Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh – a multilingualism enshrined in law and cultivated in society. German is the most spoken. English is also gaining in importance. Nearly two thirds of people speak another language at least once a week.
Switzerland's four languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh – are integral to our national identity. Swiss multilingualism developed from cultural links with neighbouring Germany, Austria, France and Italy. Swiss German is the most widely spoken language. The Swiss German that people speak is very different from standard written German.
People from all over the world and ties with other countries have added to Switzerland's multilingualism and changed the linguistic landscape. Non-national languages have gained in importance while the proportion of speakers of all Swiss national languages except French has fallen. English is becoming increasingly vital in the international business world and as a lingua franca between speakers of the four national languages.