Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Die institutionelle Zweisprachigkeit der Stadt Fribourg-Freiburg: Geschichte, Zustand und Entwicklungstendenzen

Altermatt, Bernhard

In: Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 2005, vol. 82, no. 82, p. 63-82

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    The city of Fribourg-Freiburg in the Swiss canton of the same name lies at the language border between the French and German regions of Switzerland. Demographically the town has been bilingual since its foundation in the year 1157. Fribourg has an exceptionally wide range of schools and institutions providing bilingual education (from kindergarten to university), mostly by offering parallel French and German classes. Yet, the number of immersion programs is steadily growing. The city's authorities have improved their language policy over the past decades, but respect for bilingualism still remains unsatisfactory on the administrative level. The same holds for different public areas, where most inscriptions are monolingual (official signalling, panels, boards, signs, etc.). Despite the long history of peaceful bilingual coexistence, there is undoubtedly room for improvement as far as language policy is concerned and Fribourg has not yet fully explored the potential of its historical and contemporary bilingualism.