Did you learn that they speak German in Switzerland? That's a misunderstanding! In Switzerland they speak Swiss German,
and that's something completely different. Swiss German has its own pronunciation, many different words, its own grammar,
and most Germans have difficulties understanding this funny language. The German-speaking Swiss write the proper German, that's
true - there is not really a Swiss German written language. They can also very well speak proper German, but to them it's
a foreign language that they have to learn how to use when they start school.
Would you like to win a Swiss person's heart? Then learn these two beautiful words. They are
almost like national treasures, because they are so typical Swiss German. Note: Ch is pronounced like in
the German word ach (whereas sch is like the normal sh-sound, like in "sheep"). You may have
to practise a lot to make it, but don't practise so much that you get a sore throat!
What they mean? Number 1 is "kitchen cupboard", number 2 is "cheese pie(s) (or, more directly
translated, "cheese cake(s)")!
As we know, the abbreviation of Switzerland is CH. Some times I've been wondering
if this has some kind of connection to the Swiss German sounds...
Here are some of the most common words that might be good to know. I have also written some
other words, either because they have different meanings in proper German and Swiss German, or just because I like them...
Note: This is Züridüütsch - Zürich German, which is the Swiss dialect that I know the best.
Other dialects may some times sound very different!
Remember, here as well, that all ch's should be pronounced like in German
ach. All the vowels I have written should be pronounced. If you see ue, üe or ie,
for instance, the e should also be pronounced. The proper German version that you see here is to be pronounced the normal
(By the way, it's not always easy to "translate" Swiss German words and expressions
into proper German - if any of you have some other suggestions, I'm very thankful...)
...is an expression used for the border between the German-speaking and the French-speaking
Switzerland. In English it would be "the Rösti ditch", and it has probably got something with the different (food)
cultures to do...
...is a nice language mixture. An explanation that I have got, which probably isn't completely
true, but funny anyway, is that the German-speaking Swiss wanted to say "merci" instead of "danke", to prove that they weren't
German. The problem was only that then they sounded like they were trying to speak French without being very successful (the
Swiss German pronunciation of "merci" is rather special). The solution was to add the typical Swiss German ending "vilmal".
Then there would be no doubt of where they were coming from. ....and this is how the expression "merci vilmal"
- thanks a lot - may have been created...