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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".
 +
 +
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, on Facebook and YouTube 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==
 
==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 (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.
+
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).  
 
+
For official documents, standard German is used.
+
  
 
===Vowels===
 
===Vowels===
 +
* ''a'' as in m''a''ster
 +
* ''ä'' as in c''a''n
 +
* ''e'' as in ''e''nd
 +
* ''i'' as in ''ee''l
 +
* ''o'' as in ''o''ff
 +
* ''ö'' as in b''i''rthday
 +
* ''u'' as in b''oo''t
 +
* ''ü'' like german ''i'' but with rounded lips
 +
Doubled vowels are pronounced longer than single ones.
  
The vowels in swiss german are unlike the english vowels closer to the german and latin pronunciations.
+
====Diphthongs====
 
+
All diphthongs (two different vowels next to each other in the same syllable) are pronounced with emphasis on the first vowel.
Pronunciation Guide:
+
* ''äi'', ''ou'', ''ie'', ''ue'', ''üe'' are pronounced as written.
 
+
* ''eu'' is pronounced like ''ä'' + ''u''
a - ah (as in saw)
+
* ''öi'' is somewhere between ''o'' + ''i'' and ''ö'' + ''i''
e - eh (as in end)
+
i - e (as in eel)
+
o -oh (as in on)
+
u - oo (as in moose)
+
  
 
===Consonants===
 
===Consonants===
 
+
* ''b'', ''d'', ''f'', ''g'', ''h'', ''l'', ''m'', ''n'', ''ng'', ''s'': same as in English
===Common diphthongs===
+
* ''ch'' as in lo''ch''
 +
* ''gg'' as in s''c''ale
 +
* ''j'' as in ''y''et
 +
* ''k'' like ''gg'' + ''ch''
 +
* ''p'' as in s''p''it (not as in ''p''it)
 +
* ''sch'' as in ca''sh''
 +
* ''st'', ''sp'' usually ''scht'', ''schp''
 +
* ''t'' as in s''t''ack (not as in ''t''ack)
 +
* ''v'' same as ''f''
 +
* ''w'' as in ''v''ane
 +
* ''z'' as in ca''ts''
 +
Like with vowels, double consonants are pronounced longer.
  
 
==Phrase list==
 
==Phrase list==
Line 29: Line 45:
 
; Hello/Hi (informal) : Hoi!  
 
; Hello/Hi (informal) : Hoi!  
 
; Hi, everyone! (informal) : Hoi zäme!  
 
; Hi, everyone! (informal) : Hoi zäme!  
; Hi (very informal) : Saluti! [salooti!] / Saletti!  
+
; Hi (very informal) : Saluti! / Saletti!  
; Hello (formal) : Grüezi! [Grea-atsie]
+
; Hello (formal) : Grüezi!
; Hello, Ms./Mr. ... (formal): Grüezi Frau/Herr ...  
+
; Hello, Ms./Mr. ... (formal): Grüezi Frau/Härr ...  
; Hello, everyone (formal) : Grüezi mitenand! [Grea-tsi metta-nònd]
+
; Hello, everyone (formal) : Grüezi mitenand!
; How are you? (informal) : Wie gahts dir?
+
; My name is ... (formal) : I heisse ...
; How are you? (formal) : Wie gahts ihne?
+
; My name is ... (informal): Mi name isch ...
; I'm fine, thanks! : Mir gahts guet, danke!
+
; How are you? (informal) : Wie gaats dir?
; I don't feel well! : Mir gahts nöd so guet!
+
; 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? (informal) : Und dir?
; What about you? (formal) : Und ihne?
+
; What about you? (formal) : Und Ine?
 +
; Good morning (informal and formal): Guete Morge
 +
; Good evening : Guete Aabig
  
