|Switzerland - a multilingual land|
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The Swiss come with three languages as standard equipment: their mother tongue (i.e. Swiss German, Italian or French), another national language that is not their mother tongue and English. This makes the Swiss equal to the Dutch in terms of linguistic ability, but in Switzerland it is just taken for granted.
The main languages of Switzerland are German (or rather Swiss German), with 65% speaking it, French (20%) and Italian (7.5%). A few thousand people in Grisons speak Romansh, the closest living offspring of ancient Latin. It has recently been promoted to the status of an official language for the sake of regional cultural recognition, but has no practical importance.
Good news for speakers of English: the English language is widely understood in Switzerland, especially in the German-speaking part and in Geneva. The Swiss are indeed so fond of English that many advertisements are in English, which has the double advantage of being hip and of avoiding the need to translate everything three times.
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