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Difference between revisions of "Swiss-German phrasebook"

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'''Swiss-German''' is considerably different from [[German phrasebook|German]], especially as it happens in regard to those very phrases which a traveler needs: niceties, greetings, asking for stuff, getting directions, etc.  One of the key differences to getting by with Swiss German.  For example, "Fine, thank you" is "Guet, merci"; with guet being the German word for good/fine, while merci is from the French "thank you".  In addition, there are many pronunciation differences which separate Swiss-German from either language.  For example, the diphthong in Swiss-German "guet" versus the monophthong in High-German "gut".
 
'''Swiss-German''' is considerably different from [[German phrasebook|German]], especially as it happens in regard to those very phrases which a traveler needs: niceties, greetings, asking for stuff, getting directions, etc.  One of the key differences to getting by with Swiss German.  For example, "Fine, thank you" is "Guet, merci"; with guet being the German word for good/fine, while merci is from the French "thank you".  In addition, there are many pronunciation differences which separate Swiss-German from either language.  For example, the diphthong in Swiss-German "guet" versus the monophthong in High-German "gut".
  
==Pronunciation guide==
+
Speaking Swiss-German is common for all people living in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, independent of age or education. For writing, standard German is mostly used, though Swiss-German dialect is particularly popular on informal writing (e.g. in e-mail messages, SMS messages etc.). With the ongoing globalization and immigration, mixing Swiss-German dialects with English (quite often even with pseudo English) or speaking so called "Jugo-Deutsch" (German pronounced as immigrants coming from the former Yugoslavia region tend to pronounce it) has also become trendy for youngsters.
  
Note that most of the following Swiss-German phrases and words are written as they would be pronounced by people living in the area around Bern, Basel, Zürich (i.e. in the canton of Bern, etc.). Whilst bernese dialect is widely understood in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, it's by no means "official" Swiss-German (despite of the fact that Bern is the Swiss capital). There is no standardized Swiss-German ("Schwyzerdüütsch"). Remarkably, the native dialects spoken in the many Swiss-German cantons are clearly distinguishable by locals (i.e. they can tell apart from the dialect in which canton somebody grew up). Speaking Swiss-German is common for all people living in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, independent of age or education. For writing, standard German is mostly used, though Swiss-German dialect is particularly popular on informal writing (e.g. in e-mail messages, SMS messages etc.). With the ongoing globalization and immigration, mixing Swiss-German dialects with English (quite often even with pseudo English) or speaking so called "Jugo-Deutsch" (German pronounced as immigrants coming from the former Yugoslavia region tend to pronounce it) has also become trendy for youngsters.
+
==Pronunciation guide==
  
For official documents, standard German is used.
+
Note that most of the following Swiss-German phrases and words are written as they would be pronounced by people living in the area around Bern, Basel, Zürich. Whilst Bernese dialect is widely understood in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, it's by no means "official" Swiss-German (despite the fact that Bern is the Swiss capital). There is no standardized Swiss-German ("Schwyzerdüütsch"). Remarkably, the native dialects spoken in the many Swiss-German cantons are clearly distinguishable by locals (i.e. they can tell apart from the dialect in which canton somebody grew up).  
  
 
===Vowels===
 
===Vowels===
*a* as in c*o*t
+
* ''a'' as in c''o''t
* as in m*a*p
+
* ''ä'' as in m''a''p
* as in t*a*ke
+
* ''é'' as in t''a''ke
*e* as in *a*bout
+
* ''e'' as in ''a''bout
* as in *e*nd
+
* ''è'' as in ''e''nd
*i* as in *ee*l
+
* ''i'' as in ''ee''l
*o* halfway between *o*pen and b*u*t
+
* ''o'' halfway between ''o''pen and b''u''t
* halfway between *o* and *é*
+
* ''ö'' halfway between ''o'' and ''é''
* as in *uh*
+
* ''ò'' as in ''uh''
*u* as in b*oo*t
+
* ''u'' as in b''oo''t
* like *i* but with rounded lips
+
* ''ü'' like ''i'' but with rounded lips
 
Doubled vowels are pronounced longer than single ones.
 
Doubled vowels are pronounced longer than single ones.
  
 
====Diphthongs====
 
====Diphthongs====
 
All diphthongs (two different vowels next to each other in the same syllable) are pronounced with emphasis on the first vowel.
 
