Navigation

Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Intercultural marriages Maori at heart, Swiss by love

By

The growing number of multicultural marriages in Switzerland has made bi-national couples the focus of new research. A mixed New Zealand and Swiss couple share their story and a sociolinguist tells swissinfo.ch what she has learnt.

In Switzerland adult migrants often struggle with having to learn not just one, but often two new languages at once: standard German for written communication and Swiss-German for talking to people. This factor, known as ‘diglossia’ in linguistics is pretty extreme and makes adapting to a new culture particularly challenging. Kellie Goncalves, a sociolinguist at the University of Bern, has written a book - “Conversations of intercultural couples” - dedicated to this theme. The book is based on interviews with Anglophone women married to Swiss German men. One of the women she interviewed is a New Zealand ski instructor married to a Swiss mountain guide in Interlaken. (Raffaella Rossello, swissinfo.ch)

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletter and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.