Culture and traditions

What language is spoken in Switzerland?

Switzerland is a State in which more than one language is spoken. In addition, depending on the area in which we find ourselves, the inhabitants use one language or another. In this article, we give you useful information about the different languages.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Official languages

In Switzerland we find four Official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. They are not all spread in the same way throughout the territory, but each one predominates in a different area.

The most spoken language is German, as it is used in 19 cantons. In this map we can see how the four languages ​​are distributed. In the pink zone the main one is French; in gray, the German; in the yellow one, the Italian; and in the green one, the romanche:

Likewise, the following table shows the percentage of the population that each one speaks and the areas in which they predominate:

German63.5%north and center
Romanche0.5%canton of Grisons

German speaks of a dialect known as Swiss German. Also, depending on the city in which we are, it varies in some aspects. For example, it is not the same in Zurich than in Bern. The same goes for Italian.

As for Romansh, it is a retrorroman language, that is, it comes from Latin and is spoken in the Alpine area, which is only used in a part of the Grisons canton. Although it is official, public documents are only written in romanche if it is sued.

The cantons in which French is spoken are Geneva, Vaud, Neucastel and the canton of Jura. The Italian is given in Ticino and southern Grisons. On the other hand, Bern, Freiburg and Valais are bilingual (German and French); and the canton of Grisons trilingual (German, Romansh and Italian). In the rest, the main one is German.

In education, it is studied in the official language of the canton in which it is lived and, in addition, it is mandatory to learn another language of the country.

Other languages

Due in part to the immigrant population in Switzerland, 6.6% of the country's inhabitants have a language other than nationals as their mother tongue. In addition, some languages ​​such as Spanish are increasingly fashionable.

On the other hand, the English It is quite widespread, since in school it is mandatory to take it. Also, in some university careers, it is the language in which it is studied.

Therefore, if you travel to Switzerland, you can defend yourself in English. However, when working, with the exception of some large companies, you will be required to know the official language of the area.

Also, if you want to travel to Switzerland to learn a specific language, there are numerous companies that organize language courses in this country.

User Questions

Can I look for work in Switzerland without knowing any of your languages?

Although it is not impossible, for any qualified job you will need to know the language spoken in the area or, in the case of some large companies, English.

Is there the Swiss language?

The Swiss does not exist as a language, since, as we have explained, in this country the national languages ​​are German, French, Italian and Romansh.

What language is spoken in Basel? And in Lucerne?

In Basel the official language is German, as in Lucerne. However, many of its inhabitants also know how to speak English, as well as some of the other national languages.

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