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  #21  
Old 14.11.2015, 18:09
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Chin up. After 46 years I still have my grandchildren in stitches when I attempt to say Chuchichäschtli.
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Just say "im Schrank".
Nah. Not on your life. That would spoil their fun completely.
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  #22  
Old 14.11.2015, 18:11
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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maybe they think you're struggling with german, if you were a german they would just answer in swiss german and you could have meaningful conversations (provided you understand swiss german obviously). Maybe it gets better as your german improves further, and also try to speak swiss hochdeutsch (with a swiss accent).




Yea some moments I understand swiss german , then as fast as its there its gone again. At least I can hear it coming..Im not really around adults during the day. ( I work with a spiel gruppe. All the Kids speak swiss german , which would help,but Little Kids and their Little voices.. Good Thing is Kids are forgiving and Forget fast the funny mistakes I make..
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  #23  
Old 14.11.2015, 18:13
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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About America being great - I must confess I've never heard this from a Swiss (to the contrary). Canada on the other hand...

The weird bit is that the Canada (and the USA for that matter) that they are thinking of isn't representative. "Canada, it must be wonderful to grow up in the wilderness." "Wilderness, in the suburbs of Toronto???"
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Old 14.11.2015, 18:28
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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The weird bit is that the Canada (and the USA for that matter) that they are thinking of isn't representative. "Canada, it must be wonderful to grow up in the wilderness." "Wilderness, in the suburbs of Toronto???"
Well, Toronto isn't representative of the whole country, oder? Big cities rarely are, IMHO.
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Old 14.11.2015, 18:33
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Well, Toronto isn't representative of the whole country, oder? Big cities rarely are, IMHO.

Even if we take Toronto out of the equation, the rest of Canada isn't the NWT, there are after all. Montreal, Corner Brook, Red Deer, Vancouver...
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  #26  
Old 14.11.2015, 19:06
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

to generalize:

If you speak Hochdeutsch, the Swiss don't like it so much - they'd rather not speak it themselves, and would prefer to switch to English. If you speak Schweizerdeutsch, they think you are an imposter or something (like moving to the Bronx from Texas and taking up a Bronx accent). If you speak English, they'll tell you how important it is to improve your German. (sometimes after you've started the conversation in pefectly good Hochdeutsch and they've switched it to English!)

Basically, they don't like outsiders. Sad but true. You need to find some ex-pat friends.
I have the same feelings about talking in Swiss German...
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Old 15.11.2015, 17:15
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

I live in the Romandie, so French-speaking, but came here from Germany and speak German moderately fluently. However my in-laws are Swiss-German and uncomfortable in French, so I've always spoken what I call bastardised Swiss-German with them. They seem comfortable with that - they talk to me in regular dialect, which I normally seem to be able to understand, but I respond in my broken Swiss-German (German, made to sound Swiss German with the occasional word of Bärn-dütsch thrown in if I happen to know it).
My recommendation would be to do the best you can. I would also start off with high-German. Swiss-German doesn't exist in a formal way, so there's no formal grammar, or even spelling for many words. Indeed it is largely inexistant as a written language, so it makes far more sense to learn high-German and move on from there.
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  #28  
Old 15.11.2015, 17:19
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

To keep your learning in good shape, you should continue speaking German even if your interlocutor changes to English.
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  #29  
Old 15.11.2015, 18:50
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

Lagoonprinsess,
I have the same problems like you.
I have B2 level of German and able to express myself quite well. It works with people, which don't speak english ))
If someones english is good enough, this person immediately switches to English. May be because high german in a certain way is a "foreign" language for swiss people.
I understand a bit swiss german, but it's very difficult to learn it....
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  #30  
Old 15.11.2015, 19:22
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

A lot
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  #31  
Old 15.11.2015, 19:31
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Hi my name is Rachel , and Ive lived here now in Switzerland for about three years. I was told by my husband that I should first learn German , then Swiss German will come automatically. I have had such a stuggle to communicate "really" with the people. Im not sure if its because of the language , or because I am American and our ways of thinking are so different. Americans are "open" people and here I feel that the people are closed off. I feel like every time I speak High German ( with my Accent) they want to speak back to me in English. Alot of the people Ive met cant speak so much , so our conversations are filled with just meaningless BS. Just wish I could find a real Connection with someone here other than my husband.. Anyone else feel me???
learn Swiss German first, and study standard German at the same time. once you begin to learn the bridge that exists from dialect to the language (and vice versa) it will become much, much easier and even more fun, or at least it did for me.



couple of other things I have found:

1. it is a myth that Americans are more "open" than the Swiss or the Germans. in my experience, most Swiss and Germans come off as standoffish principally because they are uncomfortable in your language and expect you to be uncomfortable in their language.

