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Old 05.04.2020, 16:40
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What "type" of German did you learn?

Hello!
So I've been here for just over a year now, started a new job a few months ago, and I feel like I'm progressing with (high) German; however, I'm also not as far along as I'd like to be as we barely spoke German at my previous job due to most colleagues not really speaking it.
I was wondering, what did most of you do in terms of learning/understanding Swiss German? I understand a fair bit of it, and following a conversation with a colleague the other day, I'm wondering if I should just put more focus into Swiss German now that I have the basics of high German? I mean, I live in Switzerland, and all of my colleagues are Swiss... I just feel it would remove some kind of barrier, but then part of me says I should just put all of my energy into high German as its the more "official" approach.
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Old 05.04.2020, 16:49
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

High German, at school, Gymi and then B.Ed.Hons in UK ...

my mother was an academic who hated Swiss German - my dad was a Jurassien who had a visceral hatred for the Bernese, due to the history of the Jura region. I would love to learn Swiss German now, just for fun.
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Old 05.04.2020, 17:00
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

All your official documents, etc, will be in high German, so you really need to persist with that. Swiss German will come naturally from that, but will still vary wildly between the towns and villages. I've repeatedly been told by teachers and Swiss friends that Swiss German has looser grammatical rules (some friends say no rules) and doesn't use the Präteritum tense of German.

Personally, I find it helpful to read the lyrics of artists who sing in Swiss German dialects, people like Polo Hofer, Trauffer, etc... Cut and paste them into Deepl translator. You can really see how much the translator recognises as high German and how much is true dialect, and you get to see it side by side.
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Old 05.04.2020, 17:10
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

We have friends, a young couple- he from Thun (BE) and she from Zurich - and they are constantly arguing about it- she says Zurchertütsch is so much better and classier than Bärntütsch, and vice versa. The arguments are now much worse as they have two kids- and he wants them to learn his dialect, and she hers ...Most Zürchers won't understand the 'Tütsch' from Upper Wallis either.

So yes, learn High German and adapt later.
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Old 05.04.2020, 17:31
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Half year of normal German at university, then years of working with Swiss Germans (clients, not co-workers, co-works has almost always been French).

Meanwhile, my wife is Swiss-German but speaks no German at all.

Tom
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:30
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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Hello!
So I've been here for just over a year now, started a new job a few months ago, and I feel like I'm progressing with (high) German; however, I'm also not as far along as I'd like to be as we barely spoke German at my previous job due to most colleagues not really speaking it.
I was wondering, what did most of you do in terms of learning/understanding Swiss German? I understand a fair bit of it, and following a conversation with a colleague the other day, I'm wondering if I should just put more focus into Swiss German now that I have the basics of high German? I mean, I live in Switzerland, and all of my colleagues are Swiss... I just feel it would remove some kind of barrier, but then part of me says I should just put all of my energy into high German as its the more "official" approach.
Forget about Swiss German . It will mess up your High German learning and you will end up with a silly sounding mish-mash.
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:42
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Personally, I couldn't care less what people think of my German, Italian, French, Rumantsch, nor English.

Tom
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:45
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Alot of people think I am Dutch when I speak High German. Strange that considering I am Australian by birth. But then I should be greatful that they don't think I am an American.
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:52
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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Forget about Swiss German . It will mess up your High German learning and you will end up with a silly sounding mish-mash.
I'd agree with that. Once your high German is good you can learn Swiss German for the fun of it - or because you decide to stay for good.

The thing is: The Swiss around you will understand your High German but the Germans will not understand if you get it all mixed up. So if you would like to speak a German you can actually use anywhere it's High German first.
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:54
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Develop your ear for Swiss German-to get the gist of what they are raving about
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:55
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

If it's any help to you, have a look at these memory games that translate high German into Swiss German. They're available in a number of dialects and even have versions in how to understand teenager's speech and man/woman translation cards I got my OH the Züritüütsch ones last Christmas.

https://fideadesign.com/de/aktuelle-...arch=memospiel
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Old 05.04.2020, 18:59
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

I bought this book for interest sake only

schwyzerdütsch für anfänger jürg bleiker

https://www.google.com/search?q=schw...vk7y8d8aCAuarM
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Old 05.04.2020, 19:00
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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if you would like to speak a German you can actually use anywhere it's High German first.
An ex girlfriend once told me, when I informed her that I spoke Swiss-German: "no, you don't, you speak Schriftdeutsch with a Swiss accent!"

Works great in Germany, as that way they all speak English to me.

Tom
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Old 05.04.2020, 19:03
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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An ex girlfriend once told me, when I informed her that I spoke Swiss-German: "no, you don't, you speak Schriftdeutsch with a Swiss accent!"

Works great in Germany, as that way they all speak English to me.

Tom
Sure you don't mean American German?
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Old 05.04.2020, 19:06
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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An ex girlfriend once told me, when I informed her that I spoke Swiss-German: "no, you don't, you speak Schriftdeutsch with a Swiss accent!" Tom
Yes, that's the third version.

Do you speak français fédérale as well?
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Old 05.04.2020, 19:58
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

Thanks everyone, appreciate it Swiss German sounded so appealing/easier... guess I'll just power through, I don't have a lot else to do right now

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Alot of people think I am Dutch when I speak High German. Strange that considering I am Australian by birth. But then I should be greatful that they don't think I am an American.
I had this in Sweden, everyone thought I was Australian when I spoke Swedish
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Old 05.04.2020, 20:03
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

I'm learning dialect at the moment with my wife. The biggest difficulty I have is the gaps in my High German knowledge. If I didn't have my wife to help me, I wouldn't be able to do the class. (With her help I'm filling the gaps).

I'd recommend being at B2 level before attempting dialect.

I have found that since I started classes it's really very pleasing to be able to understand what people are saying and even speak it a little.
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Old 05.04.2020, 20:11
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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An ex girlfriend once told me, when I informed her that I spoke Swiss-German: "no, you don't, you speak Schriftdeutsch with a Swiss accent!"

Works great in Germany, as that way they all speak English to me.

Tom
I remember my German Assistant at school in UK, from Kassel- laughing her head off when I used the word 'Spital' - and she took great delight in saying 'Ruriräschli' as a greeting lol.
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Old 05.04.2020, 20:11
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

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Yes, that's the third version.

Do you speak français fédérale as well?
I speak French "with a fake American accent", or so I've been told multiple times.

I have a friend from Einsiedeln who is always pleased that when we go on motorcycle tours, I am one of the 2 or 3 people who can understand his "Mundart". He doesn't give a shit that my German sucks.

Tom
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Old 06.04.2020, 10:54
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Re: What "type" of German did you learn?

I think I'm learning Swiss German. That's the language in shops and bars.

Also, I need to learn the language of my potential clients. I'm not selling consulting in Hamburg but in Zürich, Aargau an Luzern. From a comparative advantage perspective, it is idiotic for me to try to learn High German because companies are full of Germans. High German is not a scarce skill at all and I will never write a report in German with their quality or speak with a nice accent. If I want to differentiate myself in the job ($$$), I need to learn a scarcer skill, do something the Germans cannot or are not willing to do.....like learning the local dialect and get close to clients
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