 
===Problems===
 
===Problems===
; ich ha(n) mi(s) Portmonnaie verlore! : I lost my wallet! (n, s = variants, depending on the dialect)
+
; I lost my wallet! :  Ich han mis Portmone verloore!
; ich fühl mi(ch) schlächt : I feel sick/not well/upset (ch = variant)
+
; I feel sick/not well/upset :  Ich füel mi schlächt
; wo isch de Polizei Poschte? :  where is the police station?
+
; Where is the police station? :  Wo isch de Polizeiposchte?
; ich mues öppis mälde :  I have to/must report something
+
; I have to report something :  Ich mues öppis mälde
; Spital : Hospital
+
; Hospital:  Spitaal
; Hät's da es Spital i de Nöchi? :  is there a hospital nearby?
+
; Is there a hospital nearby? :  Häts da es Spitaal i de Nööchi?
; ich bi(n) velore/mer sind verlore :  I/we am/are lost!! (n = variant)
+
; I am/we are lost! :  Ich bin veloore/mer sind verloore
; bitte säged sie mir wo.....isch? :  Can you please tell me where.....is?
+
; Can you please tell me where.....is? :  Chönd Si mir säge wo.....isch?
; Bahnhof : train station
+
; train station :  Baanhoof
; Taxi Stand : taxi station
+
; taxi station :  Taxistand
; Bank : Bank
+
; bank : Bank
; Post : post office (prononced="pay-tay-tay")
+
; post office :  Poscht/Poschtamt
; Hotel "  " the  "  " hotel
+
; hotel Hotel
; Chile : church
+
; church :  Chile
; ich bi(n) verliebt! : I'm in love
+
; I'm in love : Ich bi verliebt!
; ich liib dich! : I love you!
+
; I love you! : Ich lieb dich!/ I ha di liab!
  
 
====Numbers====
 
====Numbers====
  
; 1 : eis, äis, ais, eins
+
; 1 : äis (counting), äi (marked), e/en/es *unmarked*
; 2 : zwei, zwöi, zwai
+
; 2 : zwäi
; 3 : drü, drai, drei
+
; 3 : drüü
 
; 4 : vier
 
; 4 : vier
; 5 : foif, fföif, füüf, fünf
+
; 5 : föif/füüf
; 6 : sächs, säggs
+
; 6 : sächs/säggs
; 7 : sibe, sebe, siebe
+
; 7 : sibe
 
; 8 : acht
 
; 8 : acht
; 9 : nün
+
; 9 : nüün
; 10 : zäh, zehn
+
; 10 : zää
; 11 : elf
+
; 11 : ölf
 
; 12 : zwölf
 
; 12 : zwölf
; 13 : drizäh
+
; 13 : driizää
; 14 : vierzäh
+
; 14 : vierzää
; 15 : füfzäh
+
; 15 : füfzää
; 16 : sächzäh
+
; 16 : sächzää
; 17 : sibzäh
+
; 17 : sibezää
; 18 : achzäh
+
; 18 : achzää
; 19 : nünzäh
+
; 19 : nüûnzää
; 20 : zwänzg, zwanzig
+
; 20 : zwänzg
; 21 : einezwänzg, einezwanzig
+
; 21 : einezwänzg
; 22 : zweiezwänzg, zweiezwanzig
+
; 22 : zwäiezwänzg
; 23 : drüezwänzg, dreiezwanzig
+
; 23 : drüezwänzg
; 24 : vierezwänzg, vierezwanzig
+
; 24 : vierezwänzg
; 25 : foifezwänzg, fünfezwanzig
+
; 25 : föifezwänzg
; 26 : sächsezwänzg, säggsezwanzig
+
; 26 : sächsezwänzg
; 27 : sibenezwänzg, siebenezwanzig
+
; 27 : sibenezwänzg
; 28 : achtezwänzg, achtezwanzig
+
; 28 : achtezwänzg
; 29 : nünezwänzg, nünezwanzig
+
; 29 : nünezwänzg
; 30 : driss(i)g
+
; 30 : drissig
; 40 : vierz(i)g
+
; 40 : vierzig
; 50 : füfzg, fuffzig
+
; 50 : füfzig
; 60 : sächz(i)g
+
; 60 : sächzig
; 70 : sibezg, siebzig
+
; 70 : sibzig
; 80 : achtz(i)g
+
; 80 : achtzig
; 90 : nünz(i)g
+
; 90 : nünzig
 
; 100 : hundert
 
; 100 : hundert
 
; 101 : hundertundäis
 
; 101 : hundertundäis
; 102 : hundertzwöi
+
; 102 : hundertzwäi
 +
; 1000 : tuusig
  
