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Old 16.02.2019, 04:49
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German and Swiss-German

I'm from Sweden and german have been kind of "I can guess what ppls are trying to say". But Swiss-German is so hard to understand. Am I alone in that or ?
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Old 16.02.2019, 07:03
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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I'm from Sweden and german have been kind of "I can guess what ppls are trying to say". But Swiss-German is so hard to understand. Am I alone in that or ?
no. With time it gets easier. 90% of what people say is just "fill in ". Simply concentrate on the gist ( general meaning ) of what is trying to be said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYCT8QSgGg4
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Old 16.02.2019, 14:45
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Re: German and Swiss-German

The vast majority of Germans have difficulty understanding Swiss-German. There's a reason that programmes from Swiss-German TV are sometimes subtitled or even occasionally dubbed when they come on German TV.
I've heard people say that there's more difference between German and Swiss-German than between German and Dutch and Dutch is considered to be a distinct language.
The problem isn't helped by the fact that there are many dialects of Swiss-German and what you hear changes, sometimes quite significantly, from one place to the next. The nearest thing you have to "standard Swiss-German" is what you hear on Swiss-German TV.
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Old 06.03.2019, 13:14
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Re: German and Swiss-German

I've been in Switzerland for 10 months now, and I cannot understand why Swiss-Germans refuse to respond to me in high German. 99% of the time, they will respond in English. It's such a pain to improve my German or get integrated, when people around refuse to speak it. And of course, Swytzerdutch isn't a written language.
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Old 06.03.2019, 13:16
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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I've been in Switzerland for 10 months now, and I cannot understand why Swiss-Germans refuse to respond to me in high German. 99% of the time, they will respond in English. It's such a pain to improve my German or get integrated, when people around refuse to speak it. And of course, Swytzerdutch isn't a written language.

Schwyzerdütsch is written, just no fixed grammatics.


And a lot of Swiss people I know feel more confident speaking english than high german. Why not listen to them and just answer in high german?
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Old 07.03.2019, 07:21
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Re: German and Swiss-German

Many swiss just simply hate high german. They learnt it at school and compared to swiss german it is very convoluted. Most of them would prefer to speak english because its an opportunity to improve their english.
Zurich is also a bit special, most people can speak english, if you move out of the canton, this changes, especially the closer you move to germany, a far smaller percentage of people speak english and many have become used to speaking high german.
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Old 07.03.2019, 07:56
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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I've been in Switzerland for 10 months now, and I cannot understand why Swiss-Germans refuse to respond to me in high German. 99% of the time, they will respond in English. It's such a pain to improve my German or get integrated, when people around refuse to speak it. And of course, Swytzerdutch isn't a written language.
A great many of them are more comfortable using English than they are with German as a 2nd language.

Not long after I arrived I worked with a Swiss guy for a few years. Whenever we had written communications in German he tasked me to do it. His spoken German was fine, so I asked him one day if he made me write the German so I could get the practice - his answer was no, he just wasn't comfortable writing German. (And he was fluent in English, German, Italian, and French if his phone conversations were anything to go by.)
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Old 07.03.2019, 08:16
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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I've been in Switzerland for 10 months now, and I cannot understand why Swiss-Germans refuse to respond to me in high German. 99% of the time, they will respond in English. It's such a pain to improve my German or get integrated, when people around refuse to speak it. And of course, Swytzerdutch isn't a written language.
It‘s been written here before:
High German is a foreign language to the so-called German-speaking Swiss. They learn it at school and know they should be perfect in HG, but very often are not. They can mess up English as much as we like...
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Old 07.03.2019, 08:28
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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compared to swiss german it is very convoluted ...
Really? Is Swiss German then easier to learn, e.g. w.r.t the grammar?
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Old 07.03.2019, 08:49
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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They learn it at school and know they should be perfect in HG, but very often are not. They can mess up English as much as we like...
That's how my Swiss boss felt about it. He said that English people are more adept at understanding bad English than Germans are at understanding bad German.

