As part of your work contract, you might have to learn one of the languages of Switzerland. Although English is wide spoken throughout Switzerland, as it is taught in Swiss schools from an early age, it is still important to know the local language of your local county (canton). Whether you need to learn a language for work or for a language certification for citizenship, you need to know what language is spoken. This is also vital if you are looking for a job with a local or international company.
What is the official language of Switzerland?
In Switzerland, the official languages are German, French, Italian and Romansh. Each canton has either one or two official languages. The border between French-speaking and German-speaking canton is known as the Röstigraben.
What is the official language of my canton?
The national language of each canton is:
- German: Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Glarus, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Uri, Zug, Zurich
- French: Geneva, Vaud, Jura, Neuchatel
- Italian: Ticino
- German / French: Bern, Fribourg, Valais
- German / Italian / Romansch: Graubünden
German language schools
If you would like to start learning German, you can check out our list of recommended German-language schools. These institutions offer classes for all abilities and can provide one on one tuition for children and adults alike.
French language schools
If you find yourself living in Geneva or Lausanne, there are several French-language schools that can help you adjust to life in Switzerland. These institutions are universally recognized and can provide high-quality tuition to make sure that you are able to speak the language to the best of your ability.
English language schools
In the large cities in Switzerland, English has started to become the dominant language on the street. In Switzerland, the English language is taught at a young age as it is seen as a excellent bonus to put on your CV. Particularly as more international companies enter the Swiss market, you may want to attend an English-language school to brush up on your skills.