Glocalization à la Suisse

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    Abstract

    When I lived in Basel, a city in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, I often found myself performing an involuntary field experiment in language attitudes. As likely to speak English as German in public, I was regularly confronted with strangers’ different reactions to an English-speaking person and a German-speaking person. My English-speaking me only had positive experiences: strangers who overheard me speak English with my child, for instance, would often accost me and ask, in English, where I was from. As I had no desire to share the story of my life on such an occasion, I would respond “from Australia.” My interlocutors would then usually tell me, in sometimes quite effortful English, what a wonderful country Australia was; they would ask me how I liked Basel, and they would give me tips on how to make my time in Switzerland more enjoyable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2011

    Bibliographical note

    © 2018 Language on the Move. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

    Keywords

    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)

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