Bolze - a Swiss Language

(Josh Cohen) #1

For people who like languages:

However, head to medieval Basse-Ville, caught between the German- and French-speaking divisions of Fribourg, and you’ll find yourself in a no-man’s land where the two languages have become one: le Bolze.

What’s especially interesting about the language, however, is that you must have a full command of both French and Swiss German before you can begin to combine them into Bolze. Yet even those who speak both languages would not be able to follow a conversation in Bolze unless they’d actually learned the third language, which has its own unique linguistic balance and rhythm, as if precariously walking a tightrope between French and Swiss German.

There is an audio sample here:

Wikipedia has a page, but it doesn’t have much information.

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(Silvio B.) #2

It really just sounds like a Swiss German dialect with random French words thrown in :smiley: The audio sample is actually quite easy to understand for me (since Swiss German is my first language). What’s interesting is that mainly the words that describe the foods are in French, the rest is mostly Swiss German. He’s talking quite slowly and pronounces everything clearly and distinctly. I wonder if I’d understand a longer and more complex conversation.

Thanks for sharing this, Josh. :slight_smile:

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(Josh Cohen) #3

From the article it seems like only a few people still speak it. I wish they had provided a longer example. There isn’t much information about it online.

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