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Old 24.01.2007, 21:21
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German now - SwissGerman later?

Does knowing german help in learning swiss-german? Actually I don't know a single word from both but since i still have around 2 months before i get to zurich and start learning swiss-german, i thought to get some tapes and books and start learning german on my own?

what do u think?
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Old 25.01.2007, 09:29
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Re: German now - SwissGerman later?

There's lots of info on this subject that has already been posted on this forum. The best way to find it all is probably to just look through the threads in the "Language Corner" section of the forum, click here to go to the index of that section.
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Old 25.01.2007, 09:33
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Re: German now - SwissGerman later?

as this thread was posted in that forum, I'd say aathingybob might've looked.

Personally, I absolutely would not learn Swiss-German until I've mastered high German. You don't want to be proficient in a language that you can only use in one region of one small country
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Old 25.01.2007, 16:16
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Re: German now - SwissGerman later?

I would suggest buying the book "Hoi - Your Swiss German Survival Guide". It's more specific to Zurich dialect too, which will be helpful for you. I guess I'm not sure if I agree with the other posts (yet!)... still a friendly 'undecided'. There are ups and downs to learning Swiss and not High German. I pretty much only speak Swiss German here in the Engadin and wasn't really accepted by the locals till I did, but Zurich is a great place if you're English. At first I thought I would get by with High German but can't express how difficult it was for me to communicate and be understood. Mind you, I don't live in Zurich... I do think it's important to learn their language tho, if you are intending to be here and take on the Swiss lifestyle...
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Old 25.01.2007, 16:26
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Re: German now - SwissGerman later?

Concentrate on speaking High German, but spend time trying to listen and understand Swiss-German. That way you will understand, and be understood, in nearly all situations.
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Old 19.02.2007, 13:55
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Re: German now - SwissGerman later?

I'm for learning High German first, but with the twist of learning a smattering of SwissGerman phrases (basically, greetings, conversation openers, excuses, thanks, conversation enders) to smooth the transition.

The reasoning behind it: German and SG grammar are pretty similar (there ARE differences), gender of the words are the same so by learning the official language you're also laying the foundation for the spoken language.
With the smattering of SG, you convey that you're making the effort (engenders goodwill) but are not there yet "so can we continue in HG bitte?".

You'll charm their pants off!

BTW, that "Hoi! Your Swiss German Survival Guide" is really good.
I can tell, I'm a native SG speaker
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Old 25.01.2007, 16:23
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Re: German now - SwissGerman later?

Quote:
Personally, I absolutely would not learn Swiss-German until I've mastered high German. You don't want to be proficient in a language that you can only use in one region of one small country
I see what you are saying but in reality it is so hard not to let Swiss-German creep into my vocabullary. It is especially difficult as I have a 5 year old who in the 14 months we have been back in Switzerland has become fluent in Swiss-German and quite happily tells me I'm pronuncing words wrongly in High German, he then tells me the "correct" way to say them .
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