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  #21  
Old 20.04.2014, 09:55
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

Take a course. For me, that unlocked the block. I remember I kept hearing the same endings to sentences and word formations and as soon as the teacher explained them it was like the key to the code.

Within a few months I was understanding 70-80% of dialect. Several years later I understand pretty much everything unless there are lots of people talking together and/or there's a lot of background noise.
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Old 20.04.2014, 12:56
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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Take a course. For me, that unlocked the block. I remember I kept hearing the same endings to sentences and word formations and as soon as the teacher explained them it was like the key to the code.

Within a few months I was understanding 70-80% of dialect. Several years later I understand pretty much everything unless there are lots of people talking together and/or there's a lot of background noise.
What about someone like me who barely speaks any high German, would it be beneficial or just confusing to take a Swiss German course alongside the HG course which will be provided for me?

I'm aware that my children will hear more Swiss than High German at school and if I can't understand it I won't be able to support them
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  #23  
Old 20.04.2014, 14:50
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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What about someone like me who barely speaks any high German, would it be beneficial or just confusing to take a Swiss German course alongside the HG course which will be provided for me?

I'm aware that my children will hear more Swiss than High German at school and if I can't understand it I won't be able to support them
The problem with learning only Swiss rather than also High German is that Swiss German is technically only a spoken language. While it is used in casual/colloquial writing, with friends/family for instance, in texts or e-mails or letters, you will find no official documents in anything other than High German. That pretty much encompasses everything, from authority letters to business-related e-mails to menus in restaurant.

Most words are obviously similar, and you will understand some of them no matter whether you've learned High German or not; but there are quite a few that are difficult to understand. It gets even worse when it comes to constructing sentences, where Swiss German may sound entirely different than High German. It will imo also be next to impossible for you to learn how to properly write in German if you only learn Swiss German. Passively read, yes, but write, no.

Bottom line - in my opinion, if for conversational purposes, learning Swiss German only might be fine. If you need to use German for more official purposes and for writing, however, you'd be better off learning both/starting with High German and then switching to Swiss German.
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Old 20.04.2014, 15:22
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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The problem with learning only Swiss rather than also High German is that Swiss German is technically only a spoken language. While it is used in casual/colloquial writing, with friends/family for instance, in texts or e-mails or letters, you will find no official documents in anything other than High German. That pretty much encompasses everything, from authority letters to business-related e-mails to menus in restaurant.

Most words are obviously similar, and you will understand some of them no matter whether you've learned High German or not; but there are quite a few that are difficult to understand. It gets even worse when it comes to constructing sentences, where Swiss German may sound entirely different than High German. It will imo also be next to impossible for you to learn how to properly write in German if you only learn Swiss German. Passively read, yes, but write, no.

Bottom line - in my opinion, if for conversational purposes, learning Swiss German only might be fine. If you need to use German for more official purposes and for writing, however, you'd be better off learning both/starting with High German and then switching to Swiss German.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Peter_Hebel
There are some!


Better here! http://als.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Peter_Hebel
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  #25  
Old 20.04.2014, 15:36
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

Hehe yeah, sure, but really very few And if reading and even understanding it, it's probably still unlikely someone would then later understand High German if they never learned it…

From one of Hebel's poems:
Un uf un furt enandernoo;
un wo n i lueg, isch’s nümme do,
un wo n i rüef :"Du Hexli, he!"
se gitt’s mer scho kai Antwort meh


I would imagine this being very difficult to understand even for (High) German native speakers…

Love the second link - and shame on me I didn't know that there's a Swiss German Wiki! Actually, that is a great thing to at least get a bit of a feel for the language.

But still, it's important to be aware that official written conversation will be in High German.
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  #26  
Old 20.04.2014, 15:55
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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Hehe yeah, sure, but really very few And if reading and even understanding it, it's probably still unlikely someone would then later understand High German if they never learned it…

From one of Hebel's poems:
Un uf un furt enandernoo;
un wo n i lueg, isch’s nümme do,
un wo n i rüef :"Du Hexli, he!"
se gitt’s mer scho kai Antwort meh


I would imagine this being very difficult to understand even for (High) German native speakers…

Love the second link - and shame on me I didn't know that there's a Swiss German Wiki! Actually, that is a great thing to at least get a bit of a feel for the language.

But still, it's important to be aware that official written conversation will be in High German.

