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Working & Languages in Switzerland

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I have just started considering the possibility of moving to Switzerland to work from the UK. I work in the accounting field and I hope to find work in the same field in Switzerland.

Would just speaking English be sufficient to work and live in Switzerland? Is that perceived negatively?

I know that French, German and Italian are the commonly spoken languages, but is there one that is considered the most spoken?

Any replies would be much appreciated!


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  • Juan Ubide Barreda

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    For example speaking the Greek in Greece? ;-). I only can reading the Greek (I read with the way Greek Classic).

  • posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Thanks Fabrizio!

    I once met a Greek guy who told me the same thing. He got a job in Basel in the R&D field and he only speaks English. He gets on with life there just fine, in and out of the office.

    But to meet local people and intergrate, I agree, you do need to speak the local language a bit.


  • Leser Antwan Pena

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Hi Silvana,

    I would like to tell you a little bit about my story :) I met this beautiful girl here in NY where i live she was visiting from Switzerland. we are now boyfriend and girlfriend and we are thinking of getting marry.

    Before this happens I need to find a job, I have send a lot of email with refusal saying that they do not have any job offer for me. I really want to find a job in Switzerland but its has been very hard.

    Do you think if I get marry and than get the working permit will i have any luck finding a job ?

    I accept any comments or questions.

  • Juan Ubide Barreda

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Roula, good luck in Switzerland.

    If you learn to say "Guten Tag, Guten Abend and Gute NAcht" that is good ;)

  • Working & Languages in Switzerland

    posted by Deleted user in Switzerland forum 


    thank you for your input. I'm researching at the moment and hopefully I will be able to make a decision.



  • Silvana Wasitova

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    it depends on where you want to live/work in Switzerland, your field of work, and your employer/clients.
    Geneva is quite international, many people can get by with English only, and live and work in English. Would also work in a multinational corporation that uses English as their official language.

    In general, and in other cities in Switzerland, you'll be much better off knowing the local language.

    Good luck!

  • iulia P

    posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Hello Roula,

    Unfortunatelly what Jose Antonio said is true. I started to work in Basel 2 months ago and I can say that even if the city is near the border with France, they all speak german. Is not so common for them to speak other language, so the best for you is to adapt to their habits and try to learn the language of the local region.Concerning german region of Switzerland, I shall give you only a small advice, if you will select this area: try to learn the pure german, and after their dialect.Let's say that is a little bit different, and the fact of knowing some german can help you a lot after.
    Concerning the job, Zurich is the city where you could find some jobs, where the main language which is required is english, and this usually by Banks like UBS or Credit Suisse.
    Good luck

  • posted by  in Switzerland forum 

    Hi Roula,

    If you want to come to Switzerland I would strongly recommend to learn the language of the region you are going to live in if you want to integrate. English is not so common for daily life, at least in the french region, so if you don't want to be stuck to communicating only with expats you need the local region.

    About the most common, it depends on the region, in the french part they only speak french, no german or italian, and so on.

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