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Old 14.02.2011, 00:02
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Online Swiss German writing group

Grüezi mitenand!

I have done a couple of searches on EF and I have found neither a Swiss German writing social group nor a thread for this.

I am interested in knowing if there is such a place on EF, where fellow non-Swiss natives / residents, who are learning Swiss German (as opposed to Hochdeutsch - there is already a group for that), can discuss / write about issues on this forum online in order to develop our Swiss German skills.

Of course, Swiss German isn't usually presented in its written form, but such a group would be beneficial in building up our SG vocabulary and grammar in a practical way.

Does such a group exist here? If not, would there be any interest in the establishment of such a group?

Cheers,
Lewis
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Old 14.02.2011, 00:11
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

Hoi Lewis,

It might be an idea to create such group for those who love to correspond in Schweizedeutsch but this is English forum afterall and ideas like that might be seen with pinch of salt by many.

Sometimes, the EF members ask to translate Swiss German expressions and create dedicated threads for that purpose.

I would check on the FB and add local friends who chat in Swiss German. I received lots of messages from my Swiss buddies there and can learn some lingo.

LG

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Old 14.02.2011, 10:46
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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It might be an idea to create such group for those who love to correspond in Schweizedeutsch
If there is interest for this, then I will set up a group. Is anyone else interested in such a discussion group for learners of Swiss German (at any level)?
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Old 17.02.2011, 22:06
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

I would gladly help out with such a group. I see one problem though. Swiss German does not have a set written form so there will certainly be some confusion when people start writing in the dialect they are living in. I speak Bernese Swiss German and I write it, but I am sometimes quite lost when my friends for St. Gallen write me messages in Swiss German, simply because their written form is different to mine.
Otherwise, I think it is a good idea.
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Old 17.02.2011, 22:47
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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I would gladly help out with such a group. I see one problem though. Swiss German does not have a set written form so there will certainly be some confusion when people start writing in the dialect they are living in. I speak Bernese Swiss German and I write it, but I am sometimes quite lost when my friends for St. Gallen write me messages in Swiss German, simply because their written form is different to mine.
Otherwise, I think it is a good idea.
Thanks for showing interest

Yes, that could be tricky, although I guess the group could have separate discussion threads for the various dialects if that becomes a problem. I guess we should play it by ear and see how the group goes.

If there's a little more interest, I'll set the group up. There are quite a few people on this forum who are learning Swiss German, I'm sure they'll find such a group useful as well.
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Old 17.02.2011, 23:00
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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Thanks for showing interest

Yes, that could be tricky, although I guess the group could have separate discussion threads for the various dialects if that becomes a problem. I guess we should play it by ear and see how the group goes.

If there's a little more interest, I'll set the group up. There are quite a few people on this forum who are learning Swiss German, I'm sure they'll find such a group useful as well.
Ok. Again and slowly: Swiss German is a purely spoken dialect. The only written forms are slang on facebook or SMS. This slang is very local and people will actually not appreciate it if you try to mimic them. So if you do want to learn how to correspond with some Swiss in writing - better learn standard German or you might come across like a Swiss-German version of Ali G.
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Old 17.02.2011, 23:06
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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Ok. Again and slowly: Swiss German is a purely spoken dialect. The only written forms are slang on facebook or SMS. This slang is very local and people will actually not appreciate it if you try to mimic them. So if you do want to learn how to correspond with some Swiss in writing - better learn standard German or you might come across like a Swiss-German version of Ali G.
I'm already fluent in standard German, whereas I've only just started learning Swiss German. Of course, I understand that Swiss German is not normally written, hence the term "mundart".

I simply intend the Swiss German writing group to be an isolated place where like-minded people could discuss in the language for the purpose of improving vocabulary of SG for use in speech later.

I'm not setting this group up for the purpose of promoting the written use of Swiss German, its simply a tool to improve one's grasp of it.
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Old 17.02.2011, 23:27
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

On this site you will find some songs and texts in Swiss German.

http://www.web-kuchi.ch/Schule/downl...p_songs_ch.htm
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Old 17.02.2011, 23:33
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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On this site you will find some songs and texts in Swiss German.

http://www.web-kuchi.ch/Schule/downl...p_songs_ch.htm
Thanks for the link, I already listen to Swiss German music (favourite artists include Ritschi, Bligg and Baschi as well as listening to DRS3) and I have definitely found it helpful getting used to hearing - and understanding - the language. I'd also recommend this to other learners of SG too.
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Old 18.02.2011, 11:21
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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Ok. Again and slowly: Swiss German is a purely spoken dialect. The only written forms are slang on facebook or SMS. This slang is very local and people will actually not appreciate it if you try to mimic them. So if you do want to learn how to correspond with some Swiss in writing - better learn standard German or you might come across like a Swiss-German version of Ali G.
This is theoretically true but not completely. Written Swiss German is not slang nor is it a purely spoken dialect. Franz Holler might find that quite offensive, seeing as he wrote Totemürgeli in Swiss German.
http://www.dialektwoerter.ch/ This website I have found quite useful and it shows the cantonal variations. http://www.edimuster.ch/baernduetsch/woerterbuechli.htm is also interesting.
Of course in official correspondence, standard German is the language. However, there is nothing wrong with writing in Swiss German to friends and in fact, my friends appreciate that I take the effort to do so. For some people it is easier to learn a language when they can read it and can so build their vocabulary.
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Old 18.02.2011, 12:21
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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This is theoretically true but not completely. Written Swiss German is not slang nor is it a purely spoken dialect.
Ok, there are rare examples of literature as well. 99% of people that learn a foreign language do so for practical reasons. I did not learn English to read literature in it, but to be able to communicate with people. When I got better at it, I started to read literature as well, but to be honest: There are probably more important pieces of German literature to read - written by Swiss in standard German. Dürrenmatt is for example excellent for intermediate German learners. I am not saying that someone should not learn Swiss German, but the case is really simple: People here speak Swiss German and write Standard German (sort of, I can spot a Swiss writing German in >90%). All I am saying is that practicing to write Swiss German is utterly pointless unless you are very good at Standard German and do it for fun on top. Even then you could rather collect stamps or do similarly exciting things instead.
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Old 18.02.2011, 13:25
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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All I am saying is that practicing to write Swiss German is utterly pointless unless you are very good at Standard German and do it for fun on top. Even then you could rather collect stamps or do similarly exciting things instead.
No, not really.

