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Heading to Switzerland? Make the locals smile in appreciation and learn these handy Swiss German travel phrases

Source: The Intrepid Guide, article written by ‘Michele’.

After spending a weekend in Zurich I realized that the locals don’t just speak French or just German instead, they speak a wonderful mixture of the two languages.

With that in mind next up in my travel phrase guide series is, Swiss-German!

As you know, I’m a firm believer that learning the local language in any destination is just as important as learning its history.

While we can’t all be polyglots, knowing a few choice phrases makes a load of difference when interacting with locals. Suddenly, their smiles become warmer and their eyes light up when they see you’ve made the effort to learn their language. Plus, it’s so rewarding to be able to converse in another language.

Suddenly, their smiles become warmer and their eyes light up when they see you’ve made the effort to learn their language. Plus, it’s so rewarding to be able to converse in another language.

In Switzerland, they speak Swiss German, and that’s something completely different from the German spoken in Germany. Swiss German has its own pronunciation, different words, its own grammar, and most Germans have difficulty understanding it.

While the German-speaking Swiss write standard German, there is no official Swiss German language. The Swiss can speak standard German very well, but to them, it’s a foreign language which they learn in school.

With that in mind, here are 10 super useful Swiss German travel phrases.

Hello – Grüezi
My name is … (formal) – I heisse …
My name is … (informal) Mi name isch …
How are you? (informal) – Wie goots Ihne?
How are you? (formal) – Wie goots?
Good, thanks and you? (informal) – Dangge, guet, und dir?
Good, thanks and you? (formal) – Dangge, guet, und Ihne?
Goodbye – (Uf) Widerluege / Tschüss
See you later – Bis spöter
Thank you – Merci
Thank you very much – Merci vilmal
Enjoy your meal! – En guete
Yes – Ja / No – Nein

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