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Is French Spoken Everywhere in Alsace?

by David Masterman
(Half Moon Bay, California)

Is French universally spoken in Alsace, even in the border towns? (I'm thinking particularly of St Louis, being a suburb of Basel.)


Also, we hear much about Strasbourg, Colmar, the Jura, and the wine region. How about Mulhouse and Southern Alsace? Are they nice too?

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Who Speaks French in Alsace
by: Suzele

Everyone in Alsace speaks and understands French perfectly except of course for expats like me who are learning it ; )

Actually I speak and understand it pretty well after having been here for awhile...

It's the language you learn in school. It's the language you go about your business in.

That doesn't mean Alsatians don't understand other languages. German is the required second language in school.

A third foreign language is required and it's usually English, but that's not until secondary school.

Some people learn the local Alsatian dialect from their parents or grandparents.

And some people have mixed nationality families and speak a few different languages.

People who live near Basel may speak German or Swiss German IF they work in Basel or communicate regularly with Germans or Swiss people. I have met plenty of people in Alsace who don't understand German at all.

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Mulhouse and Southern Alsace
by: Suzele

There's a good bit of info on GetAlsaced.com about southern Alsace...

Because I live in southern Alsace : )

Vieil Armand or Hartmannswillerkopf is in southern Alsace.

Thann and Cernay are in southern Alsace.

The Bioscope and Ecomusee are in southern Alsace.

Mulhouse and all of its museums are in southern Alsace.

The reason you don't hear as much about southern Alsace is because it's less touristy and if you've only got a few days to see some of the highlights of Alsace, you're more likely to go to the well known areas first.

The wine road goes all the way down to Thann. The highest points in the Vosges mountains are in southern Alsace. Southern Alsace is known for its natural beauty.

The Sundgau is the southern tip of Alsace and it's known for being very "Alsatian" culturally speaking. People still speak the dialect on a daily basis there. But it's a lot of tiny little villages separated by rolling hills of farmland.

That appeals to a certain kind of tourist. Not for everyone. Specifically the kind of tourist that likes wandering around just to find out what's there. Someone who's not on a schedule.

The reason you don't hear much about southern Alsace is because it's less convenient than central Alsace.


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