2. many Americans assume that the Swiss or Germans switch to English because they are being rude and are rejecting your efforts to learn their language. the reality, however, is that many Swiss and Germans see fluency in English as both a status symbol as well as a ticket to better jobs and career opportunities. there are considerably fewer Americans in Switzerland than most people think, and the Swiss and Germans are quite often very happy to have a chance to practice their English and they are also very happy to have you correct their mistakes.
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  #32  
Old 16.11.2015, 14:06
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

Thank you for your insight.. I think yesturday I was just having one of "those" days.. 26 years ?? WOW!! This is deffinetly one of the hardest adjustments in my life that Ive had to make,but I sure with the time things will come easier.. Im working now with a spiel gruppe and the Kids are alot less forgiving when I say something wrong of funny.. Guess Ineed to just put my big Girl Pants on and push on
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  #33  
Old 16.11.2015, 15:38
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

After 5 years in Switzerland and achieving B2-level German, for me it is also a bit of a disappointment. Yes, I can communicate, but I still feel very much like a foreigner when I speak (high) German. Swiss German feels like some exclusive club that is nearly impossible to get into. Most people have discouraged me from even trying to learn to speak Swiss German. I agree with others that it is a big and important step to be able to at least understand Swiss German, however you reply. Unfortunately, once they start in on their Oberland expressions and humor, I'm totally lost!
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  #34  
Old 16.11.2015, 16:25
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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...
Basically, they don't like outsiders. Sad but true.
...
Wrong and untrue.
If it were true, you would be already out of the country.
The Swiss go basically easy on who doesn't know the rules of the game.


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...
You need to find some ex-pat friends.
Good advice, really.


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...
Im not sure if its because of the language , or because I am American and our ways of thinking are so different. Americans are "open" people and here I feel that the people are closed off.
...
It's not the language; Switzerland got used to different languages over centuries.
The problem is the first one. In your eyes (i.e. ears) it's that Americans are open and "normal".
However, from the Swiss' Point of view, Americans are superficial but very complicated. So if you keep on making locals feel that you are right and they are wrong, you'll struggle to find local friends. Natural.
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  #35  
Old 16.11.2015, 16:56
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Americans are "open" people
Not if they're from New England.

(which is why I feel right at home here )

Tom
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  #36  
Old 16.11.2015, 19:08
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Good Thing is Kids are forgiving and Forget fast the funny mistakes I make..
That's the thing though, adults do too!

Think back for a moment to an occasion when the shoe was on the other foot - when you found yourself talking with someone whose English was sprinkled with mistakes. Did you notice? Sure. Did you care? Probably not!!

When you start to feel nervous of your German, remind yourself of that. Nearly everyone you meet will show the same goodwill to you that you yourself extend to learners of your language.

(The few who don't can pretty much be divided into two groups: prickly pedantic fusspots, and people who were already inclined to dislike you for some other reason. Either way you're probably better off without them )
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  #37  
Old 16.11.2015, 20:22
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

to generalize:

Basically, they don't like outsiders. Sad but true. You need to find some ex-pat friends.
Agreed.
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  #38  
Old 19.11.2015, 16:57
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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Hi my name is Rachel , and Ive lived here now in Switzerland for about three years. I was told by my husband that I should first learn German , then Swiss German will come automatically. I have had such a stuggle to communicate "really" with the people. Im not sure if its because of the language , or because I am American and our ways of thinking are so different. Americans are "open" people and here I feel that the people are closed off. I feel like every time I speak High German ( with my Accent) they want to speak back to me in English. Alot of the people Ive met cant speak so much , so our conversations are filled with just meaningless BS. Just wish I could find a real Connection with someone here other than my husband.. Anyone else feel me???
Hi Rachel! I am also American and I've been here for 3 years now. I totally feel you! It is a struggle to learn High German while being surrounded by Swiss German. I cant stand it when the people try to speak to me in English when they hear my English accent but have a difficult time speaking and understanding it when I can speak High German with little problem, but they are too proud or stubborn or something. I noticed Swiss people like to speak English to "prove" that they can, in a subtle way that says "Look at me". There's also a big difference with the characteristics between American vs Swiss. The Swiss are so formal and reserved and the Americans are more laid back and open. I do what I can. As long as my point is made and understood, then that's all I care about
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Old 19.11.2015, 17:20
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

an interesting fact I learned from a swiss friend - they all learn german at school, as they're taught In german to level out the different dialects they have. probably its an aversion to school that makes them avoid german......and who can blame them!
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  #40  
Old 20.11.2015, 09:51
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Re: Learning Deutsch and hearing Swiss German

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26 years ?? WOW!!
Born and raised in Romanshorn, I will always have an accent in the eyes of a Zürcher, Basler, Berner, that will never change. So what.

My advice would be to join a club or two. In the Amriswil-Romanshorn-Arbon(-Weinfelden) area you can probably find one for most any interest, and then some. That way you'll come in regular contact with a certain group of people who (most of whom) soon will know and hopefully accept that you need for them to speak (Swiss?) German rather than English.
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