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About this dictionary

This dictionary covers Swiss German as it is spoken today in the greater Zurich area.

About Swiss German

Swiss German are dialects spoken only in Switzerland but not in Germany. The Swiss dialects differ in grammar and pronunciation from High German. They are written only in private context but never in official documents, newspapers or business context. There are no official writing rules for Swiss German.

Audio

Push the audio icon icon at the top right to hear the word in Swiss German.

Tips and Tricks

As Swiss German has no official writing rules, people are free to adopt their own rules. Recent research shows however that people normally adapt the standard German writing. The more a Swiss German word differs from the standard, the more the writing follows the Swiss German pronunciation. We follow this principle to provide you a dictionary written the way people really write today.

Here you find some common alternative writing-rules.

Vowels

Sometimes a vowel is doubled or followed by an «h», indicating that the pronunciation is stretched. We write «fahre» (to drive), but you might also find «faare» or even «fare». These alternatives exist for all vowels a, e, i, o, u and all Umlauts ä, ö, ü. Here an example for «e».

ee - eh lehre - leere (to learn)
Other vowels that might be exchanged
e - ä mache - machä (to do)
eu - öi Freud - Fröid (joy)
ei - ai Meinig - Mainig (opinion)

Consonants

«St» is exchangeable with «scht» and «sp» with «schp» - no matter whether they stand at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the word.

st - scht Gascht - Gast
sp - schp Spiil - Schpiil

About Verena Schorn

I was born and raised in Zurich and have been offering Swiss German courses since 2015. The lessons are aimed at everyone who wants to understand or speak the dialect better.

More information about lessons and updates of the dictionary can be found on Verena's homepage.

Authors

© 2015 - 2020 by Verena Schorn, Peter Schorn.