learning swiss german can be a lot of funSwiss-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.

 

Table of Contents

doing great business in the eidgenössenschaft learn it
Let’s take a look at the content!
  1. Basics
  2. Problems
  3. Numbers
  4. Time
  5. Days
  6. Months
  7. Colors
  8. Transportation
  9. Directions
  10. Taxi
  11. Lodging
  12. Money
  13. Eating
  14. Shopping
  15. Driving
  16. Other

 

Basics

switzerland swiss flag
The Swiss National Flag.
Hello/Hi (informal)
Hoi!
Hi, everyone! (informal)
Hoi zäme!
Hi (very informal)
Saluti! / Saletti!
Hello (formal)
Grüezi! / Sali! (in areas close to French-speaking Switzerland)
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

problems in switzerland
“You got to do, what you got to do!” — Our tutor Claude keeps telling this
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!

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Numbers

swiss numbers zahlen
Numbers can make a difference between day and night.
1
äis (counting), äi (marked), e/en/es *unmarked*
2
zwäi
3
drüü
4
vier
5
föif/füüf
6
sächs/säggs
7
sibe
8
acht
9
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

 

 

Time

time zeit in swissgerman swiss german
The watch industry is one of the major economies in Switzerland.
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

 

 

Days

tage samstag schweizerdeutsch swiss german
Today is the day I started learning Swiss-German. It’s a great day!
Monday
Mäntig
Tuesday
Zischtig
Wednesday
Mittwoch
Thursday
Donnstig
Friday
Fritig
Saturday
Samschtig
Sunday
Suntig

 

 

Months

 calendar date days in swiss german tage
It’s great to keep all your deadlines at a single place.
January
Januaar
February
Februaar
March
März
April
April
May
Mai
June
Juni
July
Juli
August
Auguscht
September
Septämber
October
Oktoober
November
Novämber
December
Dezämber

 

 

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Colors

colors farben swiss german
Playing with colors is really fun. Our tutor Lena also thinks so.
Red
root
Blue
blau
Black
schwarz
Green
grüen
White
wiiss
Yellow
gälb
Purple
violett
Orange
orangsch
Pink
rosa/pink
Gray
grau

Transportation

transport in switzerland and swiss german words
The next bus is incoming!
Motorcycle
Töff
Vespa, Motorbike
Töffli/ Mofa
Bicycle
Velo
Tram
Tram
Bus
Bus
Coach
Räiseggaar
Train
Zug
Airplane
Flugzüg
(bus/tram) stop
Haltestell

Directions

searching the right directions in zurich and basel
Searching the right directions in Zurich
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

calling a taxi in basel swiss german
Calling a taxi in Basel
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!

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Lodging

searching for lodging new room to live
Is this room still free? How much is it?
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 and switzerland a great combination
Money and Switzerland. A great combination.
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

the best food restaurants and meals in zurich
What is YOUR favorite restaurant in Zurich?
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

going shopping in like a swissie
Yes, the Swiss LOOOOVE shopping
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

driving yourself sometimes a ferrari
Well, sometimes you have to drive yourself
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

friendships make life worthwhile also in Switzerland
Friendships in Switzerland are really strong and mutual trust is very huge.
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!
Hopp Schwiiz !
Go Switzerland ! (used to encourage the national team in various sports events)

 

 

the best time to start learning swiss german is now
“The best time to start learning Swiss German is now.” — This is our tutor Claude.

If you know all these phrases well you are already on a pretty fantastic start with Swiss-German. To make studying more fun, efficient and practical we created an online course you can buy by clicking the button below. It covers all the content mentioned here, over 50 high quality learning videos with numerous tips, tricks and cultural background information. We tell you exactly when to use which words and how to pronounce them perfectly — of course, we made everything as practical as possible so you can directly go out and apply everything you learned. The best time to start, is just right now!

 

 

 

Swiss-German survival book
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