#week 8 of 2022: Oddities of a Foreign Language

Apparently, I will never stop learning. I mean, who ever will? So, in Switzerland, even tho we live such a little country, we have 4 national languages. Indeed, if you travel around Switzerland and crossing it by car from place to place, you see that the traffic signal are going to be in different languages depending where are you at.

With that saying.. why am I telling you this? Because I wanna explain you what I learn few years ago.

Basically from my home town, which is Ascona in the South of Switzerland where people do speak Italian, to Zurich, which is well known worldwide to be the financial capital of Switzerland and having one of the most expensive shopping street: you get from Italian language speaking to German language idiom… we have a tunnel that kind of divide the Italian to the German part. So, after the tunnel you start seeing everything written in German (vice versa if you are coming from the other side of the tunnel).

We did it a lot with my family when I was little kid. I got impressed on my mind 2 kind of words “Raststätte” and “Ausfahrt”. I used them as a referring point for letting people know where I was at. Little did I know these two words were not places but actual words with meanings: here you go provided with the translations “Service Area” and “Exit”.

So yeah.. maybe this is something from us (I am speaking from the Swiss Italian people) that nowadays are still using these two words as a referring point. Imagining me, talking on the phone with my family and saying “Oh yeah, I am right here, I just reached Raststätte” and if you know the meaning and just heard what I said, you would look at me “Dude, it’s plenty of  Service Area in Switzerland”.