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The National Museum of Zurich dives into the linguistic diversity of Switzerland.

The Landesmuseum in Zurich is inviting visitors to explore the complex Swiss language landscape in its exhibition “Sprachenland Schweiz”. Switzerland is home to four official languages, dialects, sign language and languages spoken by migrants. The exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the different languages spoken in Switzerland, highlighting the historical reasons for the linguistic diversity. The Reformation had a significant impact on the development of languages, with the Bible being written in a language close to the spoken dialects in Zurich, while the Reformers in the West favoured the French of the upper classes in Northern France rather than the Patois spoken by the people. This has resulted in the regional dialects in the West being largely lost, while in the German-speaking part of Switzerland they are still preserved. The exhibition also looks at the languages spoken by migrants, which can be a challenge in their new home, as well as sign language, which is often overlooked. The exhibition is accompanied by a soundscape created using game technology, and a script written by Vincent Kucholl. It is open until 14th January.nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

©Keystone/SDA

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