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Showing posts from May, 2013

A Swiss German Travel Dictionary

The summer months are approaching quickly and with them coming closer Swiss citizens are getting ready for their yearly summer vacation. Many Swiss families make use of the long summer school break to visit a sunnier and warmer country like Italy, Greece or Spain. Quite a few Swiss people prefer to stay at home during their vacation or to travel and hike somewhere in Switzerland.

Whatever your preferences for this summer, I thought you might wanted to polish your travel vocabulary in Swiss German. This (non conclusive) list of travel terms in Swiss German which I like to call Swiss German Travel Dictionary will provide you with a good start into this venture. If you believe some words or expressions are missing let me know so I can add them! Enjoy!

Swiss German Travel Dictionary

aacho (to arrive)
Aakunft (arrival)
abflüge (to takeoff)
Abflug (takeoff)
Abreise (departure)
abreise (to depart)
Auto (car)
autofahre (to drive a car, to ride a car)
autostöpple (to hitchhike, lit. to stop a …

Swissminiatur

Last weekend, I spent a few days in Milano. It's a city worth seeing and as it is only a 3 1/2 hour drive from Zurich almost a must do for every expat in Switzerland. You can take a train to Milano as well which might save you the hassle of being stuck in traffic jam near the Gotthard tunnel. However, driving with your own car give you the options to see some sights along the scenic highway A2 that goes through Switzerland's Italian speaking part, the canton of Ticino.

One of the most popular attractions in the Ticino area is the Swissminiatur. As it's name already says, it is a miniature Switzerland. Over 100 miniature versions of famous Swiss buildings, institutions and installations have been built for this park. 
A path leads through the park and the Swissminiatur guide book explains what each miniature is and where the building is located in reality. The miniatures are beautifully made and combined with moving elements such as boats, cable cars, trains and cars. Sound…

Resources for Learners of Swiss German

Speaking the local language will help you greatly in managing life in Switzerland. You'll be treated differently if you speak at least some Swiss German, French or Italian - depending on where you'll live - and don't speak English all the time. It'll help you assimilate to Switzerland and will even make bureaucratic process easier.

I was born in Switzerland to Swiss parents which means that I've been speaking Swiss German all my life. However, I can imagine that the Swiss language is quite tricky to learn for someone who isn't Swiss. Even Germans who live close by sometimes struggle to understand a Swiss person speaking dialect.

So I started collecting resources for learners of Swiss German (and regular German) in Switzerland and online. Here is what I found so far:
Swiss German Skype Lessons: Kathrin offers affordable one-on-one lessons per Skype. There is a ton of free material on her website as well!Züri Slängikon: provides a great overview over Zurich slang …

Online Clothes Shopping #2

A few months ago I wrote about online clothes shopping in Switzerland. In my post I focussed on Zalando and Bonprix because they were most popular and the only online clothes shopping websites I had tried. Recently I tried another supplier for online shopping: La Redoute.



My experience with La Redoute was fine. The selection is large and the navigation on the website itself alright. My positive experience might also be connected to the fact that there was no need for me to return any clothes.

As it goes with online clothes shopping, the major issue is the return of clothes that don't fit or don't look as expected. According to La Redoute's terms and conditions you can return any items that you didn't like and you won't be charged for them. Also, if you want to exchange clothes (change size or color) you won't have to pay for the re-sending of the clothes, which means you'll pay just once in the first place. However, you will have to pay postal charges for s…

You Know You've Been Living in Switzerland Too Long When ...

Someone sent me a link to a really funny post about living in Switzerland a while ago. I was doing some organizing in my inbox today and stumbled upon it again. It's really very entertaining so I thought I'd share it with everyone. Maybe you'll recognize yourself or someone you know in this list.

You know you've been living in Switzerland too long when......you think it's economically wasteful to have more than one brand of a product in a store. ...you think spontaneity is OK, as long as it's planned. ...you think getting up early is good. ...you get upset in the train when a foreign tourist opens the window causing a draft to go down your back. ...you actually get interested in the local elections. ...you know the words to the Swiss national anthem. ...you expect the shop clerk to say goodbye after you purchase something. ...you wait for the shop clerk to open the door to let you out of their shop. ...you prefer to buy in small shops even though its more expens…

9 O'Clock Pass

I believe it is unnecessary to argue that the System of public transportation here in Switzerland is one of the best in the world. Busses and trains and even boats run regularly to almost any city, town and village - and mostly right on time.


However, there is one major downside to the Swiss system of public transportation: the prices. Compared to most countries in the world it is ridiculously expensive to ride a bus, tram or a train. For example The one hour ride from Basel to Zurich is more than 30 CHF. Prices do get more reasonable if you purchase a half price card (Halbtax) or a yearly/monthly pass for a region or route.

In the Zurich area you have an additional option: the 9 o'clock pass (9-Uhr-Pass). This day pass allows you to travel freely in the whole canton of Zurich (including boats, trains, busses and trams) for 25.- CHF only. Only condition: on weekdays you can start your journey only after 9 o'clock. That's also how the pass got its name. On weekends the pass…