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Foreigners in Switzerland speak more national languages than the Swiss

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Foreigners in Switzerland are more likely to be bilingual than the Swiss. Photo: Eric Andreson
17:34 CET+01:00
Foreigners in Switzerland are more likely to speak two of the national languages than their Swiss counterparts.

Nearly 20 percent of immigrants living in Switzerland practise two national languages on a daily basis, compared with 14 percent of Swiss nationals, according to details from the last census carried out by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) in 2014.

The results showed that 80 percent of Swiss people are monolingual, while just eight percent speak both a national language and a non-national one.

While one in five foreigners speak two national languages, almost half speak one national language alongside a non-national one. Meanwhile, one in 13 foreigners living in Switzerland don't practice any of the country's four languages, which are German, French, Italian and Romansh.

German is the most widely spoken language in a professional context, with three out of four workers speaking it, followed by French (29 percent), English (18 percent), Italian (13 percent), or another language (six percent). 

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