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Learn German in Switzerland

Merry Christmas!

Joyeux Noël!

Frohe Weihnachten!

Buon Natale!

The thing about celebrating Christmas in Switzerland is that you're never stuck for words when it comes to wishing one and all the very best wishes for the festive season!

I discovered this a few years ago when studying at a Swiss university, but I also found out some other very interesting details about spending the silly season in Switzerland. For in Switzerland, it can get a whole lot sillier! Many people celebrate the festival of Chlausjagen on the evening of the feast day of Saint Nicholas (December 6), yet in regional areas this benevolent figure could well be joined by the demonic Schmutzli, the punishment provider for any naughty girls or boys!

Otherwise, Swiss Christmas is characterised by a mixture of German, French, and Italian traditions, which is evident as gifts are brought to Switzerland either by the Christkindli, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas and his wife Lucy.

If you decide to learn French in Switzerland, then you're in luck you'll still be wishing Joyeux Noël to anyone you want to wish well, just the same as you would if you had opted to learn French in France. With the recognition of French as an historical lingua franca and a major world language today, even those who haven't studied French should be familiar with Joyeux Noël.

However, for those who are interested to learn German in Switzerland, it's another case entirely! Instead of wishing the German Frohe/Fröhliche Weihnachten, you'll instead say schöni Fäschttäg / schöni Wienachte in Swiss German. To wish someone a happy New Year, you can then say und e guets neus Jahr in Swiss German instead of und ein gutes neues Jahr.

Yet there's a fourth official language in Switzerland, and that's Romansh. How could you wish someone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year in the Sursilvan (Rhine) dialect of Romansh? Well here you go an answer to all your questions:

Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal ed in bien niev onn!

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