Language

Switzerland (Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera) has three official federal languages: German (the native language of about 64% of the population), French (20%) and Italian (7%). A fourth language, Romansch, is spoken by less than 1% of the population, mainly in the canton of Graubünden. Since 1996 Romansch has had the status of a semi-official federal language, with guarantees for its preservation and promotion.

English is widely spoken – especially in the major cities, towns and resorts – though a smattering of the local language and a phrasebook certainly come in handy in more off-the-radar corners of the country. Restaurant menus are not universally available in English, but usually a member of staff will be able to translate.