All diphthongs (two different vowels next to each other in the same syllable) are pronounced with emphasis on the first vowel.
*äi*, *ou*, *ie*, *ue*, *üe* are pronounced as written.  
+
* ''äi'', ''ou'', ''ie'', ''ue'', ''üe'' are pronounced as written.  
*au* is pronounced like *ä* + *u*
+
* ''au'' is pronounced like ''ä'' + ''u''
*ei* is pronounced like *è* + *i*
+
* ''ei'' is pronounced like ''è'' + ''i''
*öi* is somewhere between *o* + *i* and *ö* + *i*
+
* ''öi'' is somewhere between ''o'' + ''i'' and ''ö'' + ''i''
  
 
===Consonants===
 
===Consonants===
*b*, *d*, *f*, *g*, *h*, *l*, *m*, *n*, *ng*, *s*: same as in English
+
* ''b'', ''d'', ''f'', ''g'', ''h'', ''l'', ''m'', ''n'', ''ng'', ''s'': same as in English
*ch* as in lo*ch*
+
* ''ch'' as in lo''ch''
*gg* as in s*c*ale
+
* ''gg'' as in s''c''ale
*k* like *gg* + *ch*
+
* ''k'' like ''gg'' + ''ch''
*p* as in s*p*it (not as in *p*it)
+
* ''p'' as in s''p''it (not as in ''p''it)
*sch* as in ca*sh*
+
* ''sch'' as in ca''sh''
*st*, *sp* usually *scht*, *schp*
+
* ''st'', ''sp'' usually ''scht'', ''schp''
*t* as in s*t*ack (not as in *t*ack)
+
* ''t'' as in s''t''ack (not as in ''t''ack)
*v* same as *f*
+
* ''v'' same as ''f''
*w* as in *v*ane
+
* ''w'' as in ''v''ane
*z* as in ca*ts*
+
* ''z'' as in ca''ts''
 
Like with vowels, double consonants are pronounced longer.
 
Like with vowels, double consonants are pronounced longer.
  

Revision as of 10:14, 1 January 2013

Swiss-German is considerably different from German, especially as it happens in regard to those very phrases which a traveler needs: niceties, greetings, asking for stuff, getting directions, etc. One of the key differences to getting by with Swiss German. For example, "Fine, thank you" is "Guet, merci"; with guet being the German word for good/fine, while merci is from the French "thank you". In addition, there are many pronunciation differences which separate Swiss-German from either language. For example, the diphthong in Swiss-German "guet" versus the monophthong in High-German "gut".

Speaking Swiss-German is common for all people living in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, independent of age or education. For writing, standard German is mostly used, though Swiss-German dialect is particularly popular on informal writing (e.g. in e-mail messages, SMS messages etc.). With the ongoing globalization and immigration, mixing Swiss-German dialects with English (quite often even with pseudo English) or speaking so called "Jugo-Deutsch" (German pronounced as immigrants coming from the former Yugoslavia region tend to pronounce it) has also become trendy for youngsters.

Contents

Pronunciation guide

Note that most of the following Swiss-German phrases and words are written as they would be pronounced by people living in the area around Bern, Basel, Zürich. Whilst Bernese dialect is widely understood in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, it's by no means "official" Swiss-German (despite the fact that Bern is the Swiss capital). There is no standardized Swiss-German ("Schwyzerdüütsch"). Remarkably, the native dialects spoken in the many Swiss-German cantons are clearly distinguishable by locals (i.e. they can tell apart from the dialect in which canton somebody grew up).

Vowels

  • a as in cot
  • ä as in map
  • é as in take
  • e as in about
  • è as in end
  • i as in eel
  • o halfway between open and but
  • ö halfway between o and é
  • ò as in uh
  • u as in boot
  • ü like i but with rounded lips

Doubled vowels are pronounced longer than single ones.

Diphthongs

All diphthongs (two different vowels next to each other in the same syllable) are pronounced with emphasis on the first vowel.

  • äi, ou, ie, ue, üe are pronounced as written.
  • au is pronounced like ä + u
  • ei is pronounced like è + i
  • öi is somewhere between o + i and ö + i

Consonants

  • b, d, f, g, h, l, m, n, ng, s: same as in English
  • ch as in loch
  • gg as in scale
  • k like gg + ch
  • p as in spit (not as in pit)
  • sch as in cash
  • st, sp usually scht, schp
  • t as in stack (not as in tack)
  • v same as f
  • w as in vane
  • z as in cats

Like with vowels, double consonants are pronounced longer.

