In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that Switzerland has four national languages: Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansh. Swiss German speakers make up 63.6% of the population, French speakers make up 20.4%, Italian speakers make up 6.5% and Romansh 0.5%.* In fact, Switzerland’s diversity, particularly it’s diverse languages, is one of the primary ways it differentiates itself from its more homogeneous neighbors.
What does the CH stand for? Confederatio Helvetica. Just don’t ask me how to pronounce it.
Who were the Helvetians? They were a tribe that lived in Switzerland that were beaten by Julius Cesar in 58 B.C. They lived (more or less) in the borders of modern day Switzerland. This isn’t terribly surprising as modern day Switzerland follows natural geographic boundaries (the Rhine, the Rhone, the Alps and the Jura).