Swiss Pronunciation Guide

By Dick Oakes


A a, Ä ä, B b, C c, D d, E e, F f, G g,
H h, I i, J j, K k, L l, M m, N n, O o, Ö ö P p,
Q q, R r, S s, T t, U u, Ü ü, V v,
W w, X x, Y y, Z z


The Swiss German alphabet consists of the same 26 characters as in English. There is also the addition of a diacritical mark, the "umlaut." Most German vocabulary is derived from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.

Swiss German words are generally accented on the first syllable.

The t is unaspirated, making it sound more like d.

Swiss German uses a guttural "r," similar to that used by French; not a growling "r" as in English.

There is no past tense of a verb; the perfect tense is used.

Letters not listed are pronounced approximately as in English.


A, a   - a as in far
E, e   - e as in pen; e as in grey
I, i   - i as in machine
O, o   - o as in bottom; o as in north
U, u   - oo as in boot
Y, y   - ee as in free
 
Ä, ä   - a as in bear; a as in paid
Ö, ö   - eu as in fleur
Ü, ü   - eu as in fleur
 
Ch, ch   - ch as in loch
   d   - t as in pat when in final position
   gg   - ck as in block
J, j   - y as in yes
K, k   - ch as in loch
S, s   - s as in sit
Sp, sp   - shp at the beginning of a word
St, st   - sht
W, w   - v as in vim
Z, z   - ts as in bits
 
DIPTHONGS:
 
Æ, æ   - a as in act (used often in Swiss German but not used in German)
Ai, ai   - i as in lie
Äu, äu   - oi as in oil
Ee, ee   - a as in grey
Ei, ei   - ei as in height; sometimes ee as in free
Eu, eu   - eu as in fleur
Ie, ie   - ee as in free


Copyright © 2014 by Dick Oakes