Switzerland: Challenges in a Multilingual Society

Sofie Untersee, Josephine Nathalie Wärme, Camilla Mors Lausten, Christian Breenfeldt Andersen & Nicoline Finderup

Student thesis: Basic Project


Switzerland has four acknowledged languages, however, as these are found unequally divided, a tangible imbalance of individual perceptions of future, unity and education therefore occurs. The problem formulation: What are the challenges a language minority face in multilingual Switzerland, opens up for an investigation of these individual challenges. This study is founded on interviews conducted by the use of the Phenomenological method, together with an Ethnographic method as a general approach. Through the application of the three principal theories, the categories of difficulties were deciphered: unity, language in education, group formation and discrimination. Through the life worlds of the interviewees, these difficulties were analysed. The study discusses a common language as a problem solver, in regards to the analytically identified problems. Through the discussion, the use of Esperanto as lingua franca was deemed inadequate. However, English with its high market value and current implementation within Swiss youth was found suitable as a unifying, lingual denominator between the different language regions.

EducationsBasic - International Bachelor Study Programme in Humanities, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date2016
Number of pages54
SupervisorsAnne Fabricius