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  #21  
Old 29.10.2020, 22:27
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Move to Yorkshire....or Scotland.... or Ireland.... and try telling them they don't speak English...



Yes, I get that Dialekt is harder to grab if you are not familiar.... but it is highly impacting your ability to pass the course or simply making it harder for you ?

Moving to Stoke and working in a local factory (PA to boss) was a bit of a shock ahaha but I saw it as my job to adjust, not theirs. Could have taken longer in Liverpool or Newcastle- and certainly in ... Wales.
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  #22  
Old 29.10.2020, 22:34
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Move to Yorkshire....or Scotland.... or Ireland.... and try telling them they don't speak English...

But in schools not in the sticks people there will generally change the way they speak and few would speak dialect although they will of course have an accent. Accent is different to dialect.


We had a Chinese lecturer at university once, it was difficult to understand him but after a while we got used to it. He was a really nice guy. One miserable cow (Hi Joanna) decided to start a petition to get him fired. He would give us all photocopied notes at the start of the class - we didn't even need to be thereand in fact several of us would simply turn up take the notes and go away again. Sometimes you've got to take things into your own hands. If you're not learning in lectures then you have to find an alternative way of learning, although I acknowledge that's not really right when you're paying for the courses.
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Old 29.10.2020, 22:38
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Re: Swiss German in School

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You will only resolve this by moving to Germany...
And then will have to deal with German dialects, I much prefer Swiss.

Tom
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Old 29.10.2020, 22:40
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Re: Swiss German in School

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And then will have to deal with German dialects, I much prefer Swiss.

Tom

Good then that it's not about you.
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  #25  
Old 29.10.2020, 22:42
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Better to say Schriftdeutsch than Hochdeutsch.
This.

I have NEVER heard a Swiss refer to Hochdeutsch!

I once said to a Swiss-German girlfriend that I spoke Swiss-German. "No, you don't, you speak Schriftdeutsch with a Swiss accent!"

Tom
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  #26  
Old 29.10.2020, 23:06
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Re: Swiss German in School

You have been here for 3 years and speak german well - well done! But surely you can understand the Dialekt too by now? Take this opportunity to learn it. You are in Switzerland not Germany, they are entitled to speak the Swiss Dialekt of German, surely? Speaking Hochdeutsch is like speaking a second language for many Swiss, they will do it when asked nicely but itís a strain. And they rightfully get irritated when it is an expectation by a foreigner living in their country.
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Old 29.10.2020, 23:15
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Re: Swiss German in School

Landers, I can assure you Stoke speak sounded like a dialect, with grammar to match. 'I were stood standing there waiting0, or 'was you frit chuck?' - or 'heyup luv' - 'why can't you speak proper like what we do' - and 'she were proper mardy like' or 'hang on a mo I'll hav a loouk in the boouk' - or 'me dad were going ooup t'bank in t'rain' ... did sound a bit more like dialect than just accent, lol.

Last edited by JackieH; 29.10.2020 at 23:40.
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  #28  
Old 29.10.2020, 23:58
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Re: Swiss German in School

Do the set reading before the lecture, prepare what you need clarifying, make a point out of insisting that all and any information relating to exams is conveyed in High German and escalate to the Rektor if this does not happen.

Alternatively, befriend the most nerdy kid in the class and ask to clarify with them - they probably don't enjoy the spoiled kids being raucous and expecting the degree they paid for to not actually involve too much work.
We had several students who went ballistic because the lecturer's slides were sometimes in English. The lecturer argued that they were expected to have a good command of English with a Business degree. Threats of getting lawyers involved were made. So, yeah, maturity is not an automatic feature of higher education participants.

Instead of getting upset, approach it differently. I always found it super hard to sit through lectures, so I made sure I attended strategically and was a valuable contributor when I WAS there. Once people figured out I was an English native speaker who would happily help them with stuff and had pretty good notes in German too, there was always someone happy to fill in the gaps. Just always make sure to attend the first and the last two classes. We didn't have mandatory attendance on account of it being adult education, and I was often absent, still got my degree. If you do have to attend everything, make sure you prepare and use whatever is said as a complement rather than the first time you hear it.

My point is: study yourself, only use lecturers to clarify and to understand the subjects they really care about for the exam. Then it doesn't really matter if you don't understand everything they are saying. I mean, it's BWL, it's pretty standard: understand supply and demand, know how to optimise taxes and write a contract, be capable of producing and/or understanding a balance sheet, it's pretty much the same all the time. Your lecturers are not going to tell you anything that you don't have in your books, the only variance is which part of the books they really want you to be able to understand and apply.

