As we are always increasing the content on this website, we would like to summarise all the ways you can learn Swiss-German on www.learn-swiss-german.ch. This three part blog series are designed to help you answer the question of how to learn Swiss-German most effectively.
The three parts are divided into free resources, premium options and daily usage. Work your way through all these steps and use the tips, strategies and options provided and you will soon be speaking Swiss-German very well.
If you are a first time visitor to our website, I would recommend downloading our free ebook as a first step. It is popular in our community and we are not sure how much longer we can offer it for free, so grab it immediately – free ebook -.
What can you expect from the ebook? The ebook describes a newcomer’s experience of living in Switzerland; it provides a rough guide to the country as well as a first vocabulary. As a bonus, we have added a Swiss German to English vocabulary list of more than 20 words.
A second stepping stone to learning Swiss-German
If you have worked your way through the ebook and are hungry for more, read our blog post “Swiss-German for beginners”. This blog post outlines the initial sentences you will need to navigate daily life. We have used the Pareto principle which means that learning 20% of the needed vocabulary will give you 80% of results obtained. Memorise each and every one of these sentences and you will get far in Switzerland.
Blog posts to make your learning fun
Hopefully, this first blog post will have given you a taste for more. We provide many interesting articles on our Swiss-German blog about the different aspects of living in Switzerland. Topics range from local sports and culture to tips on how to learn the language. There are many nuggets in these posts, so make sure not to miss any of our weekly updates.
The texts are geared to learn-swiss-german.ch. In addition to being good reads, these posts incorporate Swiss-German words so that you can pick them up easily. An example: “I just wanted to get the knife out of the “Chuchichäschtli” (en: kitchen cupboard)”. At the end of every blog post, we provide a vocabulary list that recaps and translates all the Swiss-German words in the article. It is best to add new words to a list or to keep track of them with index cards.
Index card system: a neat and intelligent way to keep track
It is easy to make and keep an index card. It is no more than a small piece of paper on which you write the English word on the front and the Swiss-German word on the back. An example: Write “coffee” on the front of the card and “Kafi” on the reverse side. Look at the English word and try to think what the Swiss-German translation would be. Turn it over to see if you got it right and, if you did, repeat it the next day for good measure. If you got it wrong, put the card at the back of the pile and return to it later.
We suggest that you do not just write the English word on the front, but add a little visual aid such as a picture of a coffee cup. Your brain can process text with added pictures better and this little trick gives you a huge advantage whilst learning the language.
Just note all the words you collect from the ebook, the blog posts and the other sources that I will suggest on the index cards. You can carry them with you wherever you go (eg on a train) so that you can practice anytime.
New options every day
Do not forget to join us on social media; we are on many different platforms and post at least once a day on each platform. The posts are mainly about Swiss-German words, facts about Switzerland, Swiss jokes and motivational quotes. The cool thing about our posts is that we always use visuals to emphasise learning. These pictures are also just the right size for you to print out and use together with an index card system. But even if you do not use these pictures as index cards, you can get motivated and have a laugh occasionally just from reading them.
These are the platforms we are active on:
You can also meet and interact with other students as well as with premium members of learn-swiss-german.ch on our social media platforms. You can discuss your studies, help each other and have a good chat with your fellow students. Of course, there is an area just for premium members as well. We will tell you more about that in our next post.
Your strongest tool is our dictionary
No page of our learning Swiss-German website is visited more often than our dictionary. This shows just how many clients appreciate the dictionary and I would not want you to miss out on this opportunity. The dictionary comprises more than 10’000 words and has a definition for every entry. If you do not understand a phrase or word from one of our jokes, just go to http://www.learn-swiss-german.ch/blog/swiss-german-dictionary/. Trust me, it will not be long before the dictionary becomes indispensable to you.
We now have an app!
Our app, “Learn Swiss-German” is available on Google Play. We developed this app after many of our students expressed a wish for one. The app features the whole dictionary, all the blog posts and, as a small bonus, more than 300 phrases and sentences covering daily life in different categories.
As you can see, we have a lot of free options to help you learn Swiss-German. I have attempted to give you an overview of what we have on offer, but I am sure you can find many more. The most important is to find which options suit you best and work with them.
Part two and three of this series will be available soon. Make sure to read them in order to find out how to fully utilise all the options available. In the meantime, enjoy the options above!