Phrase list

Basics

Hello/Hi (informal) 
Hoi!
Hi, everyone! (informal) 
Hoi zäme!
Hi (very informal) 
Saluti! / Salètti!
Hello (formal) 
Grüezi!
Hello, Ms./Mr. ... (formal)
Grüezi Frau/Hèrr ...
Hello, everyone (formal) 
Grüezi mitenand!
How are you? (informal) 
Wie gaats dir?
How are you? (formal) 
Wie gaats Ine?
I'm fine, thanks! 
Mir gaats guet, danke!
I don't feel well! 
Mir gaats nöd so guet!
What about you? (informal) 
Und dir?
What about you? (formal) 
Und Ine?
Good morning (informal and formal)
Guete Morge
Good evening 
Gueten Aabig

Problems

Ich ha(n) mi(s) Portmoné verloore! 
I lost my wallet! (n, s = variants, depending on the dialect)
Ich füel mi(ch) schlächt 
I feel sick/not well/upset (ch = variant)
Wo isch de Polizeiposchte? 
Where is the police station?
Ich mues öppis mälde 
I have to report something
Spitaal 
Hospital
Häts da ès Spitaal i de Nòòchi? 
Is there a hospital nearby?
Ich bi(n) veloore/mer sind verloore 
I am/we are lost! (n = variant)
Bitté säged Si mir wo.....isch? 
Can you please tell me where.....is?
Baanhoof 
train station
Taxistand 
taxi station
Bank 
bank
Poscht/Poschtamt 
post office
Hotèl " " 
the " " hotel
Chile 
church
Ich bi(n) verliebt! 
I'm in love
Ich lieb dich! 
I love you!

Numbers

äis (counting), äi (marked), e/en/es *unmarked*
zwäi
drüü
vier
föif/füüf
sächs/säggs
sibe
acht
nüün
10 
zää
11 
elf
12 
zwölf
13 
driizää
14 
vierzää
15 
füfzää
16 
sächzää
17 
sibezää
18 
achzää
19 
nüûnzää
20 
zwänzg
21 
einezwänzg
22 
zwäiezwänzg
23 
drüezwänzg
24 
vierezwänzg
25 
föifezwänzg
26 
sächsezwänzg
27 
sibenezwänzg
28 
achtezwänzg
29 
nünezwänzg
30 
driss(i)g
40 
vierz(i)g
50 
füfz(i)g
60 
sächz(i)g
70 
sibezg/sibzig
80 
achtz(i)g
90 
nünz(i)g
100 
hundert
101 
hundertundäis
102 
hundertzwäi
1000 
tuusig

Clock time

time 
Ziit
What time is it? 
Was isch für Ziit?
It is... 
Es isch ...
one o'clock 
äis
half past twelve 
halbi äis
quarter to one 
virtel vor äis
quarter past one 
virtel ab äis
ten past one 
zää ab äis
half past one 
halbi zwäi
three o'clock 
drüü
four/five/six/seven/eight/nine/ten/eleven/twelve o'clock
vieri/föifi/sächsi/sibni/achti/nüüni/zäni/elfi/zwölfi
a.m. 
am Morge
p.m. 
am Aabig

Duration

Wie lang gaats bis ... (How long does it take to go to...) Wie lang duuret ... (How long does ... take)

Days

Mändig 
Monday
Ziischtig 
Tuesday
Mitwuch 
Wednesday
Dunschtig 
Thursday
Friitig 
Friday
Samschtig 
Saturday
Sundig 
Sunday

Months

January 
Januaar
February 
Fébruaar
March 
März, Merz
April 
April
May 
Mäi
June 
Juni
July 
Juli
August 
Auguscht
September 
Séptämber
October 
Oktoober
November 
Novämber
December 
Dézämber

Writing time and date

date 
Datum
tenth of January, 2012 
zää(n)te Januaar zwäituusigzwölf

Colors

Red 
root
Blue 
blau
Black 
schwarz
Green 
grüen
White 
wiiss
Yellow 
gäl(b)
Purple 
violétt
Orange 
orangsch
Pink 
rosa/pink
Gray 
grau

