It is a simple question with a complex answer: How many official languages does Switzerland have?
The straightforward answer is four: French, German, Italian and Rumantsch.
While it is true that these four languages are official, the complexity comes in when it is considered that the proportion of foreign residents in Switzerland is 22.8%. In other words, at any one time, up to a quarter of the population is in the process of integrating into Swiss society.
World Radio Switzerland
World Radio Switzerland caters to the English speaking population in Switzerland, as well as to the Swiss Abroad community. WRS is a government funded service to the public, and it is about to be shut down.
Some of you may have heard that after 15 years of providing valuable programming, the parent company of WRS (The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation) is planning to privatize or close the station by the end of 2012.
Sign the Petition
As a platform catering to English speakers in Switzerland, Newly Swissed is supporting the movement to save WRS. We would like to encourage you to sign the petition if you feel that an English radio station is important to maintain diversity and ultimately help foreigners assimilate to life in Switzerland.
Listen to my Interview
Here is my recent interview with WRS' The Connectors. Catherine, Margriet and Bruno had been looking at our site and made some interesting observations...
Stream WRS from anywhere in the World
To listen to the live stream of WRS, look for the orange “Listen Online” link at the top of every page.
On principle, I support WRS – it serves a good function and should stay on air. However, it is hard to get excited about a station that I can’t hear… It’s madness that it’s not on FM outside Geneva. (OK, it’s on the internet, but I’m always out in the car). Maybe the best English-language service would be one that is available to all and is adequately supported by its backers?