54. Compare and Contrast Switzerland and France in terms of language and culture.
Before the 1500s, French was only spoken in Paris but as the kings in France expanded their control, they decreed that French be used in all of France, not just Paris. Today, French is not the only language spoken in France; various parts speak German, Basque, Alsatian, and Breton. French is a symbol of French cultural pride.
The official language of France is French but there are three in Switzerland- French, German, and Italian, and some people speak a dialect called Romansch. Each ethnic group in Switzerland has its own name for their country. The German-speaking Swiss call It Schweiz, the French-speaking call it Suisse, the Italian speaking call it Svizzera, and we in the United States know it as the Swiss Confederation. The official name of Switzerland, however, is Confederation Helvetica. The many people from different cultural traditions have made Switzerland a proud, thriving, and independent country.
The French take enormous pride in their intellectual and artistic achievements; many of the world’s most famous painters have been French. The French also have a large role in creating different clothing styles and their attire influences fashion all over the world.
Switzerland has twenty-six different cantons which differ greatly from one another in language, religion, and customs. The cantons have an independent spirit and national unity, which has helped the country thrive. Switzerland also has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Paris, the capital of France, has been the cultural center of the country for many centuries. The city’s atmosphere has attracted artists from all over the world which is why, today it is known for its theaters, operas, orchestras, cinemas, and art museums.
Bern, the capital of Switzerland, is also a large cultural center, being the most populated place in all of Switzerland. It’s famous for its fountains, and is known as The City of Fountains. Berne is also famous for its artists and historical monuments and buildings.
In short, there are a lot of similarities as well as differences between France and Switzerland which reflect upon the individual cultures and nationalities. The similarities include the French language, the artistic heritage, and the geographic location of both the countries.
The differences are the currencies, the historical background, the different religions and cultures, and regional differences between each country.
I assume that information is what you found in your book. If so, to answer this question adequately, you'll need to do some more research.
France has one language -- French. Although a few English words and phrases have crept into the normal French vocablary, proud purists frown on anything that isn't strictly French. Most people are at least nominally Roman Catholic.
What about the four languages of Switzerland? What about the religions practiced there? Note that even in French-speaking Geneva, John Calvin was influential in bringing about Protestantism.
How have the differences in geography affected the culture of both countries? Switzerland is landlocked, while France borders the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. What about the difference in landforms? How has that influenced settlement patterns and agriculture?
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