Languages of Switzerland

Languages of Switzerland
Switzerland Linguistic EN.png
Official languagesGerman, French, Italian
National languages
VernacularsSwiss German, Swiss French, Swiss Italian, Arpitan, Lombard, Walser German
Main immigrant languages
Sign languagesSwiss German Sign Language, French Sign Language, Italian Sign Language[1]
Common keyboard layouts
SourceFSO[2]

The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh.[3] All but Romansh maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation.[4] In some situations, Latin is used, particularly as a single language to denote the country.

In 2015, the Swiss population was comprised: 63.0% native speakers of German (59.5% speak Swiss German and/or 10.4% Standard German at home); 22.7% French (mostly Swiss French, but including some Arpitan dialects); 8.4% Italian (mostly Swiss Italian, but including Lombard dialects); and 0.6% Romansh.[5] The German region (Deutschschweiz) is roughly in the east, north and center; the French part (la Romandie) in the west and the Italian area (Svizzera italiana) in the south. There remains a small Romansh-speaking native population in Graubünden in the east. The cantons of Fribourg, Bern and Valais are officially bilingual; the canton of Graubünden is officially trilingual.

History

The main languages of Swiss residents from 1950 to 2015, in percentages, were as follows:[5]

Year German French Italian Romansh Other
2015 63.0 22.7 8.4 0.6 5.3
2000 63.7 20.4 6.5 0.5 9.0
1990 63.6 19.2 7.6 0.6 8.9
1980 65.0 18.4 9.8 0.8 6.0
1970 64.9 18.1 11.9 0.8 4.3
1960 69.4 18.9 9.5 0.9 1.4
1950 72.1 20.3 5.9 1.0 0.7

In 2012, for the first time, respondents could indicate more than one language, causing the percentages to exceed 100%.[5]

Other Languages