Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Living in Switzerland > Daily life  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 19.01.2020, 15:40
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CH
Posts: 10,975
Groaned at 2,037 Times in 1,121 Posts
Thanked 5,139 Times in 3,246 Posts
omtatsat omtatsat omtatsat omtatsat omtatsat
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
Switzerland is a land of nuances; subtleties that are woven into the land, the people and especially the language. There are four recognized languages in Switzerland: High German, French, Italian and Romanisch. The later is the smallest and most unique language. It is isolated to a small region that reflects the many elements that have combined over the centuries to make Switzerland what it is today.

The shared language across the country is Swiss German. It is an unwritten but widely spoken language based loosely on High German. If German is the strict parent, Swiss German can be thought of as the child running through the playground. It has a more carefree, lyrical and soft sense. It’s the difference between John Phillips Sousa marches and Billie Holiday Jazz. Swiss German is a beautiful language.

But it is complex, nuanced and can be very specific. It has rules.

I was raised to say ‘hello’. Hello to children, Hello to adults. Hello to neighbors. Hello to everyone. Hello worked. As I grew older, there was ‘Hi’, ‘Hey’ and if I was really feeling my southern roots, ‘Howdy Ya’ll’. But beyond that it was pretty much all the same. Of course there is Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good evening, but that’s pretty standard everywhere.

But when I came to Switzerland it got really complicated. In Swiss German there is a different way to say hello to person or a group. Of course there is informal and formal too. And then you have to figure in age as well. Do you say, Hallo, Hoi or Gruezi? Is it stand alone or do you add Mitenand? Or Maybe its Gruezi Vol. Do children count as a multiplier? If so, at what age. Do I Greuzi Mitenand if it is an adult and a stroller? How about teenagers? If there are teens, do two or three count as a Mitenand or is it a Hoi because I am the adult?

Oh, and then there is leaving. My cultural background made it simple. Leaving a store? Thank you. Good bye or Have a nice day, afternoon, evening or night. Easy Peasy. But the Swiss like options. Tschuss. Ciao. Or any of about 5 different other choices as you leave. I wish I could write them all out here, but I am still trying to distinguish and learn them. I am trying to catalogue the options so I can always make the right choice. Or at least an appropriate one. It’s a work in progress.

The art of saying goodbye has been fun to learn too. I have found that the Swiss like to say goodbye. Over and over. It is not a sprint to say goodbye, more like a good eight hundred meter run. It reminds me of when I was first starting to date. Back then I was lucky enough to have a phone in my bedroom, not because I was all that special, but because there was a jack put in the room when the house was built and we happened to have an extra phone. Perhaps it was a mark of growing up and one way my parents could say, “Hey, we almost trust you.” About that time I met a girl. We would have secretive phone conversations late into the night. Eventually, we both became exhausted and would sometimes even fall asleep on the phone. But usually before that we would start this intimate goodbye dance. It usually began with, “I guess I better get going…” and would become a fifteen minute walk through words and phrases that basically meant neither of us wanted to be the first to hang up.

The Swiss say goodbye like that. There is a Ciao. And a response. Then, I will see you soon. It was good talking. My pleasure. Goodbye again. Thank you. You’re welcome. Really good to see you. You too. Goodbye. I will talk to you again soon. Yes. Definitely. Ciao and then it starts all over. Of course it’s all in Swiss German, but you get it. Listening to my wife say goodbye to her sister on the phone makes me want to make popcorn and pull up a chair. It is really entertaining.

But that’s one thing I have learned about the Swiss and their language: they really want to get it right. They take their language and their manners seriously.
And speaking of manners, If you are visiting someone’s home or flat, you had better bring along something to share. Do they have kids? Then you should bring something for them too. There are social rules to abide by. And they are serious. Never ever go to someones home or flat for dinner without bringing along something that can be shared. That will definitely reinforce your cultural ignorance. Chocolate and wine are good choices.

