The caricature shows the division between French- and Germanspeaking Switzerland in World War I. © Nebelspalter
Languages are more than merely a means of communication; they also shape daily lives and are part of culture. The exhibition (Sprachenland Schweiz/La Suisse, pays de langues) shows Switzerland’s linguistic landscape. In addition to the four national languages (German, Italian, French, and Romansh), countless other languages, dialects, accents, and types of slang can be heard.
Languages are a key part of Switzerland’s cultural heritage, and this exhibition explores them from a cultural history perspective. Language is constantly changing and closely linked to (contemporary) history. Historical events, such as the presence of Raethian tribes, the Roman occupation, the immigration of German-speaking tribes and Walser, and the Reformation, have decisively shaped the evolution of languages in Switzerland.
Language remains highly political to this day. The exhibition presents various topics innovatively and interactively. Visitors tour and travel through Switzerland’s linguistic landscape in space and time.