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The top 5: learn these, and you have already come far!

1. Grüezi (hello)

2. (Uf) Widerluege (good bye)

3. Merci vilmal (thanks a lot)

4. En guete (have a nice meal)

5. Äbä, genau (yeah, right, exactly)

Hello, good bye and so on

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

Hello

Grüezi

Guten Tag

Hello (to more than one person)

Grüezi mitenand

Guten Tag

Good evening

Gueten Abig

Guten Abend

Hi (more informal than "grüezi")

Hoi/Salü/Sali

Salut

Hi (to more than one person)

Hoi zäme

Salut

Good bye

(Uf) Widerluege/Ciao/Tschüss

Auf

 

Wiedersehen/Tschüss

Thanks a lot

Merci vilmal

Vielen Dank

See you later

Bis spöter

Bis später

Wiedersehen/Tschüss Thanks a lot Merci vilmal Vielen Dank See you later Bis spöter Bis später

Eating and drinking

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

Have a nice meal (always to be said to the others before eating)

En Guete

Guten Appetit

Müsli - maybe you think this

Müesli

Müsli

is

obvious, but

Small mouse - mind the pronunciation!

Müüsli

"Mäuschen"

Special Swiss müsli (very nice)

Birchermüesli

Very small cheese cake/pie

Chäs-Chüechli

Käsekuchen (well, actually it's not quite the same)

Fried, grated potatoes (hash brown)

Röschti

Rösti

Potato(es)

Herdöpfel

Kartoffel(n)

Carrot(s)

Rüebli

Möhre(n)/Karotte(n)

Paprika (the vegetable)

Pepperoni

Paprika

Paprika (the spice)

Paprika

Paprika

Chocolate

Schoggi

Schokolade

Butter

Ankche/Butter

Butter

Cheers!

Pröschtli/Proscht

Prost

A

small glass of beer

Schtange

Ein kleines Glas Bier

Wine

Wii

Wein

Coffee

Kafi

Kaffee

Breakfast

Z'Morge/Morgenässe

Frühstück

Lunch

Z'Mittag/Mittagässe

Mittagessen

Dinner

Z'Nacht/Nachtässe

Abendessen/Abendbrot

Eat

Ässe

Essen

Drink

Trinkche

Trinken

Drink (alcohol)

Suufe

Saufen/trinken

Transport

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

Walk

Laufe

Gehen

Run

Ränne

Laufen/rennen

Walk downhill

Abälaufe

Abwärts gehen

Walk uphill

Uälaufe

Aufwärts gehen

Walk uphill (and reach the top)

Ufälaufe

Aufwärts gehen

Move (get a new place to live)

Zügle

Umziehen

Shall we leave?

Gömmer?

Gehen wir?

Tram

Tram

Strassenbahn

Motorbike

Töff

Motorrad

Bike

Velo

Fahrrad

Some verbs

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

?

GERMAN

Work

Schaffe

Arbeiten

Work hard

Chrampfe

Hart arbeiten

Sunbathe

Sünnele

Sich sonnen

Go shopping

Poschte

Einkaufen

Look

Luege

Sehen

Aalüte

Anrufen

Call I call you You know

Are you coming?

Ich lüte dir aa Weisch Chuntsch?

Ich rufe dich an Weisst du Kommst du?

Do we have

?

Hämmer

Haben wir

?

The small, but very useful words

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

A little

Es bitzeli

Ein bisschen

Approximately

Öppe

Etwa

Someone

Öpper

Jemand

Something

Öppis

Etwas

Not

Nööd

Nicht

Nothing

Nüüt

Nichts

Here

Da

Hier

There

Det

Dort

right?

gäll?

nicht

wahr?

Otherwise

Susch

Sonst

Disgusting

Gruusig

Grausig

Very (not a very nice expression)

(Uu) huere

Some times

Mängisch

Manchmal

Well, yes

Mol

Doch

Yeah, right

Äbä

Eben

Miscellaneous

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

Money (francs)

Schtutz (informal) - or: Frankche

Franken

Six francs

Sächs Schtutz/Frankche

Sechs Franken

Friend (male/female)

Kolleg/Kollegin

Freund/Freundin

Boyfriend/girlfriend (may also some times be "just a friend")

Früünd/Früündin

Freund/Freundin

"Gooseflesh"

Hüehnerhuut

Gänsehaut

Cow

Chue

Kuh

Pig

Sau

Schwein

Butterfly

Summervogel

Schmetterling

Very tired ("stone tired")

Schteimüed

Hundemüde

Cellular phone

Natel

Handy

Church

Chile

Kirche

Market/fun fair

Chilbi

Dorffest/Kirmes

Toilet

Hüüsli/WC

WC

Chilbi Dorffest/Kirmes Toilet Hüüsli/WC WC The days of the week ENGLISH SWISS GERMAN GERMAN

