If you want to learn something about a foreign culture, you should take a closer look at the proverbs of the respective language. They reflect the mentality and customs of a country and give deep insights into how the folk soul ticks. Of course, Switzerland also has a large number of proverbs. Some of them may be familiar to German citizens, because they sound similar in German. Others are very peculiar, typically Swiss.

People who live in the countryside pay less health insurance premium
Proverbs are a great way of understanding how Swiss people think

The best Swiss German proverbs

Schweizerdeutsch German English Meaning
Uf alte Pfannä lehrt me choche Auf alten Pfannen lernt man kochen On old pans is how you learn to cook Something old does not mean it’s bad. In relation to people, older people have more experience, you learn better.
Jedes Problemli het

zwei Siite: die falschi und ösi

Jedes Problem hat zwei Seiten: die falsche und die unsrige Every problem has two sides: the wrong one and ours We are always right!
S’isch gnueg Heu dune Es ist genug Heu unten There’s enough hay down It’s enough!
S’hät so lang s’hät Es hat, solange es hat It has, as long as it has As long as there’s some left, go help yourself
De Schneller isch de Gschwinder Der Schnellere ist der Geschwindere The faster is the quicker The faster gets all the credit
Mach keis Büro uf Mach kein Büro auf Don’t open an offce Don’t make it so complicated
Ich zeig dir wo de Bartli de Most holt Ich zeige dir, wo der Bartli seinen Most holt I’ll show you where the Bartli gets his cider I’ll show you!
sBeschte wos je hets gits Das Beste, was es je gegeben hat The best there ever was The best there ever was
Blas mer doch id Schueh Blas mir doch in die Schuhe Blow on my shoes You can kiss my ass
Vane Richu müescht leeru sparu (Walliser Dialket) Von den Reichen lernt man sparen Learn to save from the rich Careful handling of money

 

Das macht d Braate aunöd feiss Das macht den Braten auch nicht feiss That won’t make the roast chewy That doesn’t make it any better
Bis dänn flüsst no vill Wasser de Rhy ab Bis dann fliesst noch viel Wasser den Rhein hinunter Until then a lot of water still flows down the Rhine A lot can happen until then
Em Tüüfel es Ohr ab gloge Dem Teufel ein Ohr abgelogen Lying to the devil Telling a big lie
De Gschider git na, de Esel blibt sta Der Gescheitere gibt nach, der Esel bleibt stehen The clever one gives in, the donkey stands still The wiser one gives in

 

Chasch nöd de Feufer und s’Weggli ha Du kannst nicht den Fünfer und das Brötchen haben You can’t have the nickel and dime You can’t have the nickel and dime

More than just proverbs

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Swiss proverbs: Insight into the Swiss people’ s soul
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