But at the end of it all, all written and unwritten rules aside, language nuances, details and specifics forgotten, the Swiss have got it right. People are important. Important to respect and treat well, even to the point of knowing when an adult and a stroller count as a Mitenand or not. Even if it is cursory. Even if it doesn’t always translate into authenticity, it is important. And it is one of the things I am growing to love about living here. So, Ciao, etc, etc, etc, ….and good luck!
Theres customs. But no rules.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 19.01.2020, 23:01
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
Gellerettli, I think. Nice etymology, though. There are a couple of examples of that sort of word... I'll try to find them, can't remember them right now
I found one, although it's a French word that comes from German: un vasistas. It's a window that opens within a door, or within another window. Nowadays you could call a Velux-style window a vasistas, too.

So how did this word come about? Well, think what a German person might say if s/he didn't know the technical word for a window within a window... "Was ist das?" (True story!)
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #43  
Old 19.01.2020, 23:08
curley's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: canton ZH
Posts: 12,695
Groaned at 206 Times in 171 Posts
Thanked 14,536 Times in 7,507 Posts
curley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond reputecurley has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
I found one, although it's a French word that comes from German: un vasistas. It's a window that opens within a door, or within another window. Nowadays you could call a Velux-style window a vasistas, too.

So how did this word come about? Well, think what a German person might say if s/he didn't know the technical word for a window within a window... "Was ist das?" (True story!)
That's basically a whatchamacallit.
A Swiss German would call it a "es Dings" or a "Dingsbums".
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank curley for this useful post:
  #44  
Old 20.01.2020, 08:36
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 13,270
Groaned at 216 Times in 191 Posts
Thanked 19,355 Times in 7,880 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
That's basically a whatchamacallit.
A Swiss German would call it a "es Dings" or a "Dingsbums".
Or that mountain named "Your finger you fool".
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 20.01.2020, 09:27
Elu Elu is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Olten
Posts: 506
Groaned at 19 Times in 18 Posts
Thanked 993 Times in 423 Posts
Elu has a reputation beyond reputeElu has a reputation beyond reputeElu has a reputation beyond reputeElu has a reputation beyond reputeElu has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
Uf wiederluege is suitable for all occasions, as is "e' schöne" or simple "adieu". Tschuss and ciao are informal. Ciao zamma.
That's nice. So am it!
I'd say that "e schöne" is propably the most informal one, but of course,there are no written rules.

I like the "e höube henech" from berne very much. (https://www.berndeutsch.ch/words/11108)
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Elu for this useful post:
  #46  
Old 20.01.2020, 09:36
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 13,270
Groaned at 216 Times in 191 Posts
Thanked 19,355 Times in 7,880 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
I'd say that "e schöne" is propably the most informal one, but of course,there are no written rules.
And depends where you live. For BS and BL, I'm assured that it's fine to say "e schöne" as a friendly goodbye to someone with whom you may be Siesig but you have had some interaction with. My wife and I have even been greeted at the bank with "Hallo zamma". So I guess things are getting more informal out of the fog.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #47  
Old 20.01.2020, 09:53
MusicChick's Avatar
modified, reprogrammed and doctored²
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,306
Groaned at 395 Times in 271 Posts
Thanked 20,013 Times in 10,418 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
And depends where you live. For BS and BL, I'm assured that it's fine to say "e schöne" as a friendly goodbye to someone with whom you may be Siesig but you have had some interaction with. My wife and I have even been greeted at the bank with "Hallo zamma". So I guess things are getting more informal out of the fog.
What's the zamma thing?
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 20.01.2020, 09:59
Axa's Avatar
Axa Axa is offline
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Suhr, Aargau
Posts: 2,930
Groaned at 37 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 3,944 Times in 1,830 Posts
Axa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond reputeAxa has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
What's the zamma thing?

zamma = zusammen = together


The only time I've seen it written in Aarau, it was spelled as zäme.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Axa for this useful post:
  #49  
Old 20.01.2020, 10:11
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
What's the zamma thing?
One of the earlier bits of Swiss I learnt. Yes, short for zusammen, it means "together", but unlike that, or the French "ensemble", is also used to mean everybody present, so it's not unusual to hear "Sali Zamma" from someone walking into a bar (certainly very common in central CH) to make it an inclusive hello to anyone who may be listening. Similarly a general Ciao Zamma when leaving.

