Swiss-German phrasebook

Swiss-German is considerably different from German, especially as it happens in regard to those very phrases which a traveler needs: niceties, greetings, asking for stuff, getting directions, etc. One of the key differences to getting by with Swiss German. For example, "Fine, thank you" is Guet, merci; with guet being the German word for good/fine, while merci is from the French "thank you". In addition, there are many pronunciation differences which separate Swiss-German from either language. For example, the diphthong in Swiss-German "guet" versus the monophthong in High-German "gut".

You are unlikely to have to learn Swiss-German, as all German-speaking Swiss educated in modern day schools are also able to speak standard German. Nevertheless, saying a few words in Swiss-German will undoubtedly impress the locals.

source : Wikivoyage

Pronounciation Guide and Phrase List

  • Vowels

    · The vowels in swiss german are unlike the english vowels closer to the german and latin pronunciations.

    · Pronunciation Guide:

    · a - ah (as in saw)

    · e - eh (as in end)

    · i - e (as in eel)

    · o -oh (as in on)

    · u - oo (as in moose)

  • Basics

    · Hello/Hi (informal),Hoi!

    · Hi, everyone! (informal),Hoi zäme!

    · Hi (very informal),Saluti! [salooti!] / Saletti!

    · Hello (formal),Grüezi! [Grea-atsie]

    · Hello, Ms./Mr. ... (formal),Grüezi Frau/Herr ...

    · Hello, everyone (formal),Grüezi mitenand! metta-nònd

  • Problems

    · ich ha(n) mi(s) Portmonnaie verlore!,I lost my wallet! (n, s = variants, depending on the dialect)

    · ich fühl mi(ch) schlächt,I feel sick/not well/upset (ch = variant)

    · wo isch de Polizei Poschte?,where is the police station?

    · ich mues öppis mälde,I have to/must report something

    · Spital,Hospital

    · Hät's da es Spital i de Nöchi?,is there a hospital nearby?

    · ich bi(n) velore/mer sind verlore,I/we am/are lost!! (n = variant)

    · bitte säged sie mir wo...isch?,Can you please tell me where...is?

    · Bahnhof,train station

    · Taxi Stand,taxi station

    · Bank,Bank

    · Post,post office (prononced="pay-tay-tay")

    · Hotel " ",the " " hotel

    · Chile,church

    · ich bi(n) verliebt!,I'm in love

    · ich liib dich!,I love you!

  • Numbers

    · 1,eis, äis, ais, eins

    · 2,zwei, zwöi, zwai

    · 3,drü, drai, drei

    · 4,vier

    · 5,foif, fföif, füüf, fünf

    · 6,sächs, säggs

    · 7,sibe, sebe, siebe

    · 8,acht

    · 9,nün

    · 10,zäh, zehn

    · 11,elf

    · 12,zwölf

    · 13,drizäh

    · 14,vierzäh

    · 15,füfzäh

    · 16,sächzäh

    · 17,sibzäh

    · 18,achzäh

    · 19,nünzäh

    · 20,zwänzg, zwanzig

    · 21,einezwänzg, einezwanzig

    · 22,zweiezwänzg, zweiezwanzig

    · 23,drüezwänzg, dreiezwanzig

    · 24,vierezwänzg, vierezwanzig

    · 25,foifezwänzg, fünfezwanzig

    · 26,sächsezwänzg, säggsezwanzig

    · 27,sibenezwänzg, siebenezwanzig

    · 28,achtezwänzg, achtezwanzig

    · 29,nünezwänzg, nünezwanzig

    · 30,driss(i)g

    · 40,vierz(i)g

    · 50,füfzg, fuffzig

    · 60,sächz(i)g

    · 70,sibezg, siebzig

    · 80,achtz(i)g

    · 90,nünz(i)g

    · 100,hundert

    · 101,hundertundäis

    · 102,hundertzwöi

  • Clock time

    · time,Zit

    · What time is it?,Was isch för zit?

    · It is...,Es esch ...

    · one o'clock,eis

    · half past twelve,halbi eis

    · quarter to one,viertel vor eis

    · ten to one,zäh vor eis

    · quarter past one,virtel ab eis

    · ten past one,zäh ab eis

    · half past one,halbi zwoi

  • Duration

    · Wie lang gohts bis ... (How long does it take to...)

