05 June 2008

Ba-s/b-el


Friday last week Tue got out of bed early in order to take a train from Geneva and be in Basel before 9 in the morning. Since a complete day with lectures on chemical subjects didn't entice Lisbeth nearly as much she slept a little longer and took a later train so she could be in Basel by 6 in the evening.

Already on the way there certain changes were noticed - when Tue had to get on a connecting train in Bern it was suddenly German that was coming out of the speakers on the train station. The weekend turned out to offer good old-fashioned language confusion: Typically we were spoken to in Swiss-German, to which we replied in German. This often resulted in the locals responding in English, after which we found ourselves on numerous occasions saying either "thank you" or "ok" ... in French!


Jean Tinguely was from the nearby, but German, city Freiburg. In Basel one finds this intriguing fountain designed by him (curiously enough this was paid for by the grocery chain Migros) and one of the many museums in Basel bears his name.

2 comments:

Drew said...

You crazy kids and your crazy polyglot ways! :)
Does German with a Danish accent (?) sound anything like an English one, or was it just a default?

t said...

Danish accent on German is - in most cases - much less pronounced than an English one, since the two languages uses fairly similar sounds. So I think it was a default - according to Lonely Planet many Swiss from that region prefer English over "proper German". It kinda like when Danes and Swedes talk together, at first we'll try in mixed Danish/Swedish because we know the languages are closely related, but at the first sign of trouble both will switch to English...