 
====Clock time====
 
====Clock time====
  
; time : Zit  
+
; time : Ziit  
; What time is it? : Was isch för zit?  
+
; What time is it? : Was isch für Ziit?  
; It is... : Es esch ...
+
; It is... : Es isch ...
; one o'clock : eis  
+
; one o'clock : äis  
; half past twelve : halbi eis
+
; half past twelve : halbi äis
; quarter to one : viertel vor eis
+
; quarter to one : virtel vor äis
; ten to one : zäh vor eis 
+
; quarter past one : virtel ab äis
; quarter past one : virtel ab eis
+
; ten past one : zää ab äis  
; ten past one : zäh ab eis  
+
; half past one : halbi zwäi
; half past one : halbi zwoi
+
; 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====
 
====Duration====
  
Wie lang gohts bis ... (How long does it take to...)
+
; How long does it take to go to... :  Wie lang gaats bis ...
Wie lang het me bis....? (dito)
+
; How long does ... take... Wie lang duuret...
Duretslang bes of? (dito)
+
  
 
====Days====
 
====Days====
  
Määntig, Mäntag<br>
+
; Monday :  Mäntig
Ziischtig, Dienstag, Denstag<br>
+
; Tuesday :  Zischtig
Mittwuch, Mittwoch<br>
+
; Wednesday :  Mittwoch
Dunschtig, Donnerstag<br>
+
; Thursday :  Donnstig
Friitig, Frietag<br>
+
; Friday :  Fritig
Samschtig, Samstag<br>
+
; Saturday :  Samschtig
Sunntig, Sunntag
+
; Sunday :  Suntig
  
 
====Months====
 
====Months====
  
; January : Januar
+
; January : Januaar
; February : Februar
+
; February : Februaar
; March : März, Merz
+
; March : März
 
; April : April
 
; April : April
 
; May : Mai
 
; May : Mai
Line 140: Line 164:
 
; August : Auguscht
 
; August : Auguscht
 
; September : Septämber
 
; September : Septämber
; October : Oktober
+
; October : Oktoober
 
; November : Novämber
 
; November : Novämber
 
; December : Dezämber
 
; December : Dezämber
Line 146: Line 170:
 
====Writing time and date====
 
====Writing time and date====
  
; date : Datom 
+
; date : Datum
; tenth of January, 2009 : zähte erste zwoitusignün
+
; tenth of January, 2012 : zäänte Januaar zwäituusigundzwölf
  
 
===Colors===
 
===Colors===
  
; Red : Rot
+
; Red : root
 
; Blue : blau
 
; Blue : blau
 
; Black : schwarz
 
; Black : schwarz
 
; Green : grüen
 
; Green : grüen
; White : Wiiss
+
; White : wiiss
; Yellow : gäl(b)
+
; Yellow : gälb
; Purple : violet
+
; Purple : violett
; Orange : orange (''oransh'')
+
; Orange : orangsch
 
; Pink : rosa/pink
 
; Pink : rosa/pink
 
; Gray : grau
 
; Gray : grau
  
 
===Transportation===
 
===Transportation===
:Motorcycle - Töff, Döff
+
;Motorcycle : Töff
:Vespa, Motorbike - Töffli, Döffli, Mofa
+
;Vespa, Motorbike Töffli/ Mofa
:Bicycle - Velo
+
;Bicycle Velo
:Tram (Streetcar) - Tram, Drämmli
+
;Tram : Tram
 
+
;Bus : Bus
====Bus Train Plane====
+
;Coach : Räiseggaar
:Bus, Car - Bus
+
;Train : Zug
:Reisecar - travel bus
+
;Airplane : Flugzüg
:Zug - train
+
;(bus/tram) stop :  Haltestell
:Flugzüg, Flüüger - airplane
+
  
 
====Directions====
 
====Directions====
:graad uus - straight ahead
+
;Where is this bus going to? : Wo ane faart dä Bus?
:links - left
+
;straight ahead :  graad uus
:rächts - right
+
;Left : links
:vore, vorne - in front
+
;right : rächts
:vüre, vürschi, vorwärts - forwards
+
;in front : vore
:hinde - in the back
+
;forwards : voorwärts
:hindere, rückwärts, zrugg - backwards, back
+
;in the back :  hinde
 +
;backwards : rückwärts
 +
;back : zrugg
  
