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Old 08.03.2007, 22:32
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Swiss-German dictionary?

Is there a favorite online swiss-german dictionary that you use? I know I can't learn it quickly, but learing a few words or phrases might be useful. For example, I can't get Schlampe-schlepper out of my head. The http://www.notam02.no/~hcholm/altlan...ss_German.html dictionary is hilarious, but mostly useful with the guys at the Stammtisch.

I know some basic Hoch-Deutsch and can correctly pronounce any word I can read. I was wondering if anyone can explain some of the basic differences in Swiss-German pronounciation. I see some un-German spelling, (such as chlöibi - how do you pronounce that!?) so I wanted to be sure of:
words that start with ch
words that end in ä, aa, äi or äa
double letters: oo, üü
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Old 08.03.2007, 22:45
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

Don't bother too much with Swiss German if you don't plan on moving here permanently. It is a fascinating dialect of German but there is always the danger of it affecting your Standard German in a bad way...
As to the pronounciation:
- the "ch" sound you find in "chlöibi" is somewhat similar to the noise you make when you clear your throat. It is similar to the Scottish sound "ch" like for example in "loch". It is basically pronounced the same as the Standard German "ch" but sounds usually a bit harsher.
- words that end in "ä":example - "ladä" (store) - the ä here is pronounced similar to the ending in British English "father" (dropping the r)
- "äi" is similar to the sound you utter when you say "buy" "lie" "my" - this depends on where you are - in Zürich this is mostly accurate, in Bern, however, it sounds more like the diphtong in "way"
- If you find a double vowel that usually indicates the lenght of the vowel, i.e. that it is a long vowel (example: Maa (man))
Hope that helps - just bear in mind that Swiss German is not standardised and pronounciations vary greatly depending on where you are.
Cheers,
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Old 09.03.2007, 00:12
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

Thanks. I found a site with some spoken examples of Swiss-German. Now I know what everybody is talkling about. Whereas German is pronounced as it is spelled, Swiss German is...is...is...I don't know how to describe it. Hinterland-Platt-Deutsch with a loose connection to German?
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Old 09.03.2007, 02:40
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

Can you post that site?
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Old 09.03.2007, 06:06
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

I just Googled Swiss-German and found these:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Swiss-German_phrasebook

Many links here:
http://www.people.ex.ac.uk/pjoyce/di.../obschwyz.html

http://www.eldrid.ch/switzerland.htm

http://www.dialekt.ch/karte.htm

http://www.swissworld.org/eng/cultur...rubricId=14010
Scroll down to the "flash graphics" to see the dialect map. This is the one that made me realize that Swiss-German is no quick study.
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Old 16.04.2007, 01:18
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

When I was learing German in college, I had one teachter from Austria who played us a tape of what Swiss-German sounded like. There's no way you can even learn it without being there. The best you can do is learn southern German, like Austrian or Bavarian. For some reason it's also hard to find a German teacher in the schools around the world who happens to be from Switzerland. The closest thing you can do to learning Switzerland's languages before living there is to learn German from Austrians and to learn French from Belgians. Or Italian from people from Northern Italy. Those are the places people have to be from before they'll bother to remember to tell you, "Oh by the way, this is what Switzerland says..." or "this is how it's done in Switzerland..."

The best I was able to do was get out the Austrian that Switzerland always uses the ss instead of that symbol that HochDeutsch uses (I don't even have it on this keyboard) and says Sonnabend like Austria instead of Samstag. On the French side, the best I could get was that they use the original-Latin words for seventy and ninety like Belgium (septante and nonante) instead of saying "sixty-ten" and "four-twenty-ten" like France. This far I got from learning French from Belgians.

The countries around it whose languages it shares, all seem to treat it like it's not even there, or that its "variation" of the language in question is somehow "not correct." I had a German teacher from Berlin who seemed not to even remember that Switzerland is even THERE, somehow. I'm in Quebec now, so don't get me started on how the French treat Switzerland regarding their shared language...!
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Old 05.09.2007, 00:21
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

I spent quite a bit of time searching for a decent Swiss german dictionary.. so hopefully I can spare someone some work. First of all, it's very hard to find such a dictionary, probably because only four or five million people speak Swiss german (so, limited demand). There is a very expensive 17-volume, academic Swiss german dictionary, the Schweizerisches Idioikon available at major universities. But for practical purposes you will usually see either Schweizer-deutsch fuer alle, Schwiizertueuetsch or Chuchichaeschtli, in Swiss bookstores. In my opinion none of these three slim volumes are particularily useful, apart from the sheer novelty of finding anything on this subject. For English speakers who are just starting out, I can highly recommend Hoi (Bergeli Books). Or for native (high) German speakers, Duden Wie sagt man in der Schweiz? (1989). Unfortunately the latter is now out of print, but you can usually still find it through Ebay or Amazon.

Other resources not to be overlooked include the very good Pimsleur short Swiss german (audio) course, which is a great start for beginners. You might also consider buying the movie Die Schweizermacherwhich was filmed in Swiss german. It has subtitles, but you'd be better off to also acquire the book of the same name that provides side by side Swiss German and English transcripts of the movie dialog. Lastly, for those trying to learn Swiss german abroad, an almost impossible task when you don't have access to a native Swiss german speaker - you might consider buying the Linguatec Personal Translator Pro program. This program has a very good TTS engine that can speak German and even Swiss german text with reasonable accuracy. It isn't a substitute for a real person, but I know that I found it helpful in learning to properly pronounce Swiss german. There is a limited free demo of the TTS speech engine on the Zurich Technical Institute website, so you see if you find this feature helpful or not.
http://www.tik.ee.ethz.ch/cgi-bin/_w3svox



Last edited by itinerant; 12.01.2008 at 15:52.
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Old 03.02.2008, 07:31
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

I don't know of any dictionaries per-se, but Hoi Zame: Schweizerseutsch leicht gemacht is a very good phrase book. It deals primarily with the Berner dialect though.
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Old 21.02.2012, 08:11
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

This is an old thread, but Google Translate has a little button you can click that will read out text you've put into the translate box.

I put in "Das isch mir e chli z'tüür" for example, and it did a pretty good job of pronouncing it
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Old 21.02.2012, 09:17
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

chlöibi

h-lawy-bee

(meaning glue)
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Old 21.02.2012, 09:29
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Re: Swiss-German dictionary?

Might not be online anymore:

The Idiotikon is available online ( Dialect Speaking German Dictionary in CH )
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