A few words about Swiss German

I hope everyone has started the week brightly despite all the rain falling on Switzerland today ending a long and fruitful period of sunny days and above average temperatures. Hopefully, summer will make a triumphant return in the next few weeks.

This weekend was busy as the return of football colliding with the local “Chilbi” in the village I live in. A “Chilbi” can be translated as “fun fair” and is popular in villages all over the country. It’s a great time to get together, have fun and learn what local merchants and farmers have in store. This year’s edition was no different with highlights being the Scooter rides and the party tents open to young & old alike.

“Chilbi” is also a distinctively Swiss German word with the German word “Kirmes” not sounding too familiar. For visitors and expats, even (or especially) to those who speak German, our language can be very confusing. Like everywhere, there are different dialects all around Switzerland. Bernese is decided different from the Zurich dialect which in turn differs greatly from the one spoken in Valais. To help with the confusion, I came across this wonderful collection of Swiss German words by fellow blogger Miss Peaches this morning and can only recommend it to anyone wanting to understand us better.

Looking through her list, I found some of the classic Swiss German words often used to demonstrate the quirks of our language. “Chuchichästli” (kitchen cupboard) is a popular example for our extensive use of “ch”.  The word for butter, “Anke” is a hotly debated topics in pubs as some people prefer to use the German “Butter”. “Glugsi” or “Hitzgi” are other very fitting words as they capture their meaning, hiccup, perfectly.

The list is fantastic and definitely worth a look! On first glance the only word I found missing would be “giggerig” which can be used to show excitement. That’s all I have for today and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sincerely yours,

2 thoughts on “A few words about Swiss German

  1. Pingback: Word of the Day Wednesday: Swiss German | EF Foundation for Foreign Study Mid-Atlantic

  2. Pingback: Birthday Party on the Swiss German border | wisdomphotography

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