Eh! They ask I answered
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  #27  
Old 20.04.2014, 15:59
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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  #28  
Old 20.04.2014, 16:29
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

Murmi



or

Tele Zuri
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  #29  
Old 21.04.2014, 04:43
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

the short answer is that there is no "fastest way". after all, it takes most people more or less all the way through to uni to properly speak their native language fluently, and even then quite a significant number never manage.



when we first moved to Switzerland, I asked a waiter from Iceland how long it took him to learn Swiss German. he said, "8 years". I laughed. he said, "no joke, you can figure out how to order a meal or watch the news in a lot less, but it took 8 years until I really stopped getting blank looks when I spoke."

the best thing you can do is get started, work at it every single day, and stay patient.
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Old 21.04.2014, 16:07
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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Start with:

Ja, ja
Doch, doch
mal, mal
isch nüd wahr?
Glaubsch es nüd?
mal, mal

Gopf
Stärne füfi

Pfuus guet
Guet Nacht mitenand
e schöne Tag

du mussch es sälber wüsse
Which of those phrases include the most important things to learn in any language---"please", "thank you", and "I'm sorry."?
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  #31  
Old 02.05.2014, 23:43
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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Start with:

Ja, ja
Doch, doch
mal, mal
isch nüd wahr?
Glaubsch es nüd?
mal, mal

Gopf
Stärne füfi

Pfuus guet
Guet Nacht mitenand
e schöne Tag

du mussch es sälber wüsse


definitely add:
isch guet?!
They use it in every conversation at least once
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  #32  
Old 03.05.2014, 01:21
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

We Swiss French (Romand) say to that

eat some gravel or chew some gravel and talk...

Heimatland...
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  #33  
Old 09.05.2014, 12:26
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

Well the question why you want to learn this language is quite important. Are you planning to live here longer than 4 years? Then it might be worth it. If you only stay for a year or so, it might not be worth the effort. Because it might be more worth it learning proper high german and take this skill back home - it is also more usefull.
For everyday live it might be enough when you learn some simple stuff.
For example: Ä Stangä bitte = Ein Bier bitte.
Then you already can act and feel yourself as a local
For the understanding:
As some have mentioned already, it is only a spoken language which need fundamental skills in german to know the vocabulary (or better said, it the easiest way). If you have those - take the grammar rules learned and you can mostly throw them out of the window.
While official languages have clear rules and accurate sentences, where most words mean something - swiss german is rather a describing language full of unimportant fillers to round something up. You can make sentences nobody would say in this order, but all will understand and if you get the pronounciation right, also nobody will declare as wrong.
a nice example I heard once:
"chum mer gönd go es kafi go näh"
this would be written in german
"komm wir gehen, gehen ein kaffee gehen nehmen." <- you would be slapped in the face by a german for something like that.
so, dont really focus on the words itself but more on the message.

Also the swiss always leave an "exit-option" in the sentences and room to read between the lines.
"Chöntisch du dich dänn vilicht mal be Glägeheit drum kümmere?"
"Könntest du dich dann mal vieleicht bei Gelegenheit darum kümmern?"
It is again full of unimportant words - but leaving them out would make the sentence pretty impolite for a swiss. This difference is probably the main reason why germans are labeled as arrogant people here.


One advice also from my side, most solid german speakers realize the ongoing minimization of things the swiss do. But dont try to do it !!!!, using it will NOT make your swiss german more correct or local, since it will not be realized that you are not doing it. What will be realized is when you use it wrong - and it will be realized with alarm bells!!! Because mostly you will use it to unnatural, which makes you opposit constantly asking "what the heck you are doing?"
There are infact rules, I do not even now how to put down on paper

- You can also use a Gräätli (Tool) but not a Werkzüügli (Tool)
- Families live in a "Hüüsli" (little house) - but there is no "Bundeshüüsli" (government house)
- You might live in a Dörfli (little village) or städtli (litte city) but there is no gemeindeli (little municipal)
If you would do this wrong, than you would be slapped in the face by a swiss, because it would not be understood as sweet little mistake - based on the unaccuracy described above, rather than an insult of "your language is stupid". Possibly this comes from the germans doing to.

The problem you will maybe have, is that when you talk to good high-german the people will start pounding you in swiss german (happened to my spanish friend who went to german school in spain as a kid). This again is a bit because of the germans. While it is very honourable for every english speaking expad in switzerland to learn (only) high german to communicate with the locals - because you did a big effort towards the swiss people.
It is not appreciated when germans dont do any effort to adapt because they think "the people here understand my anyway". So when you talk to much german - people will think you are infact a german and put you then into that drawer, which will destroy all your foreign bonuses
so keep you accent - who is outing you as a english or whatever speaker
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  #34  
Old 23.07.2015, 21:39
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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"Pfuus guet" = "Good night" or rather "sleep well" (casual, something you say to a friend/partner)

"Gopf" = mild, harmless, non-vulgar swearword, something like "darn (it)"

"Stärne füfi" = still thinking how to explain this one… Edit - used to express surprise about something, maybe similar, though not exactly, to a surprised "no way!" (can't think of a better translation right now, maybe someone else can…)

"mal mal" - I have no idea (seriously! See, stupid Swiss German, I don't even understand it )
As far as I know the 'gopf' derives from 'gopfertammi' means really 'gottverdammt' which means 'goddamn'. So, not a nice thing to say imo.
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  #35  
Old 09.08.2015, 15:58
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?