As mentioned earlier in the thread, the writing of Swiss German is not what the group is promoting, rather the learning of new vocabulary in contexts so that it can be used in speech thereafter and thus definitely not pointless.

I already speak German, as I stated earlier, but I want to be able to speak Swiss German - such a tool would be useful despite what you say. So to repeat - yet again - to avoid further confusion:

The Online Swiss German Group Writing Group will be a place to write in Swiss German so that the members can learn new words and expressions which can then be used in speech in day-to-day life. It will certainly not be a "spelling bee" group or a group which suggests its members should use written Swiss German elsewhere.

If I get another one or two people saying they are interested then I will set this group up.
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Old 18.02.2011, 13:40
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

If you set up the group I can help you guys with Swiss German (not the spelling, more the structure).
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Old 18.02.2011, 15:58
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

Thank you prof. taratonga, I appreciate your help.

I have just created the group: http://www.englishforum.ch/group.php?groupid=77
I haven't started any threads in the group yet, but feel free to join and start a discussion if you wish.
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Old 18.02.2011, 17:25
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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Ok, there are rare examples of literature as well. 99% of people that learn a foreign language do so for practical reasons. I did not learn English to read literature in it, but to be able to communicate with people. When I got better at it, I started to read literature as well, but to be honest: There are probably more important pieces of German literature to read - written by Swiss in standard German. Dürrenmatt is for example excellent for intermediate German learners. I am not saying that someone should not learn Swiss German, but the case is really simple: People here speak Swiss German and write Standard German (sort of, I can spot a Swiss writing German in >90%). All I am saying is that practicing to write Swiss German is utterly pointless unless you are very good at Standard German and do it for fun on top. Even then you could rather collect stamps or do similarly exciting things instead.
Mani Matter is a very famous musician and composer and he only wrote in Swiss German. Stiller Has is another example written Swiss German. It is the German notion to deride Swiss German to the status of dialect and not accept there is a thriving literary and musical culture. It is unfortunate to compare this to collecting stamps. Learning is never pointless and certainly less so for people who want to actively improve their knowledge.
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Old 18.02.2011, 17:46
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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It is the German notion to deride Swiss German to the status of dialect and not accept there is a thriving literary and musical culture.
I do not think there is any conflict in being a dialect AND having musical, written or theater culture. Many German dialects have it as well... for example Bavarian:



I am convinced that distance study of written Swiss German is absolutely pointless. I am a German native speaker and live here for six years. I by now understand 99% in Zurich, far less in Bern (although I have worked there for some years). Sitting abroad trying to write slang idioms will not work. If it is supposed to be a "training" for coming to Switzerland and you are relatively fluent in German - watch some Swiss German TV instead.
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Old 18.02.2011, 17:59
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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If it is supposed to be a "training" for coming to Switzerland and you are relatively fluent in German - watch some Swiss German TV instead.
I'd rather do both.

I can understand Swiss German quite well, but formulating Swiss German expressions / pronunciation can be a little tricky. The practice will be useful, and providing the resource is used in conjunction with Swiss TV / Radio etc. I don't see a problem...
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Old 18.02.2011, 18:09
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

Feel free to write whatever you want, there are websites in southern georgia english too. Es gibt nichts, was es nicht gibt (there is nothing that does not exist).

However: sharing ressources and knowledge is all fine until one takes care of respecting the actual dialects called collectively Swiss German. Nothing wrong with enhencing one's knowledge of Baseldeutsch when one lives in Basel. But there is indeed no point sharing Bernese expressions with a lerner living in Skt Gallen. As long as everybody is aware of the polymorphic nature of the object of study, go for it and enjoy... if you sort it out. I foresee hard work but I wish you luck.
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Old 21.02.2011, 23:29
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

OP, I've just come across the following Facebook group that might be of interest to you:

http://www.facebook.com/Schwiizerduetsch

it has over 200k "fans", and there are many discussions in different regional dialects, and is bound to be of use in helping you learn some idiomatic phrases.

As for the EF group idea, I see its limitations very early on. I think that those of us here in CH are surrounded by a living, spoken dialect so are in a very different situation to someone afar. I could write Swiss German if I wanted, but it would probably just be random phonetic German with a load of extra vowels. My speaking, when necessary is much, much better. Save for a group of core Swiss forum members, it could become a case of the blind leading the blind, perhaps?
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Old 21.02.2011, 23:44
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Re: Online Swiss German writing group

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I am convinced that distance study of written Swiss German is absolutely pointless.
True, but I still find it funny that Swiss German is closer to High German standard than my beloved Holsteiner Platt.

There are many kinds of written Swiss German - its existance is not questioned, the Bücher Brocky will show you nice examples of it. However, the authors just write it like they want, and that is not always that easy to follow. Each author demands a certain training, or even just to read it loud. Not standardized, with all the inconvinients of that situation and the taste of authenticity at the same time. One likes it or not, that´s a question of taste.
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