Transportation

Motorcycle - Töff
Vespa, Motorbike - Töffli, Mofa
Bicycle - Vèlo
Tram (Streetcar) - Tram
Bus - Bus
Räiseggaar - travel bus
Zug - train
Flugzüüg, Flüüger - airplane
Haltestéll - (bus/tram) stop

Directions

Wo ane faart dè Bus? - Where is this bus going to?
graad uus - straight ahead
lings/links - left
rächts - right
vore, vorn - in front
vüre, vürschi, voorwärts - forwards
hinde, hine - in the back
hindere, rückwärts, zrugg - backwards, back

Taxi

Zum Hotel ...... bitté! - to the ..... hotel please!
Was choschtets öppe nach .......? - How much does it cost to ....., approximately?
Flughafe - airport
Baanhoof - train station
Hotel .... - ..... hotel
Ich hans pressang! - I'm in a hurry!
Mir händs pressang! - We are in a hurry!
Bittè pressiere! - Hurry, please!

Lodging

Händ Si no es freis Zimmer? 
Do you still have a vacancy?
Bis wänn söl ich mich abmälde? 
When do I need to check out?

Money

Gäld / Baargäld, Stutz (coll.), Stütz (coll.) 
cash, money.
Isch Baargäld okei? Chan ich mit Baargäld bezale? 
Is cash okay? Can I pay with cash?
Was choschtet das? 
how much is this/that?
Z tüür!
Too expensive! (might be very offensive!)
Das isch mir e chli z'tüür 
That seems to be rather expensive (more polite phrasing)
Hät's no billigeres? 
Do you have something cheaper?
Chan ich mit Krédigcharte zahle? 
Can I use my credit card?
Trinkgäld 
Tip
Trinkgäld gää 
Give a tip
Ich nim das 
I'll take/buy it
Ich möcht öppis anders 
I would like something else.
Händ Si Suwniir(s)? 
Do you have souvenirs?
Wo chan ich Gäld wächsle? 
Where can I change money?
Wo isch de nòòggscht Bankomaat? 
Where is the closest ATM?

Eating

En guete! 
Enjoy your meal!
Schoggi 
Chocolate
Proscht, Pröschtli, Prosit! 
Cheers
Herdöpfel / Erdöpfel 
Potato(es)
Rüebli 
Carrot(s)
E Stange, es Chliises 
A small glass of beer
En Chübel, es Groosses 
A big glass of beer
Es Glaas Wii 
A glass of wine
Es Glaas Roote (Wii) 
A glass of red wine
Es Glaas Wiisse (Wii) 
A glass of white wine
Oktoobertee 
wine (slang/coll.)
Chriesi 
cherry/cherries
Chueche/Flade 
pie, cake
Gipfeli 
croissant(s)
Milchkafi, Schale 
cafe au lait
Kafi grèèm 
coffee
Bier 
beer
Suufe 
to drink beer/alcohol
Schwiizer Chääs 
Swiss cheese
Rööschti 
mashed, fried potatoes (a Swiss speciality)
Fongdü 
Fondue (melted Swiss cheese in a bowl, a Swiss speciality, usually eaten during winter-time only)
Ragglèt 
melted, roasted Swiss cheese (a Swiss speciality, usually eaten during winter-time only)
Züri-Gschnätzlets 
Cut veal, often served with Röschti, speciality of Zurich
Ich würdi gärn e Schwiizer Spézialitäät probiere 
I'd like to taste a Swiss speciality
Was chönd Si mir èmpfääle? 
Can you recommend something?
En Apéritiv 
a starter

Shopping

Poschte, iichaufe 
Go shopping
Schoppe 
Shop around
Wievil choschtet ...? 
How much does ... cost?
Gits en Rabatt? Gits en Ermäässigung? 
Is there a discount?
Wo häts ...? 
Where can I find ...?

Driving

Auto faare 
driving a car
Wie chum ich zur Autobaan 
How do I get to the freeway/motorway?
Bènziin 
Gasoline/Petrol
Faaruswiis 
driving license
Verchèèrsrägle 
traffic rules
Unfall 
accident
Polizischt
police officer
Rächtsverchèèr 
right-hand traffic/driving (that's the way to drive in Switzerland)

Other

Händ er de ... kaputt gmacht? 
Did you destroy the ...?
Gseet uus wi e gstorbeni Chatz 
Looks like a dead cat.
Mis Luftchüssiboot isch volen Aal 
My hovercraft is full of eels.


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