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Zürich English Speaking Group Message Board › Questions about living, working and speaking in Switzerland

Questions about living, working and speaking in Switzerland

A former member
Post #: 1
Hello all,

I apologize if this is not the appropriate forum for this kind of discussion but I've done my research and decided it would be best (and easiest) to go straight to the source: You!

My wife and I are planning on moving to Switzerland from the US within the next couple of years. Our main concern is the language barrier throughout the country. The company I work for has offices in Zurich, Geneva and I think Bern but I would most likely end up in either Zurich or Geneva. So we're trying to decide if we should learn German first or French, or both. I'm sure it's a "depends where you live" kind of thing but what I'm ultimately trying to determine is what language is best suited to get us around the entire country, both from a personal and business standpoint. I travel for work so I also wonder how much English is spoken in a day-to-day business environment.

I'd also be interested to hear what US cities some of you moved from and how the cost of living in Switzerland compares.

Thank you for your time!

A former member
Post #: 12
Hi Joe!

While I have not made the move myself quite yet (moving in March), I do have Some information that might be helpful to you.....

My boyfriend and I are moving because of him being transferred with work, which is in Baden & Dattwil, which is relatively close to the Zurich area....

supposedly German would be the language to start with should you end up in the Zurich area (the company that he works for is Alstom, who has informed us that it would be best to learn German first...)

Something to keep in mind ... swiss-german is pretty different from regular german!! Having a good German speaking base, however, will definitely make the transition easier for you.

Hope that was even a little bit helpful! :-)


(by the way, my boyfriend and I are moving from Massachusetts.... so far we have found that the cost of living is somewhat comparable to what we have encountered in MA)
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