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7 Swiss Words You Should Know

Jungfrau Region's Blogbuster Series / Nr. 52

Everyone knows that German is a very difficult language to learn. Well, guess what, Swiss German is probably even harder. There isn’t just «Swiss German» - every single canton and even every tiny village has its own dialect of Swiss German. So, if you learn Swiss German in Zurich, which would be «Züri-Dütsch» you will probably have a hard time understanding someone who grew up in Grindelwald. Here are some phrases that you might hear when travelling to the Jungfrau Region (and some that are just a fun thing to know).


From «Grüezi» to «Grüessech» to «Sali» to «Tschou», nothing is wrong. If you’re staying in the Jungfrau Region or pretty much anywhere in the Canton of Bern, «Grüessech» is the one to go with.


Switzerland is a very clean country, so you will be asked to take your trash home with you or throw it in the «Gischter», which means trashcan. Not to be confused with «geschter», which means «yesterday».


In a small talk conversation, someone might ask what you’re plans are for «hine». This usually means «tonight», occasionally it’s also used to talk about last night.


If you’re making fondue, be sure to add a little «Mutschgetnuss» (nutmeg).


«Aaber». If you understand German, you know that «aber» translates to «but». But guess what, that second «a» makes a big difference. If someone says «aaber», they mean snow free.


When picknicking, make sure to bring your «Hegel», probably the most famous swiss invention of all: the Swiss Army Knife.

These are just a few words that might come up in a conversation. But luckily, you won’t have to memorize everything – a lot of Swiss People speak English and if you ask them nicely, they will help you with your translation.

Here are some more fun words:

  • «rüssen» = snoring  
  • «Riitigampfi» = Swing
  • «Gluggsi» = Hiccup
  • «Z'mondrischt» = the next day
  • «Pfiffoltera» = butterfly

Dear Swiss People, we realize that there are so many different dialects that it’s impossible to make a list of words that everyone will agree with. So please don’t be angry with us if we were using a word differently than you would have. Feel free to let us know your favourite swiss words and their uses on Social Media: @jungfrauregion #jungfrauregion

Photo #1 by Denise Jans on Unsplash

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