Whether English, Spanish, French or Swiss German – it is hard to learn a language and harder still to speak it fairly fluently. No doubt, there are some people who are linguistic whizzes, but most people find it difficult to learn a new language. It is for the latter that we have put together this list of top ten tips to learn Swiss German or any other language you might want to learn.
1. Find out why you want to learn the language
Think about why you want to learn the new language, because if you do not have a good reason to learn the language, you will not be motivated in the long term. One reason might be that it is your partner’s mother tongue; another might be that you intend to move to the country in which the language is spoken. It is for this reason that we added „learning Swiss German“ to our checklist for moving to Switzerland. Keeping your reason to learn in mind will give you the willpower to stay motivated.
2. Use the language in your daily life
The fastest way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself totally in the language. It is therefore not surprising that a new language is picked up faster abroad than in the home country. However, it is not necessary to go abroad for a long time to learn the language; just “bring the foreign country to you”. If you surround yourself with everything Swiss German, you will have no choice but to start thinking in Swiss German. For example, you can listen to music in the language you want to learn, watch films or series in that language and even read a book to immerse yourself fully. The big advantage of our online course is that with the videos we provide, we bring you the language and culture directly into the living room and you can learn Swiss German before you travel or move.
3. Enjoy learning
Learning and speaking a new language is always a creative endeavour so you should think about how to learn Swiss German in an interesting and entertaining way. How about writing a poem or comic in the language? Find creative and fun ways to learn Swiss German.
4. Talk to yourself
This may seem a little weird, but talking to yourself in the new language can be of great help. There is not always someone to talk to in the language you want to learn, so why not talk to yourself? This is a good way for you to memorize newly learned vocabulary or sentences.
5. Study everywhere
Basically, you can study any time and anywhere. Whether on your way to work, whilst cleaning your house or even when playing sports. For example, whilst you are jogging, you can listen to an audio book in the foreign language or memorise vocabulary when you are commuting by train.
It is for this reason that we have also created an app in the Android Store or are present on various social media channels where you can follow us or contact us day and night.
There are many other numerous everyday situations in which you can also learn Swiss German whilst doing other things.
6. Find a study partner
Finding a language partner will make learning a new language much easier as they have a vested interest in you learning the language. This partner may be your spouse, partner or a relative. A good way forward is to find people who want to learn your language in a tandem language exchange. This is a win-win situation for both parties. Of course, it is important to make sure that your language partner is interesting in order for you both to have fun learning together. Language learning should always be fun. Would you like to find a language partner? Try looking in our community; there are many interesting people there who would be interested in a language exchange.
7. The power of mnemonics
Learning vocabulary is not always easy and is easily one of the most hated parts of learning a new language. It can be tedious, difficult and sometimes really frustrating. Words that sound similar or are written similarly are particularly hard to remember. But first, it is important to know which words are relevant to you at all. There are words that you will just never use in everyday life and these are exactly the words you do not necessarily need to learn. However, once you have found the words you need to know, you can learn them faster with mnemonics. So you can, for example, find an an English word that sounds similar to a Swiss German on and imagine it pictorially.
8. Mistakes are part of learning
It is perfectly normal to make mistakes when speaking a new language; no one is born a master. Mistakes are a part of learning and every mistake you make brings you closer to the goal of being able to speak the language fluently someday. Even native speakers occasionally have to contend with tongue twisters. A classic Swiss tongue twister that every foreigner is asked to try hundreds of times in their first months here is „Chuchichäschtli“.
9. Never give up!
You will not be able to learn a new language within two or three weeks. That is why it is important to keep trying and never give up. Once you can speak and understand the language, doors open up both socially and professionally. So that you can really learn continuously for at least one month, we have written our book „Swiss German in 30 Days“. The goal is to complete a lesson every day for over 30 days, introducing you to Swiss culture whilst teaching you Swiss German at the same time. Try it; we have received outstanding feedback from students.
10. Stay relaxed
When learning a language, you should always stay relaxed. Do not put yourself under time pressure and insist on speaking the language fluently within two months. That is not what language learning is about; it is about being able to talk to new people and getting to know a new culture. No one expects your pronunciation to be perfect or that you always know the right word to use immediately. Just approach your learning in a relaxed manner and you will soon learn Swiss German.
If you follow these 10 tips, you are already well on your way to learning Swiss German. Now it is time to take action and start learning in earnest. We offer so many resources that you have no excuse not to start immediately. You could start by reading our blog post on Swiss German for beginners or by taking a look at our book „Swiss German in 30 Days“. If you are curious about our culture, these articles on Swiss wrestling and the alphorn might be of interest to you. You will find so much on our website. Why not start right now with the next steps in learning Swiss German?
Feel free to contact us if any problems arise.