It does have a great advantage, especially compared to French culture, of enabling one to arrive at or leave a gathering without individually greeting each person in turn. I can't think of similar expression in French, although TBF they Valaisans aren't quite so hung up about this as some French, so a generic bonsoir to the bar is generally acceptable.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 20.01.2020, 10:18
grumpygrapefruit's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NL, UK & sometimes ZH
Posts: 6,369
Groaned at 38 Times in 37 Posts
Thanked 17,381 Times in 4,467 Posts
grumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond reputegrumpygrapefruit has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
All my Swiss keyboards are switched to US layout as I touch type.

Drives my colleagues nuts when they need to type something on one of my computers!

Tom
Me too, I have a German keyboard set to English, I rarely look at the keyboard, I know Z and Y are swapped, and I can do all the accents needed in German, French and Spanish (and quite a few more when needed) without thinking.

But if a friend, British or Swiss, wants to type something they're completely lost.

And re language, and lots of other things relating to customs in Switzerland, you really need to follow this guy. Zeki is a comedian, some of his stuff is hilarious. This is my favourite at the moment, I can't follow all of it, but what I can gives me some serious chuckles.

__________________
Mike

Monger of fine British Cheeses
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank grumpygrapefruit for this useful post:
  #51  
Old 20.01.2020, 10:22
MusicChick's Avatar
modified, reprogrammed and doctored²
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 17,306
Groaned at 395 Times in 271 Posts
Thanked 20,013 Times in 10,418 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
One of the earlier bits of Swiss I learnt. Yes, short for zusammen, it means "together", but unlike that, or the French "ensemble", is also used to mean everybody present, so it's not unusual to hear "Sali Zamma" from someone walking into a bar (certainly very common in central CH) to make it an inclusive hello to anyone who may be listening. Similarly a general Ciao Zamma when leaving.

It does have a great advantage, especially compared to French culture, of enabling one to arrive at or leave a gathering without individually greeting each person in turn. I can't think of similar expression in French, although TBF they Valaisans aren't quite so hung up about this as some French, so a generic bonsoir to the bar is generally acceptable.
Y'all then?

It always sounds like Zähne.
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 20.01.2020, 10:27
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
Y'all then?

It always sounds like Zähne.
Everyone, I assume. Unless from the American south.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 20.01.2020, 10:27
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
All my Swiss keyboards are switched to US layout as I touch type.
Quote:
View Post
Me too, I have a German keyboard set to English, I rarely look at the keyboard, I know Z and Y are swapped, and I can do all the accents needed in German, French and Spanish (and quite a few more when needed) without thinking.

But if a friend, British or Swiss, wants to type something they're completely lost.
I recall one colleague who did the opposite, standard issue US keyboard mapped to German layout, used to drive me insane when providing deskside support.

These days I have a Swiss laptop alternatively mapped to standard UK layout, with a hotkey to switch to "US international" when I want to write French or German using accents. I get it wrong from time to time, but my hindbrain still wants to default to UK settings, so I can live better with it than having it on US all the time.

It's never really occurred to me that I might leave it on the weird standard layout.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 20.01.2020, 10:32
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
Y'all then?
I guess so, but not completely, since that's very often used as a singular in the Southern US, needing an additional "all" to specify a group, as in "Did all y'all enjoy the show?".

https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-to-use...rectly-2321967
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 20.01.2020, 12:03
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
It does have a great advantage, especially compared to French culture, of enabling one to arrive at or leave a gathering without individually greeting each person in turn. I can't think of similar expression in French
Sure there is! In French it's pretty much exactly the same as in German: "Bonjour, tout le monde!" on arrival, and when leaving, "Au revoir (or bonsoir if appropriate), tout le monde!" As always, delivered at lightning speed, of course, so it comes out as "Bonjour toulemonde!" And in Switzerland, at least, you can usually substitute "Ciao" for "Bonjour".

