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European Journal

France/Germany: Alsace

The Alsace region is defined by two of Europe's dominant cultures - the French and the Germans. But the ability to speak German is no longer taken for granted among the people of the region.

Watch video 05:47

Young people, especially those from big cities, only speak French. The once typical bilingualism in Alsace is a thing of the past. Since the early 1990s, thousands of jobs were lost in neighboring Germany and Switzerland, as well as in Alsace itself - especially jobs that required both languages. It’s also a result of official French policy that once set the goal of driving the German language from the region.