 
====Taxi====
 
====Taxi====
:Zum Hotel ...... bitte! - to the ..... hotel please!
+
;to the ..... hotel please! : Zum Hotel ...... bitte!
:was koschtet's öppe nach .......? - How much does it cost to ....., approximately?
+
;How much does it cost to ..., approximately? :  Was choschtets öppe nach .......?
:Flughafe - airport
+
;airport : Flughafe
:Bahnhof - train station
+
;train station :  Baanhoof
:Hotel .... - ..... hotel
+
;hotel : Hotel
:ich ha(n)'s pressant! - I'm in a hurry!
+
;I'm in a hurry! : Ich hans pressant!
:mir händ's pressant! - We are in a hurry!
+
;We are in a hurry! : Mir händs pressant!
:Bitte pressiere! - Hurry, please!
+
;Hurry, please! :  Bitte pressiere!
  
 
===Lodging===
 
===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===
 
===Money===
; Gäld / Bargäld, Stutz (coll.), Stütz (coll.) : cash, money.
+
; Gäld / Baargäld, Stutz (coll.), Stütz (coll.) : cash, money.
; isch Bargäld ok? mit Bargäld bezahle? : can I pay with cash? pay with cash?
+
; Isch Baargäld okei? Chan ich mit Baargäld bezale? : Is cash okay? Can I pay with cash?
; Was koschtet das? : how much is this/that?
+
; Was choschtet das? : how much is this/that?
; Z'tüür! (Zu teuer) : Too expensive! (might be very offensive!)
+
; Z tüür!: Too expensive! (might be very offensive!)
 
; Das isch mir e chli z'tüür : That seems to be rather expensive (more polite phrasing)
 
; 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?
 
; Hät's no billigeres? : Do you have something cheaper?
; Chann ich mit Kreditkarte zahle? : Can I use my Credit Card?
+
; Chan ich mit Krédigcharte zahle? : Can I use my credit card?
; Trinkgäld (gäh) : Tip (Tipping)
+
; Trinkgäld : Tip
; Ich (i) nimm das : I'll take/buy it (i pronounced like "e" in english)
+
; Trinkgäld gää : Give a tip
; I/Ich möcht öppis anders : I would like something else.
+
; Ich nim das : I'll take/buy it
; Händ si Souvenirs? : Do you have souvenirs?
+
; 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 chan ich Gäld wächsle? : Where can I change money?
; Wo isch de nächscht Bankomat? : Where is the closest ATM?
+
; Wo isch de nòòggscht Bankomaat? : Where is the closest ATM?
  
 
===Eating===
 
===Eating===
 
;En guete! : Enjoy your meal!
 
;En guete! : Enjoy your meal!
;Schoggi : Chocolate (gg is often pronounced as 'ck,' thus 'schocki')
+
;Schoggi : Chocolate
 
;Proscht, Pröschtli, Prosit! : Cheers
 
;Proscht, Pröschtli, Prosit! : Cheers
;Herdöpfel / Erdöpfel : Potato(es) (pronounced hadopfel / erdoplfel)(Erdöpfel would roughly translate to "earth apple" similar to the French Pom De Terre.)
+
;Herdöpfel / Erdöpfel : Potato(es)
 
;Rüebli : Carrot(s)
 
;Rüebli : Carrot(s)
;Ä Stangä, es Chliises : A small glass of beer
+
;E Stange, es Chliises : A small glass of beer
;En Chübel, es Grosses : A big glass of beer
+
;En Chübel, es Groosses : A big glass of beer
;Es Glas Wii : A glass of wine
+
;Es Glaas Wii : A glass of wine
;Es Glas Rote (Wii) : A glass of red wine
+
;Es Glaas Roote (Wii) : A glass of red wine
;Es Glas Wysse (Wii) : A glass of white wine
+
;Es Glaas Wiisse (Wii) : A glass of white wine
;Oktobertee : wine (slang/coll.)
+
;Oktoobertee : wine (slang/coll.)
 