Is your uni in Oerlikon by any chance? Your class sounds like some of the ones I was in. One student threatened to have me become the class pariah when he heard that I wanted to complain about people not only cheating in exams but being extremely distracting while doing so. He literally said "there is a reason I pay 10k a year to go to this uni, we are the customer and I expect to get my degree at the end without any problems". Lovely. Meanwhile, I would rather not spend a huge sum of money to end up with a piece of paper that I worked very hard for being worthless because some douchebags ruin the reputation of the school.
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  #29  
Old 30.10.2020, 00:37
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Landers, I can assure you Stoke speak sounded like a dialect, with grammar to match. 'I were stood standing there waiting0, or 'was you frit chuck?' - or 'heyup luv' - 'why can't you speak proper like what we do' - and 'she were proper mardy like' or 'hang on a mo I'll hav a loouk in the boouk' - or 'me dad were going up t'bank in t'rain' ... did sound a bit more like dialect than just accent, lol.

You might have a point. I guess it depends on your view of what's dialect, what's different and what's simply poor English. "I were, you was" drives me crazy and it's not necessarily a north/south thing but rather a poor-education thing. I hate "them things" . This is how people talk when they don't go to school. Short adverbs - "talk proper" were ok but dropped out of approved English a long time ago. It's considered wrong now but Americans still talk in this way and it's only questioned by English/British people. "me mum" is common everywhere and I guess could be called dialect.


Also in the UK, other than perhaps people like my Dad who didn't spend much time at school and doesn't know any better, don't take to spelling words phonetically. Maybe was the case 100 years ago. Here people 'misspell' words deliberately and I suppose it's their desire to separate themselves from their neighbour in the North.
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Old 30.10.2020, 10:01
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Moving to Stoke and working in a local factory (PA to boss) was a bit of a shock ahaha but I saw it as my job to adjust, not theirs. Could have taken longer in Liverpool or Newcastle- and certainly in ... Wales.
Im from Newcastle with parents from Liverpool and Staffordshire. I like it that that's your idea of incomprehensible lol.
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  #31  
Old 30.10.2020, 10:22
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Do the set reading before the lecture, prepare what you need clarifying
Good advice. Check whether there is a syllabus or lecture plan or a list of the modules, etc.. Before each one starts (or at the end of every lecture), ask the lecturer what will be covered in the next lecture or block or series. If this is in prescribed text-books or links, great. If not, do your own research on those topics. If you've worked through the material in advance, your oral comprehension of the lecture, whether delilvered in Hochdeutsch/Schriftdeutch or in Swiss German, is likely to be increased.

Looking at the material beforehand will enable you to identify the key vocabulary, and to work towards mastering it, including practicing reading it out loud. Make a vocabulary list. Then try to find someone (outside of school) who would kindly read through your new vocabulary list for you, in Swiss German, (even someone from another field, altogether, a neighbour or a friend, just as long as they are of Swiss German mother-tongue) then your ear will become more attuned to the sounds.

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befriend the most nerdy kid in the class and ask to clarify with them
This, too, is very good advice. If you cannot find someone outside of school, those quiet, studious students might be willing to read your vocabulary list out loud, in Swiss German, possibly even for you to record.
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  #32  
Old 30.10.2020, 10:34
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Re: Swiss German in School

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Ha ha ha ha ha yeah like that's going to work!
Yes, that's exactly how it worked for me. And very well, too.

As I wrote in my other post, it works until someone inadvertently reverts to Swiss German, and then the others, completely naturally, follow suit, (without even realising it) back to their mother-tongue. Then I'd have to ask again. That's why I wrote: "Repeat".

It was my experience, when I still needed mother-tongue Swiss German speakers to make that special effort for me, that they were mostly very accommodating as long as I asked them politely, yet then only for as long as they remembered and were not triggered to revert to what is, after all, natural for them. Then, when I reminded them, they said: "Oh, sorry!" and switched back to Hoch/Schriftdeutsch. Repeat.

As I see it, one of the key things that help, when integrating into a country or language zone, is to accept that the locals are going to, and will, and are free to, and have every right to, speak their own language the way they speak it in their own area. That's just nature. The local language is part of the basic cultural fabric of any place. It is neither better nor worse not bluer nor greener than any other language anywhere else. It is what it is, and that's the fact of the matter. The sooner one develops ways to deal with that, amicably, the easier life gets.
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  #33  
Old 30.10.2020, 11:16
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Re: Swiss German in School

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As I see it, one of the key things that help, when integrating into a country or language zone, is to accept that the locals are going to, and will, and are free to, and have every right to, speak their own language the way they speak it in their own area. That's just nature. The local language is part of the basic cultural fabric of any place. It is neither better nor worse not bluer nor greener than any other language anywhere else. It is what it is, and that's the fact of the matter. The sooner one develops ways to deal with that, amicably, the easier life gets.
Swiss-German is a bit different as it doesn't have a defined written form.