    · Wie lang het me bis...? (dito)

    · Duretslang bes of? (dito)

  • Days

    · Mäntag

    · Dienstag, Denstag

    · Mittwoch

    · Donnerstag

    · Frietag

    · Samstag

    · Sunntag

  • Months

    · January,Januar

    · February,Februar

    · March,März, Merz

    · April,April

    · May,Mai

    · June,Juni

    · July,Juli

    · August,Auguscht

    · September,Septämber

    · October,Oktober

    · November,Novämber

    · December,Dezämber

  • Writing time and date

    · date,Datom

    · tenth of January, 2009,zähte erste zwoitusignün

  • Colors

    · Red,Rot

    · Blue,blau

    · Black,schwarz

    · Green,grüen

    · White,Wiiss

    · Yellow,gäl(b)

    · Purple,violet

    · Orange,orange ("oransh")

    · Pink,rosa/pink

    · Gray,grau,Motorcycle - Töff, Döff,Vespa, Motorbike - Töffli, Döffli, Mofa,Bicycle - Velo,Tram (Streetcar) - Tram, Drämmli,Bus, Car - Bus,Reisecar - travel bus,Zug - train,Flugzüg, Flüüger - airplane,graad uus - straight ahead,links - left,rächts - right,vore, vorne - in front,vüre, vürschi, vorwärts - forwards,hinde - in the back,hindere, rückwärts, zrugg - backwards, back,Zum Hotel ... bitte! - to the ... hotel please!,was koschtet's öppe nach ...? - How much does it cost to ..., approximately?,Flughafe - airport,Bahnhof - train station,Hotel ... - ... hotel,ich ha(n)'s pressant! - I'm in a hurry!,mir händ's pressant! - We are in a hurry!,Bitte pressiere! - Hurry, please!

  • Money

    · Gäld / Bargäld, Stutz (coll.), Stütz (coll.),cash, money.

    · isch Bargäld ok? mit Bargäld bezahle?,can I pay with cash? pay with cash?

    · Was koschtet das?,how much is this/that?

    · Z'tüür! (Zu teuer),Too expensive! (might be very offensive!)

    · Das isch mir e chli z'tüür,That seems to be rather expensive (more polite phrasing)

    · Hät's no billigeres?,Do you have something cheaper?

    · Chann ich mit Kreditkarte zahle?,Can I use my Credit Card?

    · Trinkgäld (gäh),Tip (Tipping)

    · Ich (i) nimm das,I'll take/buy it (i pronounced like "e" in english)

    · I/Ich möcht öppis anders,I would like something else.

    · Händ si Souvenirs?,Do you have souvenirs?

    · Wo chan ich Gäld wächsle?,Where can I change money?

    · Wo isch de nächscht Bankomat?,Where is the closest ATM?

  • Eating

    · En guete!,Enjoy your meal!

    · Schoggi,Chocolate (gg is often pronounced as 'ck,' thus 'schocki')

    · Proscht, Pröschtli, Prosit!,Cheers

    · Herdöpfel / Erdöpfel,Potato(es) (pronounced hadopfel / erdoplfel)(Erdöpfel would roughly translate to "earth apple" similar to the French Pom De Terre.)

    · Rüebli,Carrot(s)

    · Ä Stangä, es Chliises,A small glass of beer

    · En Chübel, es Grosses,A big glass of beer

    · Es Glas Wii,A glass of wine

    · Es Glas Rote (Wii),A glass of red wine

    · Es Glas Wysse (Wii),A glass of white wine

    · Oktobertee,wine (slang/coll.)

    · Chriesi,cherry/cherries

    · Chueche,pie

    · Gipfeli,croissant(s)

    · Milchkafi, Schale,cafe au lait

    · Kafi crème,coffee

    · Bier,beer

    · Suufe,to drink beer/alcohol...

    · Schwiizer Chääs,Swiss cheese

    · Röschti,mashed, fried potatoes (a Swiss speciality)

    · Fondue,Fondue (melted Swiss cheese in a bowl, a Swiss speciality, usually eaten during winter-time only)

    · Raclette,melted, roasted Swiss cheese (a Swiss speciality, usually eaten during winter-time only)

    · Züri-Gschnätzlets,Cut veal, often served with Röschti, speciality of Zurich

    · Ich würdi gern e Schwiizer Spezialität probiere,I'd like to taste a Swiss speciality

    · Was chönd Sie mir empfehle?,Can you recommend something?

  • Bars

    · e Schtange, es Chliises,A small glass of beer

    · en Chübel, es Grosses,A large glass of beer

    · en Aperitiv,a starter

    · Pröschtli!, zum Wohlsii!,Cheers!

    · Chueche, Cake, Flade,Cake

  • Shopping

    · Poschtä, iichaufe,Going shopping

    · Wieviel choschtet ...?,How much does ... cost?

    · Gits en Rabatt? Gits en Ermässigung?,Can you give me a discount?

    · Wo häts ...?,Where can I find ...?

  • Driving

    · Auto fahre,driving a car

    · Wo ane fahrt dä bus?,Where is this bus going to?

    · Fahruswiis,driving license

    · Verkehrsregle,traffic rules

    · Unfall,accident

    · Polizischt,police officer

    · Rechtsverkehr,right-hand traffic/driving (that's the way to drive in Switzerland)

  • Other

    · Händ ihr de ... kaputt gmacht?,Did you destroy the ...?

    · Hoi,Hi (informal)

    · Grüezi Frau/Herr,Hello (formal)

    · Guete Morge,Good morning (informal and formal)

    · Guete Abig,Good evening (informal and formal)

    · Schöne Hinicht,Have a pleasant evening (informal and formal)