;Chriesi : cherry/cherries
 
;Chriesi : cherry/cherries
;Chueche : pie
+
;Chueche/Flade : pie, cake
 
;Gipfeli : croissant(s)
 
;Gipfeli : croissant(s)
 
;Milchkafi, Schale : cafe au lait
 
;Milchkafi, Schale : cafe au lait
;Kafi crème : coffee
+
;Kafi grèèm : coffee
 
;Bier : beer
 
;Bier : beer
;Suufe : to drink beer/alcohol...
+
;Suufe : to drink beer/alcohol
 
;Schwiizer Chääs : Swiss cheese
 
;Schwiizer Chääs : Swiss cheese
;Röschti : mashed, fried potatoes (a Swiss speciality)
+
;Rööschti : mashed, fried potatoes (a Swiss speciality)
;Fondue : Fondue (melted Swiss cheese in a bowl, a Swiss speciality, usually eaten during winter-time only)
+
;Fongdü : Fondue (melted Swiss cheese in a bowl, a Swiss speciality, usually eaten during winter-time only)
;Raclette : melted, roasted Swiss cheese (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
+
;Gschnätzlets : Cut veal
;Ich würdi gern e Schwiizer Spezialität probiere : I'd like to taste a Swiss speciality
+
;Züri-Gschnätzlets : Cut veal, served with Röschti, speciality of Zurich
;Was chönd Sie mir empfehle? : Can you recommend something?
+
;Ich würdi gärn e Schwiizer Spézialitäät probiere : I'd like to taste a Swiss speciality
 
+
;Was chönd Si mir empfääle? : Can you recommend something?
===Bars===
+
;En Apéritiv : a starter
;e Schtange, es Chliises : A small glass of beer
+
;en Chübel, es Grosses : A large glass of beer
+
;en Aperitiv : a starter
+
;Pröschtli!, zum Wohlsii! : Cheers!
+
;Chueche, Cake, Flade : Cake
+
  
 
===Shopping===
 
===Shopping===
;Poschtä, iichaufe : Going shopping
+
;Poschte, iichaufe : Go shopping
;Wieviel choschtet ...? : How much does ... cost?
+
;Schoppe : Shop around
;Gits en Rabatt? Gits en Ermässigung? : Can you give me a discount?
+
;Wievil choschtet ...? : How much does ... cost?
 +
;Gits en Rabatt? Gits en Ermäässigung? : Is there a discount?
 
;Wo häts ...? : Where can I find ...?
 
;Wo häts ...? : Where can I find ...?
  
 
===Driving===
 
===Driving===
;Auto fahre : driving a car
+
;driving a car :  Auto faare
;Wo ane fahrt dä Bus? : Where is this bus going to?
+
;How do I get to the freeway/motorway? : Wie chum ich zur Autobaan?
;Fahruswiis : driving license
+
;Gasoline/Petrol : Benziin
;Verkehrsregle : traffic rules
+
;driving license :  Faaruswiis
;Unfall : accident
+
;traffic rules :  Verchersregle
;Polizischt: police officer
+
;accident :  Unfall
;Rechtsverkehr : right-hand traffic/driving (that's the way to drive in Switzerland)
+
;police officer :  Polizischt
 +
;right-hand traffic/driving :  Rächtsvercher (way of driving in Switzerland)
  
 
===Other===
 
===Other===
  
;Händ ihr de ... kaputt gmacht? : Did you destroy the ...?
+
;Händ er de ... kaputt gmacht? : Did you destroy the ...?
;Hoi : Hi (informal)
+
;Gseet uus wi e gstorbeni Chatz : Looks like a dead cat.
;Grüezi Frau/Herr : Hello (formal)
+
;Mis Luftchüssiboot isch voller Aal : My hovercraft is full of eels.
;Guete Morge : Good morning (informal and formal)
+
;Heb dini Schnurrä! : Shut up!
;Guete Abig : Good evening (informal and formal)
+
;Schöne Hinicht : Have a pleasant evening (informal and formal)
+
 
+
  
 
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{{outlinephrasebook}}

Latest revision as of 21:48, 6 July 2014

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, on Facebook and YouTube 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[edit]

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[edit]

  • a as in master
  • ä as in can
  • e as in end
  • i as in eel
  • o as in off
  • ö as in birthday
  • u as in boot
  • ü like german i but with rounded lips

Doubled vowels are pronounced longer than single ones.