The days of the week

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

Monday

Määntig

Montag

Tuesday

Ziischtig

Dienstag

Wednesday

Mittwuch

Mittwoch

Thursday

Dunschtig

Donnerstag

Friday

Friitig

Freitag

Saturday

Samschtig

Samstag

Sunday

Sunntig

Sonntag

Numbers

ENGLISH

SWISS GERMAN

GERMAN

One

Eis

Eins

Two

Zwei

Zwei

Three

Drüü

Drei

Four

Vier

Vier

Five

Feuf

Fünf

Six

Sächs

Sechs

Seven

Sibe

Sieben

Eight

Acht

Acht

Nine

Nüün

Neun

Ten

Zää

Zehn

Eleven

Elf

Elf

Twelve

Zwölf

Zwölf

Thirteen

Driizä

Dreizehn

Fourteen

Vierzä

Vierzehn

Fifteen

Füfzä

Fünfzehn

Sixteen

Sächzä

Sechzehn

Seventeen

Sibezä

Siebzehn

Eighteen

Achzä

Achtzehn

Nineteen

Nünzä

Neunzehn

Twenty

Zwänzk

Zwanzig

Twenty-four

Vierezwänzk

Vierundzwanzig

Many numbers end with an -i when they are used for the time of the day: Halbi elfi = half past ten.

And in the end: some more or less useful expressions

ENGLISH

Wanna go out drinking?

SWISS GERMAN

Wämmer eis go ziie?

GERMAN

Wollen wir einen

 

trinken?

I'm cold

Ich ha chalt

Mir ist kalt

I have a bit of a headache

Ich han es bitzeli Chopfweh

Ich habe ein bisschen Kopfweh

Now the fun is over!

Jetz isch färtig luschtig

Jetzt ist Schluss mit Lustig

Swiss-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.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Note that most of the following Swiss-German phrases and words are written as they would be pronounced by people living in the area around Bern, Basel, Zürich. Whilst Bernese dialect is widely understood in the Swiss-German part of Switzerland, it's by no means "official" Swiss-German (despite the fact that Bern is the Swiss capital). There is no standardized Swiss-German or "Schwiizertütsch" (be careful not to spell it Schwyzertütsch as that is the specific dialect from Canton Schwyz). Remarkably, the native dialects spoken in the many Swiss-German cantons are clearly distinguishable by locals (i.e. they can tell apart from the dialect in which canton somebody grew up).

Vowels[edit]

a as in ma ster ä as in ca n e as in end i as in ee l o as in off ö as in bi rthday u as in boot

ü like german i but with rounded lips Doubled vowels are pronounced longer than single ones.

Diphthongs[edit]

All diphthongs (two different vowels next to each other in the same syllable) are pronounced with

emphasis on the first vowel.

äi, ou, ie, ue, üe are pronounced as written. eu is pronounced like ä + u öi is somewhere between o + i and ö + i

Consonants[edit]

b , d, f, g , h, l , m, n , ng , s: same as in English ch as in loch gg as in s cale j as in yet k like gg + ch p as in sp it (not as in p it) sch as in cash st, sp usually scht , schp t as in s tack (not as in tack) v same as f w as in v ane z as in cats Like with vowels, double consonants are pronounced longer.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello/Hi (informal) Hoi! / Sali! / Grüez di! Hi, everyone! (informal) Hoi zäme! Hi (very informal) Saluti! / Saletti! Hello (formal)

Grüezi! / Sali! (in areas close to French-speaking Switzerland)

Hello,

(formal)

Grüezi Frau/Härr

Hello, everyone (formal) Grüezi mitenand!

My name is I heisse

(formal)

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[edit]

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

Chönd Si mir säge wo train station Baanhoof taxi station Taxistand

bank

Bank

post office

Poscht/Poschtamt

hotel

isch?

is?

Hotel church Chile I'm in love Ich bi verliebt! I love you! Ich lieb dich!/ I ha di liab!

Numbers[edit]

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

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

Clock time[edit] 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

Duration[edit]

How long does it take to go to Wie lang gaats bis

How long does Wie lang duuret

take

Days[edit]

Monday

Mäntig

Tuesday

Zischtig

Wednesday

Mittwoch

Thursday

Donnstig

Friday

Fritig

Saturday

Samschtig

Sunday

Suntig

Months[edit]

January

Januaar

February

Februaar

March

März

April

April

May

Mai

June

Juni

July

Juli

August

Auguscht

September

Septämber

October

Oktoober

November

Novämber

December

Dezämber

Writing time and date[edit] date Datum tenth of January, 2012 zäänte Januaar zwäituusigundzwölf

Colors[edit]

Red

root

Blue

blau

Black

schwarz

Green

grüen

White

wiiss

Yellow

gälb

Purple

violett

Orange

orangsch

Pink

rosa/pink

Gray

grau

Transportation[edit]

Motorcycle Töff Vespa, Motorbike Töffli/ Mofa Bicycle Velo Tram Tram Bus Bus Coach Räiseggaar Train Zug Airplane Flugzüg (bus/tram) stop Haltestell

Directions[edit] 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[edit]

to the

hotel please!

Zum Hotel

bitte!

How much does it cost to 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!

, approximately?

?

Lodging[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Poschte, iichaufe Go shopping

Schoppe Shop around Wievil choschtet How much does

Gits en Rabatt? Gits en Ermäässigung? Is there a discount?

Wo häts

Where can I find

?

cost?

?

?

Driving[edit]

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[edit]

Händ er de

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)

kaputt gmacht?

?