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Hi,
I am at C1 level in High German. I understand a lot of it (speak a bit worse than I understand, but I can communicate). I have a big problem with Swiss German. I really don't understand it and when I hear it I just BLOCK and feel like I am listening to Swedish or something. Most people that I meet during everyday activities probably think I don't speak German at all because I have to switch to English very often (it is still better than my High German and I feel better when speaking English...).
So....
What is the best and fastest way to learn Swiss German? I am very interested in learning it. But I don't have much time and I can't afford another course beside High G. How did you learn Swiss and how long did it take you to learn it?



I am forever grateful to my Swiss teacher in my German-language night-school classes. He taught us to say several sentences:
“Bitte, sprechen Sie mit mir Deutsch. Ich möchte Deutsch lernen. Englisch kann ich schon, aber ich möchte Deutsch lernen.“


That stopped any conversation partner from switching into English and telling me about when they went to Bournmouth or Vancouver to learn English. AND stopped me from taking refuge in English. Often, my conversation partner would then encourage me to persevere in German even when I stumbled.


Our teacher also recommended:
If you work or meet people in some other regular setting, get their agreement that you can hang up a sign on the wall. On one side, write: “This week, we’ll be speaking ENGLISH,” an on the other side “Diese Woche sprechen wir Deutsch.” Flip it over every Friday afternoon.


This gives you one struggling week of speaking German (and a lot of help from your colleagues) and then one easy week speaking English (and giving a lot of help to your colleagues). Done well, it can feels like a fair exchange, and is much better, in terms of learning and becoming comfortable, than any variation of speaking both languages in the same conversation.


“Würden Sie das bitte auf Hochdeutsch wiederholen?”
That’s to ask for anything just said in Swiss German to be repeated in High German.
And then: “Danke, ich verstehe. Und würden Sie es bitte jetzt nochmals auf Dialekt sagen, damit ich den Unterschied hören darf?“
That way, you hear the High German clearly, and then the dialect afterwards.


He also encouraged us to choose our places carefully in public transport. If two people are speaking Swiss German loudly enough, try to sit just in front of them, or better still opposite them, so you can watch their faces as well. At least for a few stops, try to pick out some key words. Try to figure out if you can deduce what they are talking about. If they repeat certain expressions, write them down, as phonetically as you can, and as a Swiss colleague or your German teacher what they might mean.


Another trick he taught us was to speak to strangers, on the street or in a shop, at least 3 times a day. Start with sentences you can easily learn, such as: “Excuse me, is this Tram 4, please?” or “Is there a Migros near here, please?” and: “Grüezi, what is the time, please?” Get someone Swiss to write these down for you so you learn them correctly. Our teacher suggested we practice on sentence a week, morning, lunch and evening, and after 15 to 20 times, that sentence – and the responses – become manageable. Next week, new sentence. Every month or so, practice all sentences.


You can also ask in a shop: “How much does this cost, please?” or “Do you sell this in red, please?” or “I like this mug. Do you also sell smaller ones?” or “Please, where can I find shampoo?”


We learned to start on the top floor of a large store, and ask each shop assistant in each department something like that, all the way down to the front door and listen to her or his answer. Here, you can then ask them to say it in High German and then again in Dialect. It is their job to speak to you, so they will. Just make sure you choose all different stores, etc. so they don’t end up groaning when they see you coming.


As long as you pick a time when they are not very busy, most staff at more or less any enquiries counter will give you a free short German (and Swiss German) lesson, without feeling imposed upon. At the railway station: “When is the next train to Geneva, please? How much does it cost?” or at the local municipality: “May I please have information about recycling? And the right address for registering a dog?”


My class-mates and I used to swap stories of such free lessons, and our teacher primed us each week for more enquiries we could make. May many blessings be upon his head!
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  #36  
Old 09.08.2015, 19:49
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

Marry one darling...you'll catch on sooner or later :-)
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Old 09.08.2015, 22:09
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

If you just moved to switzerland you can get free swiss german classed within your first year of entry!
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  #38  
Old 10.08.2015, 10:14
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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Thank you all! Yes, my first goal is just to be able to understand it and to reply in High German. It would make my life so much easier. This Youtube channel is very useful. I believe it will help me a lot.
3+ TV is also very good

https://www.youtube.com/user/3PlusTV

Tele Züri provides lots of local news in züridütsch

http://www.telezueri.ch/

I am in a similar position to you and think it's best to concentrate on learning to understand Swiss German, TV and radio are the best way of doing that. Much of national TV - http://www.srf.ch/ - is in dialect.
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Old 10.08.2015, 10:26
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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He also encouraged us to choose our places carefully in public transport. If two people are speaking Swiss German loudly enough, try to sit just in front of them, or better still opposite them, so you can watch their faces as well.
He's certainly helping you integrate.
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Old 15.08.2015, 14:23
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Re: What is the fastest way to learn Swiss German?

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If you just moved to switzerland you can get free swiss german classed within your first year of entry!


That sounds good. Please post details: where, when, how to apply, through which office? Thanks.
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