What language is mostly spoken in Switzerland?
Over 60% of the Swiss population speak German as their main language. They do not speak standard German but rather various Alemmanic dialects collectively called Swiss German. French is the main language in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, known as the Romandie.
Over 60% of the population speaks German (both standard German and Swiss German) as their main language, while over 20% speaks French, around 8% Italian and under 1% Romansh. Over 20% of residents have another language as their mother tongue, primarily English, Portuguese and Albanian.
German is by far the most widely spoken language in Switzerland: 19 of the country's 26 cantons are predominantly (Swiss) German-speaking. French is spoken in the western part of the country, the "Suisse Romande." Four cantons are French-speaking: Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel and Vaud.
In 2020, 62.3% of the population of Switzerland were native speakers of German (either Swiss German or Standard German) at home; 22.8% French (mostly Swiss French, but including some Franco-Provençal dialects); 8% Italian (mostly Swiss Italian, but including Lombard); and 0.5% Romansh.
Switzerland has four national languages: German (spoken by about 63% of the population), French (23%), Italian (8%) and Romansh (0.5%). Romansh is not an official language (apart from in canton Graubünden).
English is the most commonly spoken non-national language in Switzerland. It is regularly spoken by 45 percent of the population in Switzerland although it is more prevalent in German parts of the country than French and Italian.
The main difference between Swiss and Standard German is pronunciation. One particularly characteristic example is the “ch” sound, which is pronounced in a markedly more guttural way in Swiss German, and tends to be used where a "k" sound would be produced in Standard German.
While Switzerland's three official languages – German, French and Italian – are regularly spoken by practically all residents in their respective linguistic regions, the Swiss-German dialect is spoken at least once a week by 87% of those in the German-speaking part of the country.
English is the most commonly spoken non-national language in Switzerland. It is regularly spoken by 45 percent of the population in Switzerland although it is more prevalent in German parts of the country than French and Italian. It is also more widely spoken in Switzerland's big cities such as Geneva and Zurich.
You are not totally wrong in assuming that many people in Switzerland can communicate with you in English. A study by the Federal Statistical Office showed that, with about 45 percent of the Swiss population being more or less fluent in English, it is the most spoken non-national language across Switzerland.
Does the majority of Switzerland speak English?
English is the most common non-national language and is regularly spoken by 45% of the population in Switzerland. English is more widespread in the German-speaking part of the country than in Italian- and French-speaking regions (46% vs 37% and 43% respectively).
Is Swiss German Hard To Learn? Unless you live in a canton of Switzerland, learning one of its regional dialects would be challenging. Still, you can learn to understand and speak Swiss German. With practice, you can even delight and surprise native Swiss speakers with your knowledge of their “language.”