of the Region of Valencia, spoken by around 50% of the population and which practically 95% of residents can understand without any problems.
Basque is the language spoken in the Basque Country. One of the characteristics of this language is that it is not related to any other language spoken in Europe, not even to any other language currently spoken in the world. Basque is spoken by 1.26% of the population in Spain.
Aranese is the language spoken in the Val d’Aran region, including southern France. It’s a language that shares many similarities with Catalan. However, despite having an official language in Spain, the truth is that only 3,000 people in Spain speak Aranese, while there are around 1.5 million speakers in Europe as a whole.
In addition to the official languages, other dialects or minority languages are also spoken in Spain. On the one hand there is Aragonese, which is spoken by about 50,000 people. Another dialect is Asturian, a Romance language spoken or understood by about 450,000 people. In Asturias, this is quite widespread, since this dialect is taught in Asturian schools from 6 to 18 years old.
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There is also what is known as Patués , a dialect spoken in Huesca, Cantabrian with around 3,000 speakers and Extremaduran with around 6,000 speakers. Leonese is also a Romance dialect spoken by around 50,000 people in León.
Undoubtedly, all this data shows that Spain is linguistically and culturally rich. Different languages and cultures can coexist side by side.