Categories Switzerland

What language is spoken in Lugano?

Lugano, a truly multicultural city. Not only because of the ethnic of its inhabitants, due to the very close proximity to Italy, but the Swiss City of Lugano is also heavily influenced by the Italians. Not only the culture swapped over the green border, but the culinary scene is influenced, but more importantly, the language. As liberal as Switzerland is, there are three languages officially spoken. French in the south/western part, German in the northern/eastern and Italian in the very southern parts. Mainly, in Ticino. And especially in Lugano. Yes, Lugano is still 100% swiss, but the main language is Italian. Signs are multilingual, but often the Italian comes before the German words. Also, the staff at stores, restaurants etc, speak Italian. As a German myself I quickly learned, I shouldn’t even attempt to speak German. If you are planning on visiting Lugano, and are able to speak a word or two in German, don’t even try and skip the awkward moments of the people (pretending to) not understand you, and talk English! Indeed, even though Lugano is Swiss, as a German I talked English, in order for the people to understand me. Some even tried to talk back in French to me, instead of German. So yes, English it is as a language to speak in Lugano.

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