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Old 19.11.2012, 14:00
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Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

I am not in Switzerland (yet) but I would like to learn to understand Swiss German. I have access to 3PLUS, SF1 and SF2. I have been watching some trashy reality shows like "Jobtausch", "Supernanny" and "Bauder, Ledig, Sucht..." but I don't understand half of what they say in Swiss German. I understand 99% of what I hear when it's in High German so I'm always left feeling during the Swiss German parts.

I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations of TV shows that would have German subtitles to go with the Swiss German, or can recommend other TV shows from those three channels which would be more conducive to learning Swiss German?
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:11
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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I am not in Switzerland (yet) but I would like to learn to understand Swiss German. I have access to 3PLUS, SF1 and SF2. I have been watching some trashy reality shows like "Jobtausch", "Supernanny" and "Bauder, Ledig, Sucht..." but I don't understand half of what they say in Swiss German. I understand 99% of what I hear when it's in High German so I'm always left feeling during the Swiss German parts.

I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations of TV shows that would have German subtitles to go with the Swiss German, or can recommend other TV shows from those three channels which would be more conducive to learning Swiss German?
There are a number of different versions of Swiss German; Zurich, Basel, Berne, etc. etc. plus an almost incomprehensible version in Wallis. Which one do you want to learn?
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:15
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

I am trying to learn Swiss German by watching SF bi de Lüt, Familiensache. Works quite well for me, because I can see what they are talking about. But as far as I know there are no subtitles available.
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:15
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

Try watching the news programmes on local TV stations like TeleZüri. You can watch these on the internet also.
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:18
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

Swiss German is a dialect( some may argue a different language) so you learn it and understand it. For me it is like High German( I am sure their will be arguments about what HIgh German is) anyway to me high German is like the queens English and Swiss German is like err Geordie
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Old 19.11.2012, 14:42
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

In my experience, sub-titles are not very often useful because a lot of the time the synchronisation of the text doesn't match well at all with the vocals, both in terms of timing and sometimes the actual words and indeed the amount of words. This makes it rather redundant as a tool for learning the language.

But, watching TV does help. You do however, need to give it time, concentrate and listen 'actively'. Even better is spending time with real Swiss people in real-life situations. Even just listening and observing helps if you can't say much.

Just be patient. If you already understand 99% of standard german it should go relatively quickly once you get your ear tuned in. I understand a much much lower percentage of standard german, attained through lessons, but gradually began to understand some Swiss german simply by listening to what goes on around me (whether that's real-life, TV or radio).

Good luck.
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Old 19.11.2012, 15:09
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

Thanks for your replies, everyone.

I'll definitely be getting on to "bi de Lüt" and the local TV stations! Thanks for the tips!

The reason I was asking about subtitles is because I don't think I'm going to learn anything when the word in Swiss German diverges considerably from High German. E.g. I just found out yesterday that 'Butter' in the Bern dialect is 'Anke'!?! Now I would never have guessed that in a million years. If I knew what the word is in standard German through the subtitles, I could then look up the word in an online dictionary, replay the video and listen to how it's pronounced in Swiss German. I haven't had much luck hearing the Swiss German, guessing how it's written, and putting it into a dialect dictionary (and yes, I got the right 'region' dialect as I was listening to Youtube videos which stated this.)

My problem is that I'm not in Switzerland, so I can't really hear words used in context except on TV, which is of course far inferior to real life. I would, however, love to show up there already understanding Swiss German. I don't think it matters too much initially that I won't be able to speak it, since I know from experience they understand my High German (even if they can't speak it themselves!!).
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Old 19.11.2012, 15:22
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

[QUOTE=Kentin;1720872]
The reason I was asking about subtitles is because I don't think I'm going to learn anything when the word in Swiss German diverges considerably from High German. E.g. I just found out yesterday that 'Butter' in the Bern dialect is 'Anke'!?! Now I would never have guessed that in a million years. If I knew what the word is in standard German through the subtitles, I could then look up the word in an online dictionary, replay the video and listen to how it's pronounced in Swiss German. I haven't had much luck hearing the Swiss German, guessing how it's written, and putting it into a dialect dictionary (and yes, I got the right 'region' dialect as I was listening to Youtube videos which stated this.)

QUOTE]

It's a nice idea, but based on my experience of sub-titles this is likely to be a slow, extremely tedious process with limited success. Concentrate on listening and obvserving the situation that is taking place on the TV programme. Find a Swiss radio station (online if you're not here) and listen to it every morning while eating breakfast, getting ready. Listenning to the brief news, weather and traffic reports help.
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Old 19.11.2012, 15:44
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

We watch the SF news every night and although the newsreaders speak High German, many of the individuals they interview speak Swiss German. So the subtitles are at best an approximation of what the person said. Still, kudos to you for trying to learn Swiss German when you're not even in Switzerland. That's ambition!
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Old 19.11.2012, 15:45
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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Thanks for your replies, everyone.

