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Switzerland - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture Paperback – September 5, 2006


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Switzerland - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture + Swiss Watching: Inside the Land of Milk and Money + Xenophobe's Guide to the Swiss
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Product Details

  • Series: Culture Smart!
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857333209
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857333206
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.

About the Author

KENDALL MAYCOCK is a Canadian author and journalist living in Zurich. After graduating in political science from the University of Calgary she worked for an independent newspaper in South Africa, where she met her Swiss husband. Her book Black Taxi: Shooting South Africa documents her experiences there. She has contributed cultural essays to the Washington Times magazine “The World and I,” and writes a monthly column for the Swiss parenting magazine The New Stork Times about life as an expatriate resident coming to terms with, and growing to love, her adopted Switzerland.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Riesen on December 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
I grew up in Switzerland and bought this book out of curiosity to see how others see the Swiss. I found the information in this booklet very concise and easy to read. For the most part the book is very acurate and up-to-date. It is also fun to read and gives lots of information on understanding the Swiss, their history, and their customs. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about the Swiss and their country.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sarah W. Megonigal on June 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a gift for a graduate student who was going to work in Switzerland for two years. However, I did look through it before giving it away, and I had done quite a bit of research on line before picking this particular item. The book seemed to me a very practical guide for someone taking up residence in Switzerland, and was not so much meant for the casual 2-week vacationer. The sections on cultural differences between the Swiss and other people were particularly interesting, and would head off some awkward moments for a new immigrant. The parts about rules for apartment living sound quite strict for someone from America, but, again, would prevent misunderstandings between Swiss and foreign tenants. There are also the more usual guidebook sections on recreation, such as hiking, skiing, eating in restaurants, etc. The student who received the book proclaimed it "great", and I think it will come in handy in the months ahead.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christine Weber on November 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for a friend in the U.S.A. As a Swiss I was very curiouse to read how "the Swiss" are.
I can agree with most things in the book and recomand "Switzerland - culture Smart!" to everybody who is interested in getting a quick overview about the general Swiss culture and attitude.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jocelabbe on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Swiss people love to tell visitors about the history of their country. Reading this book first helps you understand them better and allows you to ask intelligent questions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nenad Petrovic on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Being Swiss and having lived abroad for almost two years now I feel entited to judge this book. Not only do I know my own cultuer but also i have gained enogh distance to my own culture to perceive better what constitutes Swiss culture is. I highly recommend this book. It is a great indtorduction to Swiss culture. The author managed to describe Swiss culture accurately, respectfully and a fine sense of humour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
More of a series of extended tips for long term travelers. The ideas were however very helpful in understanding how to engage the Swiss on their terms and how to begin to navigate their milieu. An understanding of the French, German, and Italian/Mediterranean cultures are definitely helpful, since they all feed into the Swiss mix, but these cultures do not show how the Swiss are unique to any of them. A good book for those spending six months or longer in this beautiful country.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Oncle Willie on December 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have only read the intro and the first chapter but have found a few errors. The most glaring is the "German" language spoken in Switzerland. The Swiss speak a language called Schweizerdeutsch or Swiss German. It is NOT the high German (hoch Deutsch) taught in high school and college classes throughout the US. In fact, many Germans will have trouble understanding the native Schweizerdeutsch. Don't fret because most Swiss learn standard German in school and use it in official life.

The book itself is really very good. I learned much I either did not understand previously or that was new to me. I am looking forward to reading the whole book and then keeping it handy on my next trip to Switzerland.

I am using the Pimsleur basic course in Swiss German available here on Amazon. I should be able to carry on a limited conversation in Schweizerdeutsch in Bern and surprise the heck out of my distant relatives and the innkeeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ursulatina Steiner on July 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book describes Swiss culture very accurately and nicely. The author does a fine job in describing the diversity that exists in this country and yet identifies the common themes for the whole country. The author describes well how to approach Swiss people and how to work with Swiss poeple. An excellent introduction to Swiss Culture!
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