Swinglish 101 – The Swiss Say the Darnest Things

Newly Swissed: Swinglish 101 – The Swiss Say the Darnest Things

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Dimitri Burkhard discovers (and shares) the joys of Swiss English.

Inspired by a post on englishforum.ch, we have decided to publish the funniest Swinglish translations and anecdotes. It is actually normal for most Swiss to speak English fairly well (among German, French, Italian, etc.), but occasionally words appear in the wrong context or are ever slightly off. For native English speakers, this results in some pretty amusing "Swinglish" (i.e. "Swiss English"). But just to set the record straight, this article is not intended to make fun, but rather to put a smile on our faces. I mean, some of these Swiss "sayings" are truly "mega cool" ;)

Special today - no ice cream.
(in a Swiss mountain inn)

Our wines leave you nothing to hope for!
(on a Swiss restaurant menu)

Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose.
(in a Zurich hotel room)

"I spent the holy day on the phone just to try and get a hold of this guy!" (whole)

"I did quite some snow shuffling this weekend!" (shoveling)

"I became a gift from my girlfriend today!" (have received)

"It was so funny skiing the other day!" (fun)

"I was so drunken on the weekend..." (drunk)

"The cooker at this restaurant is famous!" (chef)

"The rabbits were all action at Migros today!" (on sale)

"Let's go wellnessing this weekend!" (spa)

"Hello together!" (all)

"You can say you to me!" (offering "du" informality)

"Horny Chicken"
(on a restaurant menu, but huh?)

"Frosted the lemon" (thanks, Sylvia!)

Now, please share your own findings in the comments below!

Newly Swissed / Expatica

Reprinted with permission of Dimitri Burkhard. Newly Swissed is a lifestyle blog about all things Swiss: Culture, design, oddities and tourism.

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3 Comments To This Article

  • Majunche posted:

    on 16th August 2012, 23:47:19 - Reply

    Lighten up, guys, you sound like a couple of horny chickens. When those of us who speak a second language screw up and say something weird, we can hardly blame a native speaker for finding it amusing. The article is neither mean-spirited nor scornful, and acknowledges up front that most Swiss speak 3 or 4 languages, unlike the average American who speaks about .75 languages. So stop squawking!
  • Mike posted:

    on 16th August 2012, 06:48:57 - Reply

    I am an American and agree with nvm above. At least the Swiss can typically get by in several languages.
  • nvm posted:

    on 14th August 2012, 00:01:04 - Reply

    Uh Oh, the swiss speak bad english, how funny.
    And you? Do you speak anything but english, at least badly?