Languages of Switzerland

Map by Helios Maps

Shown above is the language map of Switzerland. Here, the country is distributed by four areas that are each corresponding to its four official languages.

German is the language that is most used by the Swiss; 72% of the population are native German speakers. This language is used in the cities of Zürich, the nation’s largest city, and Bern, where the seats of government and parliament are located.

Meanwhile, 21% of Swiss people natively speak French, which is the second most popular language in the country. It is spoken in the Normandy region located in the western part of the country. It is in this region where the city of Geneva is based.

Italian is spoken in Switzerland’s southeastern regions – 6.5% of the country – including the city of Lugano.

Romansh is the least spoken language in the Swiss nation. This language only accounts for 0.5% of the country; only 45,000 people speak it on a daily basis.

Reddit user u/CoryTrevor-NS notes that the Italian language that is spoken in the country “sounds like northern Lombard accents and is very much intelligible with standard Italian,” but adds that there are certain linguistic constructs derived from the other two main Swiss languages, German and French, that “wouldn’t be properly correct in standard Italian.” Other than these differences, the user says that there are no communication barriers between Swiss Italians and peninsular Italians (i.e. residents of the Italian Republic).

The many languages of Switzerland are perhaps because of its borders with different countries. The country’s wide German-speaking area is bordered by Germany, Liechtenstein, and Austria in the north and east; German is the official language of these border countries. The French-speaking Normandy region is bordered by France in the West. In the south of the country’s Italian-speaking region lies Italy.

If you’ve got your eyes on Switzerland in the future, check out these books to explore their country and its languages:

Help us out by sharing this map:

Leave a Comment