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Swiss-German phrasebook

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Revision as of 14:22, 7 October 2009 by 84.73.85.177 (Talk)

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Swiss-German is considerably different from German, especially as it happens in regards 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

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 among the youths (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.

For official documents, standard German is used.

Vowels

Consonants

Common diphthongs

Phrase list

Basics

Hoi! 
hello/hi (informal)
Hoi zäme! 
hi everyone (informal)
Saluti! [salooti!] Saletti! 
hi (very informal)
Grüezi! [Grea-atsie] 
hello (formal)
Grüezi Frau/Herr ...! 
hello Ms/Mr ... (formal)
Grüezi mitenand! [Grea-tsi metta-nònd] 
hello everyone (formal)

Problems

ich ha(n) mi(s) Portmonnaie verlore! 
I lost my wallet! (n, s = variants, depending on the dialect)
ich fühl mi(ch) schlächt 
I feel sick/not well/upset (ch = variant)
wo isch de Polizei Poschte? 
where is the police station?
ich mues öppis mälde 
I have to/must report something
Spital 
Hospital
Hät's da es Spital i de Nöchi? 
is there a hospital nearby?
ich bi(n) velore/mir sind verlore 
I/we am/are lost!! (n = variant)
bitte säged sie mir wo.....isch? 
Can you please tell me where.....is?
Bahnhof 
train station
Taxi Stand 
taxi station
Bank 
Bank
Post 
post office (prononced="pay-tay-tay")
Hotel " " 
the " " hotel
Chile 
church
ich bi(n) verliebt! 
I'm in love
ich lib dech! 
I love you!

Numbers

1 eis, äis, ais, eins
2 zwei, zwöi, zwai
3 drü, drai
4 vier
5 foif, fföif, füüf, fünf
6 sächs
7 sibe, sebe
8 acht
9 nün
10 zäh, zehn

11 elf
12 zwölf
13 drizäh
14 vierzäh
15 füfzäh
16 sächzäh
17 sibzäh
18 achzäh
19 nünzäh
20 zwänzg

21 einezwänzg
22 zweiezwänzg
23 drüezwänzg
24 vierezwänzg
25 foifezwänzg
26 sächsezwänzg
27 sibenezwänzg
28 achtezwänzg
29 nünezwänzg
30 drissg

40 vierzg
50 füfzg
60 sächzg
70 sibezg
80 achtzg
90 nünzg
100 hundert

101 hundertundäis
102 hundertzwöi

Clock time

Zit (time) Was esch för zit? (what time is it?) Es esch .... (It is ....) eis (one o'clock) halbi eis (half past twelfe) viertel vor eis (quater to one) zäh vor eis (ten to one) virtel ab eis (quarter past one) zäh ab eis (ten past one) halbi zwoi (half past one)


Duration

Wie lang gohts bis ... (How long does it take to...) Wie lang het me bis....? (dito) Duretslang bes of? (dito)

Days

Mäntig, Mentig
Zischtig
Mittwoch
Dunnschtig, Donnschtig
Fritig
Samschtig
Sonntig

Months

Januar
Februar
März, Merz
April
Mai
Juni
Juli
Auguscht
Septämber
Oktober
Novämber
Dezämber

Writing time and date

Datom (date) zähte erste zwoitusignün (tenth of january twothousandnine)

Colors

Red - Rot.

Blue - blau.

Black - schwarz.

Green - grüen.

White - Wiiss.

Yellow - gäl(b).

Purple - violet.

Orange - orange "oransh".

Pink - rosa/pink.

Gray - grau.

Transportation

Motorcycle - Töff, Döff
Vespa, Motorbike - Töffli, Döffli
Bicycle - Velo
Tram (Streetcar) - Tram, Drämmli

Bus Train Plane

Bus, Car - Bus
Reisecar - travel bus
Zug - train
Flugzüg, Flüüger - airplane

Directions

graad uus - straight ahead
links - left
rächts - right
vore, vorne - in front
vüre, vürschi, vorwärts - forwards
hinde - in the back
hindere, rückwärts, zrugg - backwards, back

Taxi

Zum Hotel ...... bitte! - to the ..... hotel please!
was koschtet's öppe nach .......? - How much does it cost to ....., approximately?
Flughafe - airport
Bahnhof - train station
Hotel .... - ..... hotel
ich ha(n)'s pressant! - I'm in a hurry!
mir händ's pressant! - We are in a hurry!
Bitte pressiere! - Hurry, please!

Lodging

Money

Gäld / Bargäld, Stutz (coll.), Stütz (coll.) 
cash, money.
isch Bargäld ok? mit Bargäld bezähle? 
can I pay with cash? pay with cash?
Was koschtet das? 
how much is this/that?
Z'tüür! (Zu teuer) 
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?
Chann ich mit Kreditkarte zahle? 
Can I use my Credit Card?
Trinkgäld (gäh) 
Tip (Tipping)
Ich (i) nimm das 
I'll take/buy it (i pronounced like "e" in english)
I/Ich möcht öppis anders 
I would like something else.
Händ si Souvenirs? 
Do you have souvenirs?
Wo chan ich Gäld wächsle? 
Where can I change money?
Wo isch de nächscht Bankomat? 
Where is the closest ATM?

Eating

En guete! 
Enjoy your meal!
Schoggi 
Chocolate (gg is often pronounced as 'ck,' thus 'schocki')
Proscht, Pröschtli, Prosit! 
Cheers
Herdöpfel 
Potato(es)
Rüebli 
Carrot(s)
Ä Stangä, es Chliises 
A small glass of beer
En Chübel, es Grosses 
A big glass of beer
Es Glas Wii 
A glass of wine
Es Glas Rote (Wii) 
A glass of red wine
Es Glas Wysse (Wii) 
A glass of white wine
Oktobertee 
wine (slang/coll.)
Chriesi 
cherry/cherries
Chueche 
pie
Gipfeli 
croissant(s)
Milchkafi, Challa 
cafe au lait
Kafi crème 
coffee
Bier 
beer
Suufe 
to drink beer/alcohol...
Schwiizer Chääs 
Swiss cheese
Röschti 
mashed, fried potatoes (a Swiss speciality)
Fondue 
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)
Züri-Gschnätzlets 
Cut veal, often served with Röschti, speciality of Zurich
Ich würdi gern e Schwiizer Spezialität probiere 
I'd like to taste a Swiss speciality
Was chönd Sie mir empfehle? 
Can you recommend something?

Bars

e Schtange, es Chliises 
A small glass of beer
en Chübel, es Grosses 
A large glass of beer
en Aperitiv 
a starter
Chueche, Cake, Flade 
Cake

Shopping

Poschtä, iichaufe 
Going shopping
Wieviel choschtet ...? 
How much does ... cost?
Gits en Rabatt? Gits en Ermässigung? 
Can you give me a discount?
Wo häts ...? 
Where can I find ...?

Driving

Auto fahre 
driving a car
Wo ane fahrt dä bus? 
Where is this bus going to?
Fahruswiis 
driving license
Verkehrsregle 
traffic rules
Unfall 
accident
Polizischt
police officer
Rechtsverkehr 
right-hand traffic/driving (that's the way to drive in Switzerland)

Other

Händ ihr de ... kaputt gmacht? 
Did you destroy the ...?
Hoi 
Hi (informal)
Grüezi Frau/Herr 
Hello (formal)
Guete Morge 
Good morning (informal and formal)
Guete Abig 
Good evening (informal and formal)


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