The Language Stuck in Between: Bolze

The Language Stuck in Between: Bolze

Switzerland is one of the countries that has a variety of cultures. Within this multi-cultural settlement, seeing a convergence is not a surprise. Bolze is a nice example of this convergence because it is a language made of both German and French language.

In the town of Fribourg, Basse-Ville, you’ll hear this Bolze language but it is not very known outside of there. The reason why this language has emerged is that the people of Fribourg have to know several languages in order to be able to communicate.

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When it comes to overall of Swtizerland, it is more complicated. In the south of the country, let’s call it Swiss Italian region, Italian is spoken. In the west side of the country, French is spoken. In the central and eastern part, German is common. Also in the south-east side, Romansh is spoken.

Bolze is not a very new language that is appeared. Although its origins are not clearly known, it has been emerged during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. When the people of countryside started to come to cities for work, the communication between these people and locals became an issue.

Fribourg was also a place that people migrate to work. And there were 2 languages that were spoken in there: Swiss-German and French. And Bolze was created by using and mixing these two languages. And naturally, you must be fluent in both of the languages in order to learn and speak Bolze.

Because it is difficult to learn and speak and only a few people can speak it, Bolze has became a historical value of Switzerland. The artist Hubert Audriaz still keeps the value of Bolze today by organizing events in Basse-Ville (Carnaval des Bolzes).


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