Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How much do you know about Europe?

You’ll have to excuse the Frau. But give her a list or a quiz and she can't wait to conquer it. So as you can imagine, little tests like “How Many Countries Have You Been To?” get her all strange and competitive on Facebook.

Naturally, when the Frau discovered the DK Quiz Europe Quiz, she had to take it. Can you beat the Frau? She got 19/20, so there’s a chance!

For all of you Switzerland-based expat nerds like the Frau, there is one question about Switzerland in this quiz. The Frau got this question right (thank goodness!), but she would actually like to question the question.

The Switzerland question was:

What is the most commonly spoken language in Switzerland?

Here’s a hint: Swiss German is not a possible answer.

Viel Spass!


Amanda said...

I did poorly on the quiz, but at least I know how to spell Liechtenstein correctly!

Chantal said...

Congrats...that is a feat in itself!

Martin said...

German ... well not an easy subject to you, I see.

But consider this: The various spoken Swiss-German dialects and the so-called Hochsprache German (mostly used in written form, but by far not only!) are actually the famous two sides of the one and same medal.

In linguitics, there is even a term for it: Diglossia (

So you cannot say that Swiss Germans do not speak German, the contrary is true. If you understand the term 'German' as the general, summary term for both, the dialects AND the Hochsprache (standard language), then the answer to the quiz is totally correct.
At least from an academic, lingustical point of view!

If you want to know more about exactely this subject by a highly decorated and renowned (in the whole German speaking world) Swiss Professor for German Literature in a most elaboratedly expressed (Hochdeutschen) text, try to read the follwoing:

Peter von Matt: "Deutsch in der Deutschen Schweiz" in "Das Kalb vor der Gotthardpost", Hanser Verlag, München, 2012, p. 127-138

And I can highliest recommend all other essays in this book!

Chantal said...

Hi Martin,

Yeah, I wish German was an easier subject for me! Thanks for your point of view.


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