Swiss German, the spoken language
Well, learning Bärndütsch is basically the same as learning another language, but with some additional barriers. These barriers arise from the fact that Bärndütsch (and Swiss German in general) is our native language to speak, but not to write*.
This leads to several problems for foreigners who want to learn our language:
- They have to learn two languages – Swiss German to understand what we say and German to read what we write. The two languages are highly related, but they have nevertheless A LOT of differences.
- They cannot rely on an official grammar, because Swiss German dialects do not need one. The children learn intuitively to speak their mother tongue, but they never learn to write it. Instead they learn at school to speak and write German. Well, at least Bärndütsch has an unofficial grammar.
- They have to deal with different spellings for the same words. Because there is no orthography for Swiss German, one person might write «Chübu», the other «Chübel», both of them mean the same word (a bucket).
- There are only few teaching materials to learn Bärndütsch – needless to say that most of them are for german or french speaking people.
|The first english textbook |
to learn Bärndütsch
But now, at last, I proudly present the first english textbook to learn Bärndütsch: «Bärndütsch – Dialäkt for you»! Proudly because it was written by Ursula Pinheiro who has not only published Bärndütsch-textbooks for french and german speaking people, but is also a member of our Team at «berndeutsch.ch».
CD for pronunciation
A very important supplement is the CD. It contains all the main texts of the book to listen. The pronunciation is very important and since the words do not have a strict spelling, they can sometimes look quite strange and leave the foreigner behind in total helplessness how to speak these funny written words.
This textbook fills a long-lasting gap of available materials to learn Bärndütsch for anglophones. The other alternative is a Bärndütsch course, but even here in Berne it is hard to find one held in english. Outside of Berne I guess it is simply impossible to find such a course.
In a nutshell: Great news for all english speaking people who want to learn Bärndütsch (surely a huge flock :-). So, go get this textbook and have fun learning the lovely Bärndütsch!
* There is of course quite some literature in Bärndütsch available and the dialect is often used for informal written communications such as text messages, e-mails etc. But all formal correspondence is done in German.
«Bärndütsch – Dialäkt for you»
2011, hep verlag, Bern
176 pages, with CD-ROM
CHF 44.00, EUR 37.00