But also with German, you can change the entire meaning of a sentence by using the wrong case or slightly mispronouncing a word. English is more forgiving in that aspect.
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Old 07.03.2019, 08:51
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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Really? Is Swiss German then easier to learn, e.g. w.r.t the grammar?
It's more similar to English with regards to word order and sentence structure.

Tom
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Old 07.03.2019, 08:58
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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I've been in Switzerland for 10 months now, and I cannot understand why Swiss-Germans refuse to respond to me in high German. 99% of the time, they will respond in English. It's such a pain to improve my German or get integrated, when people around refuse to speak it. And of course, Swytzerdutch isn't a written language.
Well first of all it is not their native language, it is something they learn at school along with French and either English or Italian. And for many people for most of their lives it is used as a written language rather than a spoke language. You are basically asking them to speak a foreign language to you. On the other hand it is their official language so they are supposed to be good at it, thus making a mistake in English is more acceptable

I’ve been here so long that I tend to feel the same. I don’t like to have to speak high German nor to listen to it, it just sounds so arrogant...
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:14
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Re: German and Swiss-German

This is fascinating. What about reading and writing (if not academic papers, but correspondences and such)? Don't they read the newspaper and books in high German?
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:15
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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Really? Is Swiss German then easier to learn, e.g. w.r.t the grammar?
You do realize there are different dialects... they often struggle to understand people from another region...

On one occasion myself and a Swiss colleague from Basel were interviewing a guy from the Valais. I was having a lot of difficulty understanding him, but I had a Swiss colleague, so no problem... it was not until we started comparing notes afterwards that I discovered there were several points upon which which my Swiss was unsure of what the candidate had actually said as well!
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:26
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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You do realize there are different dialects... they often struggle to understand people from another region...

On one occasion myself and a Swiss colleague from Basel were interviewing a guy from the Valais. I was having a lot of difficulty understanding him, but I had a Swiss colleague, so no problem... it was not until we started comparing notes afterwards that I discovered there were several points upon which which my Swiss was unsure of what the candidate had actually said as well!
Walliserdeutch is a totally different story. That I know for sure.
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:27
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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This is fascinating. What about reading and writing (if not academic papers, but correspondences and such)? Don't they read the newspaper and books in high German?
Of course, but it is not the same thing. You have the same situation in Ireland, we all learn Irish for about 14 years in school - everything from basic grammar to literature, but most people can’t speak it, because it was taught as a written language.

In my son’s class in school it was decided that they were only allowed to speak High German to each other in the mornings so they could improve their High German. One of the teachers commented that it was usually nice and quiet in the mornings!
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:35
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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It‘s been written here before:
High German is a foreign language to the so-called German-speaking Swiss. They learn it at school and know they should be perfect in HG, but very often are not. They can mess up English as much as we like...
They don't just learn it at school (as a foreign language like English, for example) but every subject gets taught in High-German after Kindergarten.

I expect you know this but it's an important distinction to make.
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:43
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Re: German and Swiss-German

Frustrated with how my German exam revision was going, I asked my Swiss neighbour "Why is your language so difficult?" He answered, "It's not my language. My language has no rules". Git!

As for Swiss German not being written, just Google any Trauffer song lyrics, such as this https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Trauffer/Dr-Gipfel and compare it to Präteritum in German.
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Old 07.03.2019, 09:51
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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They don't just learn it at school (as a foreign language like English, for example) but every subject gets taught in High-German after Kindergarten.

I expect you know this but it's an important distinction to make.
In Zurich schools even Kindergarten is taught in High German. The only exceptions are during sports lessons. I think it has been like that for a number of years now. At least since my son was in KG.
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Old 07.03.2019, 11:45
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Re: German and Swiss-German

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In Zurich schools even Kindergarten is taught in High German. The only exceptions are during sports lessons. I think it has been like that for a number of years now. At least since my son was in KG.
Default language for Kindergarten in Canton Zurich is Swiss German Dialect, Standard High German can and should be used in certain situations.
https://vsa.zh.ch/internet/bildungsd...dergarten.html

It is like this since 2012:
https://www.nzz.ch/zuerich/migranten...ger-1.17896654
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