Arpitan language]] area, historical language spoken in Romandie, with place names in arpitan and historic political divisions.
The French-speaking part of Switzerland is shown in green on this map.
Swiss French () is the name used for the variety of French spoken in the French-speaking area of Switzerland known as Romandie. Swiss French is not to be confused with Franco-Proven al/Arpitan (also spoken in Romandie) or Romansh (spoken in the Grisons), two other individual Romance languages.
The differences between Swiss French and Parisian French are minor and mostly lexical: a Swiss French speaker would have no trouble understanding a French speaker, while a French speaker would encounter only a few unfamiliar words while listening to a Swiss French speaker. Swiss French, when compared with French of France, has a somewhat "sing-song" effect. Swiss French differs from the French of France to a far lesser extent than Swiss German differs from standard German. This was not always the case, as most of the dialects spoken in the Romandie died out and thus are no longer spoken or used.
There is not a single standardized Swiss French language: different cantons (or even different towns in some cases) will use different vocabulary, often derived from the local regional language or from German, since Switzerland is predominantly German-speaking.
Many Standard French terms are used in certain cantons such as Geneva due to their proximity to the French border.
Differences between Swiss French and standard French
Many differences between Swiss French and French are due to the different administrative and political systems between Switzerland and France. Some of its distinctive lexical features are shared with Belgian French (and some also with Quebec French), such as:
- The use of the word for seventy, for eighty (regional) and for ninety as opposed to (literally 'sixty-ten'), (literally 'four twenties') and (literally 'four twenties-ten') of the "vigesimal" French counting system.
- The use of the word for "breakfast" ("lunch" in French of France, which uses petit d jeuner for "breakfast"), and of the words le d ner and le souper for "lunch" and "dinner" respectively (in French of France, d jeuner and d ner respectively), much like the varying uses of dinner and supper throughout the English-speaking world.
Other examples which are not shared with Belgian French:
- The word is sometimes used for eighty instead of (literally 'four twenties'), especially in the cantons of Vaud, Valais and Fribourg; the term (from the Latin ) is now considered defunct.
- The word canton has a different meaning in each country.
- In France, a post office box is called a , whereas in Switzerland, it is called a .
Examples of words that differ between Swiss French and Standard French
|dent de lion
||(t l phone) portable
||sac en plastique
af:Switserse Frans ca:Franc s su s co:Francese svizzeru de:Schweizer Franz sisch es:Franc s de Suiza fr:Fran ais de Suisse nl:Zwitsers-Frans ja: pt:Franc s da Su a ru: zh: