• Mailbag



Known all over the world

Look at how the modern world works. Without a common language – at least a basic knowledge of the second major national language – it will be difficult to explain to future generations how Switzerland works. We Swiss are also well known for our linguistic skills all over the world. And I’m not referring to English here because that is now spoken by many people. Let us not give up this advantage through being idle!

Stephan Bernhard, by email

Early English is superfluous

(Almost) everyone will learn English sooner or later because it is an omnipresent, prestigious and useful language. Early English learning is therefore superfluous. Our children and young people should learn French (or German) first. The minimum requirement is a passive knowledge. The call for Swiss German to be spoken in French-speaking Switzerland is absurd. We write our readers’ letters and comments in High German without any problems.

Andreas Ernst, by email

“Home advantage” of linguistic diversity

The Swiss should make the most of their home advantage to start learning French as early as possible. They will learn English at some point anyway. I am extremely grateful for having “home advantage” with French in my new home in Belgium, both professionally but also privately and culturally. Switzerland should maintain its cultural and linguistic diversity, otherwise it risks being diminished. The German-speaking Swiss, even if they make up the absolute majority in Switzerland, should not become idle. The example set by the people of Ticino and the Romansh speakers should be followed! 

Grazia Berger, by email

Can the people also get it wrong?

I holiday in Switzerland every year. It is the most wonderful country on earth. The natural environment is perfect, the food is of the highest quality, transport is readily available, and the Swiss people generally are a pleasure to deal with. The most wonderful thing of all about Switzerland is that, through direct democracy, the Swiss have the power to stop government from destroying their society, and that is why Switzerland is the envy of the world. Naturally, there will be an element within Swiss society who resent the fact that they cannot force their views on everyone else, but, fortunately, the Swiss democratic system prevents this from happening. In contrast, in my home country, Australia, we truly have a “tyranny of the minority”. The media, academia, the public services and the institutions of the country are predominantly leftist and they tightly control the political agenda, ensuring ordinary people have little or no say in national policy. As a consequence, our society and our economy are in decline. So, be thankful that you have the power to stop politicians from making self-serving decisions that cause great harm to your country. 

Barry, Australia