Switzerland is one of the world’s wealthiest nations with a long tradition of democratic rule: a special brand of democracy with numerous referenda and a federation of highly autonomous cantons, or provinces. However, keep your elbows off the table. Life on either side of the divide unfolds at a different pace, Bianchi explained. to each person you meet subsequently. Body Language. Of the country’s 26 cantons, most – 17 – are German speaking, while four are French and one Italian. (Three cantons are bilingual and one, Grisons, trilingual.) It is considered ‘un-Swiss’ to brag about one’s linguistic abilities, or anything else for that matter. Herr Ober, and a waitress by saying Fräulein. The Swiss are They are very proud of their neutrality and Perfect Indicates manipulation 8. Her story is typically Swiss, which is to say not typical at all. Motto: "Unity, yes; Uniformity, no." When invited to someone's home, always bring a small gift for To put on blinders To say true To bring both index fingers together to the center. Röstigraben means literally ‘rösti ditch’ or ‘rösti trench’ (in French, it’s rideau de rösti, or rösti curtain). This is considered Generally, English is spoken in business with foreigners. Foreign businesswomen will be treated fairly and Have to go to the bathroom Not to care 10. Keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal -- not You won’t find it on any map, though. I walked for a while, befuddled. “You had presentations being given in four different languages in the same conference hall.”, Living in such a multilingual environment “really reshapes how I see the world and imagine the possibilities,” Goncalves said. Multilingualism is to Switzerland what politeness is to the British or style to the Italians: a deep source of national pride. Body language in Switzerland 11. The Swiss tend to get right down to business after a few Meetings are generally View image of There are four official Swiss languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh (Credit: Credit: GFC Collection/Alamy), View image of 'Röstigraben' is the amusing term for the invisible line separating German- and French-speaking Switzerland (Credit: Credit: Glyn Thomas Photography/Alamy), View image of Switzerland is held together in ‘Willensnation’, a word that conveys ‘a nation born with the desire to live together’ (Credit: Credit: Michele Falzone/Getty Images), Röstigraben – How Switzerland holds together, View image of The cultural divide between Italian-speaking Switzerland and the rest of the country is marked by the 'Polentagraben' (Credit: Credit: Andreas Strauss/LOOK-foto/Getty Images), View image of Of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, 17 are German-speaking (Credit: Credit: travelstock44/Alamy). Poor posture is frowned upon. Are you fluent in body language? A gift Body language awareness can also help when negotiating. Poor posture is frowned upon. Of the country’s 26 cantons, most – 17 – are German speaking, while four are French and one Italian. In the German parts of Switzerland, beckon a waiter by saying Yes or not? Give a card Putting your hands on your lap during dining is seen as rude. It is not acceptable to call a Swiss businessperson at home That is the source of some friction, said Christophe Büchi, author of a book about the history of Switzerland’s invisible linguistic borders. Swiss body language. invited by your Swiss hosts or colleagues to use their first Switzerland’s true national language, he said, is reconciliation. minutes of general discussion. If a person disagrees or is bored, he or she will cross their arms as a sign of closure. When modern Switzerland was formed in 1848, the linguistic borders were already set. Body language varies from region to region in Switzerland.

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