In this article we want to focus on the fundamentals of learning Swiss German. In other words, the key topic of this article is how beginners can learn Swiss German. Everyday, we get enquiries from absolute beginner who have no idea where to start learning the basics of the vernacular.

We would like to help by offering you some tools to get you on your way.

Starting to learn Swiss German is easier than you might imagine

Where do I begin to learn the language?!?

There is no need to be completely overwhelmed when starting to learn a new language. Many new students struggle with difficult and strange terminology. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that you can use the pareto principle to learn a language. This principle state that 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. This is true for beginner of Swiss German as well; learn 20% of the words and you can handle 80% of situations where you need to communicate.

Swiss Vocabulary for Beginners

In the next few paragraphs, we shall show the most important phrases you need to express yourself effectively in the main areas of life. Learn these by heart and you will have learnt the basics of communication. If you need more tips on how to best learn Swiss German as a beginner, take a look at this article:
Learn Swiss German Through Play

Swiss German for Beginners: The Basics

This is an essential basic vocabulary for beginners to be able to indulge in small talk:


Hoi zämme!
Hello everybody!

Hello (formal)

Grüezi mitenand!
Hello everybody! (formal)

Guete Morge
Good morning

Guete Abig
Good evening

Mi Name isch … / I heisse …
My name is …

Wie gaht’s dir/Ihne
How are you (Ihne is formal)?

Mir gaht’s guet, danke!
I’m fine, thank you!

Mir gaht’s nöd so guet!
I’m not too good!

Was machsch hütte?
What are you doing today?

Hesch scho öpis plant?
Do you have anything planned yet?

Problem Solving

Equipped for any emergency

A newcomer to a country is often overwhelmed with problems. It gets worse if communication is further hindered due to language problems. Here are some Swiss German phrases to help beginners tackle basic problems:

Wo isch s’Hotel …?
Where is Hotel X?

Wo gohts dure zum X?
What is the way to X?

Um welli Zit fahrt dr Bus/Zug?
At what time does the bus/train leave?

Chönnte Si mir äs Taxi organisiere?
Can you arrange a taxi for me?

Wie viel choschtets nach X?
How much will it cost to get to X?

I has pressant!
I‘m in a hurry!

Wo isch de Polizeitposchte?
Where is the police station?

Häts do es Spitaal in dr nöchi?
Is there a hospital nearby?

Ich füehl mi schlecht.
I feel unwell.

I ha mis Portmone verloore!
I‘ve lost my wallet!

Was isch für Ziit?
What’s the time?

Restaurant Vocabulary

Bestelle dir jetzt dein Feierabendbier auf Schweizerdeutsch
Order your after work beer in Swiss German

After learning how to solve some problems, it might also be useful for beginners to learn some phrases that can be used in restaurants. Here are a few simple sentences:

En guete!
Enjoy your meal!

Cheers! (a toast)

I hätti gern es ….
I would like a ….

E Staange
A small beer (3dl)

Es Groosses
A large beer (5dl)

Es Glaas Wii
A glass of wine

I würdi gern e Schwiizer Spezialität probiere.
I would like to try a Swiss speciality.

Was chönnte sie empfehle?
What could you recommend?

Cha i bitte zahle?
May I have the bill?


As you see, it’s easy even for beginners to learn Swiss German. You can build on this basic vocabulary and perfect your knowledge of Swiss German. There are many reasons to do so; we’ve listed them here.

Furthermore, I would like to recommend our Premium Online Swiss German Course. The course covers many daily situations in video lessons. This offers the advantage of audiovisual learning in addition to written communication.

As a member, you also have access to an audio recording of the phrases in this blog post so you can learn the correct pronunciation. With these tools, learning Swiss German as a beginner is child’s play. Trust me, many before you have managed.

As you can see, being a member allows you to benefit from many advantages and I would strongly urge you to join our great community. You can join here.


Swiss German for Beginners
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