You can even fling out a casual "Bonjour à tous!" if you like.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #56  
Old 20.01.2020, 12:04
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Wattwil
Posts: 12
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 15 Times in 5 Posts
Onewiththeforce is considered knowledgeableOnewiththeforce is considered knowledgeableOnewiththeforce is considered knowledgeable
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Aaalso, dann... machemo so... bis nächsti woche, gell? Merci viel mol! Jaaa, aaalso tschüüüs dann, bis nachher!! Tschau tschau! Tschüüs!! Ah, en Grüess zu de Reto, gell? Nöd vergesse... oder? Ja, i mache au, merci...Tschüüüs!! Tschau tschau, schönen Obig! Merci, dir au!! Tschüüs! Tschüüsli! Tschaaau...!

>CLICK<
Reply With Quote
The following 10 users would like to thank Onewiththeforce for this useful post:
  #57  
Old 20.01.2020, 12:11
olygirl's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: d' Innerschwiiz
Posts: 7,073
Groaned at 352 Times in 235 Posts
Thanked 16,675 Times in 5,109 Posts
olygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond reputeolygirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
Aaalso, dann... machemo so... bis nächsti woche, gell? Merci viel mol! Jaaa, aaalso tschüüüs dann, bis nachher!! Tschau tschau! Tschüüs!! Ah, en Grüess zu de Reto, gell? Nöd vergesse... oder? Ja, i mache au, merci...Tschüüüs!! Tschau tschau, schönen Obig! Merci, dir au!! Tschüüs! Tschüüsli! Tschaaau...!

>CLICK<
Brilliant! And here's the translation. Please note that the Swiss have many ways of saying "Bye".

Alright then, let's do that. til next week, ok?
Thanks so much. Welllll, alright, bye then, til later.
Bye, bye, bye! and say hello to Reto, OK? Don't forget.....OK?
Yeah, I'll do that, thanks an BYE!
Bye, bye and have a nice evening!
Thanks, you too! bye, Bye, BYE!


The Swiss have a ritual of extending their goodbyes from seconds into minutes.... I think they have a hard time of letting go. On the phone, it can even be funnier although the younger people have an easier time saying goodbye than the older generation.
__________________
Faith isn't about everything turning out okay. Faith is about being okay no matter how things turn out.
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank olygirl for this useful post:
  #58  
Old 20.01.2020, 12:29
Belgianmum's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Neuchâtel
Posts: 13,059
Groaned at 229 Times in 193 Posts
Thanked 21,570 Times in 8,836 Posts
Belgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond reputeBelgianmum has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
View Post
Y'all then?

It always sounds like Zähne.
Only if you’re from a specific part of the US, most people wouldn’t say that.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 20.01.2020, 14:22
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
Sure there is! In French it's pretty much exactly the same as in German: "Bonjour, tout le monde!" on arrival, and when leaving, "Au revoir (or bonsoir if appropriate), tout le monde!" As always, delivered at lightning speed, of course, so it comes out as "Bonjour toulemonde!" And in Switzerland, at least, you can usually substitute "Ciao" for "Bonjour".

You can even fling out a casual "Bonjour à tous!" if you like.
It's not quite the same, somehow. Just like in English, where you could say Hello Everybody, it makes sense but IME is not used in quite the same casual way. Not so common (in both senses of the word), not so normal, not so immediately ease-setting.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #60  
Old 20.01.2020, 15:12
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Oh That Schwiizer Dutsch! (Or What did you say?)

Quote:
It's not quite the same, somehow. Just like in English, where you could say Hello Everybody, it makes sense but IME is not used in quite the same casual way. Not so common (in both senses of the word), not so normal, not so immediately ease-setting.
Depends on the friendliness of the natives, I guess. Those Fribourgeois and Vaudois are a pretty amicable bunch; maybe a B'juuhtoulemonde doesn't go down so well with the Genevois, I don't know. It works pretty well over most of France, though.

Last edited by Guest; 20.01.2020 at 17:54.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Schwiizer Deutsch from RAV? stevesim Permits/visas/government 1 05.01.2013 16:56


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:38.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0