I'll definitely be getting on to "bi de Lüt" and the local TV stations! Thanks for the tips!

The reason I was asking about subtitles is because I don't think I'm going to learn anything when the word in Swiss German diverges considerably from High German. E.g. I just found out yesterday that 'Butter' in the Bern dialect is 'Anke'!?! Now I would never have guessed that in a million years. If I knew what the word is in standard German through the subtitles, I could then look up the word in an online dictionary, replay the video and listen to how it's pronounced in Swiss German. I haven't had much luck hearing the Swiss German, guessing how it's written, and putting it into a dialect dictionary (and yes, I got the right 'region' dialect as I was listening to Youtube videos which stated this.)

My problem is that I'm not in Switzerland, so I can't really hear words used in context except on TV, which is of course far inferior to real life. I would, however, love to show up there already understanding Swiss German. I don't think it matters too much initially that I won't be able to speak it, since I know from experience they understand my High German (even if they can't speak it themselves!!).
About "I just found out yesterday that 'Butter' in the Bern dialect is 'Anke'!?! "
I was once with some Swiss friends & they were able to come up with about 20 words from different Swiss German dialects to describe the cut off end of a loaf of bread; I could not think of one English word.
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Old 19.11.2012, 16:38
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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About "I just found out yesterday that 'Butter' in the Bern dialect is 'Anke'!?! "
I was once with some Swiss friends & they were able to come up with about 20 words from different Swiss German dialects to describe the cut off end of a loaf of bread; I could not think of one English word.
I'd call it the heel.
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Old 19.11.2012, 16:44
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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I'd call it the heel.
Heel? Not come across that word used that way but why not
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Old 19.11.2012, 16:50
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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Heel? Not come across that word used that way but why not
We use it a lot in the U.S. From OED:

Heel, noun, 3rd definition:

A thing resembling a heel in form or position, in particular:
- the end of a violin bow at which it is held.
- the part of the head of a golf club nearest the shaft.
- a crusty end of a loaf of bread, or the rind of a cheese.
- a piece of the main stem of a plant left attached to the base of a cutting.
HTH

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.11.2012 at 16:51. Reason: fixed wonky formatting
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Old 19.11.2012, 16:53
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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If I knew what the word is in standard German through the subtitles, I could then look up the word in an online dictionary, replay the video and listen to how it's pronounced in Swiss German.
I found this list with words very useful:

http://www.mittelschulvorbereitung.c...21lSchWort.pdf

(I hope this will turn into a link, but I´m not sure. You can also search with google with the words schweizerdeutsch wörterliste)
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Old 19.11.2012, 16:57
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

In this document there is also a list with ´Typische Helvetismen´, so Swiss German words with a translation in Hochdeutsch.

http://www.brunnenmeister.ch/fileadm...K09/Reg_08.pdf
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Old 19.11.2012, 17:03
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

Movies in Swiss German are also useful. There are not many of them but "Zufall bringen" is a good one. You can get it on amazon.
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Old 19.11.2012, 17:13
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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I am not in Switzerland (yet) but I would like to learn to understand Swiss German. I have access to 3PLUS, SF1 and SF2. I have been watching some trashy reality shows like "Jobtausch", "Supernanny" and "Bauder, Ledig, Sucht..." but I don't understand half of what they say in Swiss German. I understand 99% of what I hear when it's in High German so I'm always left feeling during the Swiss German parts.

I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations of TV shows that would have German subtitles to go with the Swiss German, or can recommend other TV shows from those three channels which would be more conducive to learning Swiss German?
I have a Learn Swiss German CD somewhere. If I find it I'll let you know...
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Old 19.11.2012, 23:56
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

DRS1 has a section dedicated to Mundart with many programs online, including links to online dictionaries:

http://www.drs1.ch/www/de/drs1/themen/mundart.html

I would also second the suggestion to watch TeleZueri, with the news programs you can at least try to read lips as you listen, which helps (at least for me). it may also help to start with an outline of the grammar differences (there are several available online, some for a small fee).

there are always the steinbock commercials, too, if you really want to test your progress

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Old 20.11.2012, 00:40
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

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In this document there is also a list with ´Typische Helvetismen´, so Swiss German words with a translation in Hochdeutsch.

http://www.brunnenmeister.ch/fileadm...K09/Reg_08.pdf
A helvetism is not a Swiss German word, but is a Standard German ("Hochdeutsch") word which is predominantly used in Switzerland or is of Swiss origin (eg "der Putsch"). Some of course origine from the Allemannic dialects spoken in Switzerland (aka "Swiss German"), but there are many that don't .
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Old 20.11.2012, 08:47
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Re: Learning Swiss German from Swiss TV??

Well, I think it is convenient to know the words they are using here.
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