Switzerland is a mountainous Central European country, home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps. Its cities contain medieval quarters, with landmarks like capital Bern’s Zytglogge clock tower and Lucerne’s wooden chapel bridge. The country is also known for its ski resorts and hiking trails. Banking and finance are key industries, and Swiss watches and chocolate are world-renowned. Switzerland has three main geographic regions: the Alps, covering around 60% of the country’s total surface area, the Swiss Plateau (30%) and the Jura (10%). Switzerland covers a total surface area of 41,285 km2. The Alps, the Plateau and the Jura are Switzerland’s three main geographic regions.
Key cities in Switzerland include: Zurich, Geneva, basel, Bern, Lausanne, Lucerne, St.Gallen Lugano, Fribourg, Thun.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
The majority of Switzerland’s “native” population settled during the Germanic Migration of Nations that set an end to the Roman Empire in Western Europe at about 400 A.D. The Old Swiss Confederacy was founded in the first days of August, 1291 (hence Switzerland’s national holiday is celebrated on August, 1st). Three of the continent’s major languages, German, French and Italian, are national languages of Switzerland, along with Romansh, spoken by a small minority. Therefore, Swiss culture is characterized by diversity, which is reflected in a wide range of traditional customs. Switzerland is a Christian country. Around two-thirds of the population are either Roman Catholic or Protestant (Reformed-Evangelical). Freedom of religion is a basic constitutional right in Switzerland. 38.2% of the Swiss population are Roman Catholic.
Brief Country History
About 500 BC a Celtic people called the Helveti entered Switzerland from the west. However, by 58 BC the Romans ruled the area and they built a capital at Aventicum (Avenches). In the following centuries Switzerland became thoroughly Romanized. The Romans built roads and other towns. However, in 260 a tribe called the Alemani attacked the region. Switzerland never really recovered from the incursion and about 400 AD the Roman army withdrew altogether. In the 5th century AD peoples called the Alemans, Burgundians and Lombards settled in Switzerland. However, about 600 the Franks from France conquered them. In the 9th century under Charlemagne the Franks ruled most of Europe. However, their empire was split among his descendants and by the 13th century most of Switzerland was ruled by the Austrian Hapsburg family. Meanwhile trade and commerce boomed in Switzerland in the 12th and 13th centuries and new towns were founded. In 1291 delegates from the cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden met at Rutli Meadow and formed an alliance against the Habsburgs. They formed the nucleus of modern Switzerland. Switzerland went from strength to strength. In 1315 the Swiss defeated the army of Prince Leopold Hapsburg. Then in 1332 the canton of Luzern joined. The canton of Zurich followed in 1351. Later the cantons of Glarus, Zug and Bern joined the Swiss Confederation. Furthermore, the Swiss defeated the Hapsburgs again at Sempach in 1386 and Nafels in 1388.In 2002 Switzerland joined the UN although it still has a policy of neutrality. Like the rest of Europe Switzerland suffered a recession in 2009 but it recovered from 2010 onward and today it is prosperous. Today the population of Switzerland is 8.2 million.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
Italian and French do not differ much from the languages spoken in France and Italy, whereas Schwiizertütsch (Swiss German dialects).
Important Types of Commerce in Switzerland
The most important trade goods, both for export and import, are chemicals, machinery and electronics, precision tools, watches, jewelry, agricultural products, vehicles, textiles, leather, rubber, and plastic. Of the three main sectors, the tertiary sector is the most important for the Swiss economy.
Language Services US and others will provide working with Switzerland
Switzerland is attracting foreign investors through its Foreign Direct Investment policy more than ever. The importance of translation and localization of Italian and French is increasing at a rapid pace. Italian and French translation is an important aspect to consider to reach the wider audience and localizing technical documentation, writing and editing sales and marketing literature, or editing Amharic software, copyright, trademark and patent applications, partnership and employment agreements, mergers, acquisitions and incorporations, trusts and wills.
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