Talking Swiss

We get asked a lot if our boys are speaking Swiss yet.  I thought I would answer that here.   Basically – No.  But they are learning.  They definitely are understanding a lot.  I notice if I ask them something in Swiss, that they understand.  I guess it is a bit like a newborn, they don’t talk for the first year or two of their life while they take everything in.  Then they start speaking later on.

We mostly speak English at home.  But we sing songs in Swiss and read stories in German (just to really confuse them!).

They do know a few words which they use in everyday language:

Grüezi (hello); Tchuss (goodbye); Danke (thank you); Bitte (please); Migros (local supermarket!); Coop (another supermarket – yes we spend lots of time at the supermarket!).  All the town names like Aarau, Oberentfelden, Luzern etc.  They can count to 10, say a few colours, and words like Baum (tree), Hund (dog), rägeboge (rainbow), and quite a few more…

Toby sings a few tunes in Swiss German that he has learnt at Muki Treff, Church, Playgroup or from a CD.  It is so cute listening to him sing nonsense – only a couple of words make sense in Swiss!  Today he came home rubbing his tummy and said ‘mein Bauch‘ (my tummy), he picked it up from a song he sung at Spielgruppe.  And then hopped on his bike and said ‘hey my bike is blau und grun’ (blue and green).  So two languages in one sentence!

Here are a couple of lines of a Swiss songs he sings over and over and over – but I love it:  (thanks Cornelia for the Kings Kids CD!)

Wenn i dra dänke, was Du fur mi hesch gmacht,
wott i niemeh vo Dir w
äg, wäg, wäg
Nei, nei, nie, nie, ä, ä, ä, wott i niemeh vo Dir wäg, wäg, wäg

2 Responses to “Talking Swiss”

  1. 1 Jessica

    That is great that you speak Swiss. What an advantage for the boys. I am still way behind in the Swiss German department… but I will get there. I am sure the boys will catch up quickly, as kids always learn languages faster!

  2. 2 Danielle Latman

    Dear Michelle,
    Hi, I’m an editor at Expatica and like your blog. Would you be interested in contributing a regular blog post to the Swiss Expatica site? Please email me if so:

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