Diphthongs[edit]

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.
  • eu is pronounced like ä + u
  • öi is somewhere between o + i and ö + i

Consonants[edit]

  • b, d, f, g, h, l, m, n, ng, s: same as in English
  • ch as in loch
  • gg as in scale
  • j as in yet
  • 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[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello/Hi (informal) 
Hoi!
Hi, everyone! (informal) 
Hoi zäme!
Hi (very informal) 
Saluti! / Saletti!
Hello (formal) 
Grüezi!
Hello, Ms./Mr. ... (formal)
Grüezi Frau/Härr ...
Hello, everyone (formal) 
Grüezi mitenand!
My name is ... (formal) 
I heisse ...
My name is ... (informal)
Mi name isch ...
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 
Guete Aabig

Problems[edit]

I lost my wallet! 
Ich han mis Portmone verloore!
I feel sick/not well/upset 
Ich füel mi schlächt
Where is the police station? 
Wo isch de Polizeiposchte?
I have to report something 
Ich mues öppis mälde
Hospital
Spitaal
Is there a hospital nearby? 
Häts da es Spitaal i de Nööchi?
I am/we are lost! 
Ich bin veloore/mer sind verloore
Can you please tell me where.....is? 
Chönd Si mir säge wo.....isch?
train station 
Baanhoof
taxi station 
Taxistand
bank 
Bank
post office 
Poscht/Poschtamt
hotel 
Hotel
church 
Chile
I'm in love 
Ich bi verliebt!
I love you! 
Ich lieb dich!/ I ha di liab!

Numbers[edit]

äis (counting), äi (marked), e/en/es *unmarked*
zwäi
drüü
vier
föif/füüf
sächs/säggs
sibe
acht
nüün
10 
zää
11 
ölf
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 
drissig
40 
vierzig
50 
füfzig
60 
sächzig
70 
sibzig
80 
achtzig
90 
nünzig
100 
hundert
101 
hundertundäis
102 
hundertzwäi
1000 
tuusig

Clock time[edit]

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[edit]

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

Days[edit]

Monday 
Mäntig
Tuesday 
Zischtig
Wednesday 
Mittwoch
Thursday 
Donnstig
Friday 
Fritig
Saturday 
Samschtig
Sunday 
Suntig

Months[edit]

January 
Januaar
February 
Februaar
March 
März
April 
April
May 
Mai
June 
Juni
July 
Juli
August 
Auguscht
September 
Septämber
October 
Oktoober
November 
Novämber
December 
Dezämber

Writing time and date[edit]

date 
Datum
tenth of January, 2012 
zäänte Januaar zwäituusigundzwölf

Colors[edit]

Red 
root
Blue 
blau
Black 
schwarz
Green 
grüen
White 
wiiss
Yellow 
gälb
Purple 
violett
Orange 
orangsch
Pink 
rosa/pink
Gray 
grau

Transportation[edit]

Motorcycle 
Töff
Vespa, Motorbike 
Töffli/ Mofa
Bicycle 
Velo
Tram 
Tram
Bus 
Bus
Coach 
Räiseggaar
Train 
Zug
Airplane 
Flugzüg
(bus/tram) stop 
Haltestell

Directions[edit]

Where is this bus going to? 
Wo ane faart dä Bus?
straight ahead 
graad uus
Left 
links
right 
rächts
in front 
vore
forwards 
voorwärts
in the back 
hinde
backwards 
rückwärts
back 
zrugg

Taxi[edit]

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

Lodging[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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)
Gschnätzlets 
Cut veal
Züri-Gschnätzlets 
Cut veal, 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 empfääle? 
Can you recommend something?
En Apéritiv 
a starter

Shopping[edit]

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[edit]

driving a car 
Auto faare
How do I get to the freeway/motorway? 
Wie chum ich zur Autobaan?
Gasoline/Petrol 
Benziin
driving license 
Faaruswiis
traffic rules 
Verchersregle
accident 
Unfall
police officer 
Polizischt
right-hand traffic/driving 
Rächtsvercher (way of driving in Switzerland)

Other[edit]

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