For those who have a brain that works better in a visual way than in an aural way - it does make it much more difficult.

It cracks me up when Swiss friends write on social media and write the same word with different spelling every time they use that word in a post.

Talk about making it up as you go along!
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  #34  
Old 30.10.2020, 11:43
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Re: Swiss German in School

It should be made clear at the start of the course that it will be taught in dialect and not in High German.

I once attended a conference in Zurich with participants from Geneva. The conference was supposed to be only in High German to help the French speakers understand. However participants kept switching to dialect with the result that those from Geneva went home early.
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Old 30.10.2020, 11:48
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Re: Swiss German in School

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It should be made clear at the start of the course that it will be taught in dialect and not in Swiss German.

I once attended a conference in Zurich with participants from Geneva. The conference was supposed to be only in High German to help the French speakers understand. However participants kept switching to dialect with the result that those from Geneva went home early.
I don't really agree with the first statement - in Switzerland it's reasonable to assume the default is dialect.

But if the course / whatever is stated to be in Standard German, then they should stick to that agreement otherwise it's a clear breach of contract as well as being bad customer service.
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  #36  
Old 30.10.2020, 12:21
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Re: Swiss German in School

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in ETH and all the lectures were in Standard German...so, maybe the pretigious schools are a bit more ''by the book''.
Can confirm this is not an issue at ETH, the stated language is always used by the lecturer.
I'm sure many Bachelor classes which are supposed to be in High German (or even English) could be taught in Swiss German and in some cases all students would be fine with that. But this is never considered an option in my experience.
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  #37  
Old 30.10.2020, 12:23
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Re: Swiss German in School

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It should be made clear at the start of the course that it will be taught in dialect and not in High German.

I once attended a conference in Zurich with participants from Geneva. The conference was supposed to be only in High German to help the French speakers understand. However participants kept switching to dialect with the result that those from Geneva went home early.
Well, especially because I have the privilege of understanding what is said, I usually am the one to remind speakers that they need to use High German. This confuses them but I am acutely aware of how uncomfortable it must be to have to stick up for yourself in this situation when it really is common decency to be inclusive.

I honestly get very impatient with Swiss German people acting like speaking High German is akin to using a foreign language. Yes, it feels weird, your mouth has to move differently and it's unfamiliar. But it won't get better if you avoid it and you can happily ignore anyone who thinks your accent is funny. Better to sound funny than lazy...
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  #38  
Old 30.10.2020, 13:11
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Re: Swiss German in School

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However, in the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, it is considered very usual that education, courses, trainings, workshops, university lectures, etc. are all in Dialekt. This is the norm, not the exception.
The rules of education in Switzerland (German speaking) that education must be done in Schriftsprache (as they most like to call it around here). That covers Primary to Tertiary and further education. According to my daughters who've been through the full gamut and are currently at the FHNW:

In primary, the teachers are not supposed to use dialect when teaching. But given that the children only know dialect (usually) when they start, they often switch. My experience was that during parents' evenings, if you requested Schriftssprache, the teachers would honour that. Other parents not (during Q&A), but that's to be expected.

In secondary and on, it's far more expected not to teach in dialect. Some teachers permit it, others will pull students up for speaking dialect.

My daughters' experiences at the FHNW are that the lecturers may ask whether people are happy with dialect, but if one person says no, then they don't use it (there are occasional slips of course). Some will pull up students for speaking dialect under these circumstances; others won't, or not always.

So, dialect instruction may be common, but it isn't according to the rules, and OP is correct to complain. Especially as they're paying for the course themselves!

I suggest the OP does one or more of the following:
  • makes a t-shirt with "Schriftsprache bitte!" in large, friendly letters
  • makes a sign to hold up when dialect raises its head
  • takes a dialect course - it's not that hard to learn! I've managed to pick up a bit - at least to understand - by doing a course, and I've only got B1 German and huge holes in my vocabulary.
  • moves somewhere where they're rather less precious about these things (like Basel... )
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Old 30.10.2020, 14:54
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Re: Swiss German in School

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This.

I have NEVER heard a Swiss refer to Hochdeutsch!

I once said to a Swiss-German girlfriend that I spoke Swiss-German. "No, you don't, you speak Schriftdeutsch with a Swiss accent!"

Tom
But, Iíve been asked several times if I prefer Hochdeutsch or Schweizer deutsch. So, like many things ymmv.
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Old 30.10.2020, 15:15
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Re: Swiss German in School

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But, Iíve been asked several times if I prefer Hochdeutsch or Schweizer deutsch. So, like many things ymmv.
I've heard is several times as well. Even in dialect!
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