For the first time on our show, we're answering questions from our listeners in the Facebook group "Switzerland for English speakers". If you'd like to join in the discussion, network with other English speakers interested in Switzerland and share your experiences, please feel free to join the group and say 'hello'!
This episode is all about Swiss German and high German. What is Swiss German? Do you need to learn it? And if so, where can you learn it and how. We look at the pros and cons compared to learning high German, and hear how it sounds.
Notes on this episode of Swiss and Chips: Your British Guide to Switzerland
- What is Swiss German and what is the difference to high German? - Can you move to Switzerland without knowing any Swiss German? - Once in Switzerland, what should you learn and what are the pros and cons of Swiss German vs. high German? - What is the best way to learn (Swiss) German? - We answer questions from our Facebook group
You've found your way to Switzerland and started setting up a life here. Now it's time to try and get to know the locals, and what better way to do it than over some food? But where to begin? And how to go about it without committing any major faux-pas? There are some simple (unspoken) rules that will enable you to hit the spot. In this episode, we answer the most important questions and give you a glimpse into the Swiss way of thinking, so there will be no big surprises coming your way after the first course.
Notes on this episode of 'Your British Guide to Switzerland'
- First things first: How do you get invited to a Swiss person's home? - When should you arrive? What is considered too early, or too late? - What should you bring with you? - How do you say hello: hugs, kisses, a firm handshake? - What is the normal procedure after you get there? - What can you expect in terms of food? - How long should you stay? - Which topics of conversation should you avoid? - How can you follow up afterwards?
What drives someone who's not particularly interested in the monarchy to watch a full royal wedding? We found out this weekend as we switched our TV over to the BBC and soaked up the atmosphere in Windsor for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, all from the safety of a Swiss chalet in the Bernese Alps.
Who pays for a royal wedding? BBC's 'Reality Check' does a nice job of trying to break down the figures, albeit it without too much information at their disposal.
And while we're on the topic... how does the Queen afford all those new dresses?
Not everybody loves the Royal Family, and not everybody wanted to watch the wedding. Campaign group Republic launched a petition in advance of the big day to try and stop taxpayers' money being spent on the event. It had 32,000 signatures.
And something we didn't hear mentioned during the festivities, but which was covered in the UK press beforehand, was how the homeless were having their property, including sleeping bags, put into storage before the wedding, while royalists camped out on the streets overnight to secure a spot to watch the day's events.
There a number of different types of tickets and railcards you can buy to travel around Switzerland whether you have just moved here, or you're only visiting. We run through the discounts available, where and how to buy tickets and how much you can expect it all to set you back.
The food people pack for a picnic would be similar all over Europe, right? Well, as it turns out, a Swiss picnic contains some very typical items, and they're quite different to what would be found in a British picnic basket.
Notes on this episode
We are in Italy for the week: first at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, and then Rome. In this episode we talk about why it's different to travel from Switzerland to neighbouring countries, than it is from England.
Notes on this episode
* What is it like to have Paris and Rome on your doorstep? * How often do Swiss travel and how easy is it to cross the border? * Is there a difference in the way Swiss and Brits travel? * What is 'shopping tourism' and why is it a big issue in Switzerland?
Although Switzerland isn't a big country, it still has a number of airports and each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages. Looking for the perfect flight home can be like searching for the holy grail at first, but if you know some basics, it becomes pretty straightforward.
How can you find your perfect flight home? It's all about a combination of the below factors:
What marks the different Swiss airports apart? We discuss the pros and cons of flying from Basel, Bern, Geneva or Zurich.
And don't forget, these are the basics of finding a cheap flight:
Most Swiss have an opinion about everything and everyone. And that includes the English. Although the first image that springs to mind when thinking of the English might be one of Brits abroad: the red faced, football shirt-wearing, beer can-waving lad that's a familiar sight in warmer countries during the summer months; on second thought, the English also have a reputation for being polite, respectful or even admirable.
In this episode we talk about some of the most commonly-held prejudices some Swiss have about the Brits and Jo has the chance to defend British culture.
Let's do this the Swiss way, by starting a critical conversation with some compliments and positive points:
Although the Swiss are generally respectful about the Brits, not all thoughts are positive:
Chunky chips or skinny fries? And is there a place in any ham sandwich for a slice of gherkin and a bit of hard-boiled egg? There are some big differences between Swiss and British food, and the expectations on both sides. Jo and Simon talk about what they love and hate in both country's cuisines.
Send a message on WhatsApp: The best way to receive our podcast and get in touch is via WhatsApp. Save our phone number in your contacts, then send a message with your name, to: +41 78 915 39 59
The first show is about Swiss surprises: expectations versus reality.
Send a message on WhatsApp: The best way to receive our podcast and get in touch is via WhatsApp. Save our phone number in your contacts, then send a message, with your name, to: +41 78 915 39 59
It is an entertaining podcast of a British journalist living in Switzerland and a Swiss, who gives a swiss view.