Swiss Standard German

Swiss Standard German[1][2][3] (German: Schweizer Standarddeutsch),[4] or Swiss High German[5][6][7][note 1] (German: Schweizer Hochdeutsch[8] or Schweizerhochdeutsch),[9] referred to by the Swiss as Schriftdeutsch, or Hochdeutsch, is the written form of one of four official languages in Switzerland, besides French, Italian and Romansh.[10] It is a variety of Standard German, used in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. It is mainly written, and rather less often spoken.

Swiss Standard German is not a German dialect, but a variety of standard German. It is not to be confused with Swiss German, an umbrella term for the various Alemannic German dialects (in the sense of "traditional regional varieties") that are the default everyday languages in German-speaking Switzerland.

German is a pluricentric language. In contrast with other local varieties of German, Swiss Standard German has distinctive features in all linguistic domains: not only in phonology, but also in vocabulary, syntax, morphology and orthography. These characteristics of Swiss Standard German are called Helvetisms. Besides influences from Alemannic German, those characteristics include extensive use of loan words from Romance languages, especially French.

Swiss Standard German
Swiss High German[note 1]
Schweizer Standarddeutsch
Schweizer Hochdeutsch
RegionSwitzerland, Liechtenstein
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Written Swiss Standard German

Swiss Standard German (SSG) is the official written language in German-speaking Switzerland. It is used in books, all official publications (including all laws and regulations), in newspapers, printed notices, most advertising and in other printed matter. Authors write literature mainly using Swiss Standard German; some dialect literature exists. SSG is similar in most respects to the Standard German in Germany and Austria; there are a few differences in spelling, most notably the replacing of the German ligature ß with ss. For example:

  • Strasse = Straße (Germany) = street

There are some differences in vocabulary, including, for instance, using a loanword from another language. For example:

  • Billett (from French) = Fahrkarte (Germany) = ticket (for bus/tram/train etc.)
  • Führerausweis or Billet (colloquial) = Führerschein (Germany) = driving licence
  • Velo (from French) = Fahrrad (Germany) = bicycle
  • Natel or Handy = Handy/Mobiltelefon (Germany) = mobile phone
  • parkieren = parken (Germany) = to park
  • Poulet (from French) = Hähnchen (Germany) = chicken

In addition, SSG uses different orthography in letter writing, and the salutations used for the same also differ from Standard German.

The Swiss use the Swiss Standard German word Lernfahrausweis for a learner's driving permit (note how it differs from the SSG word for a "regular" driving license: Führerausweis).

The Swiss use the Standard German word Spital (hospital). Spital is also found in volumes of Standard German language dictionaries; however, Germans from northern Germany prefer to use Krankenhaus, whereas Spital is also used in areas of southern Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein.

There are differences in gender for some nouns:

  • de-ch: das Tram (neuter); de: die Tram (feminine) (Straßenbahn is used more frequently in Germany); en: tram
  • de-ch: das E-Mail (neuter); de: die E-Mail (feminine); en: e-mail

Some expressions are borrowed from French and thus differ from usage in Germany, such as

  • de-ch: ich habe kalt (literally "I have cold"), de: mir ist [es] kalt (literally "[it] is cold to me")
  • de-ch: das geht dir gut, de: das passt dir gut (it suits you)

The Swiss keyboard layout has no ß key, nor does it have the capital umlaut keys Ä, Ö and Ü. This dates back to mechanical typewriters that had the French diacritical marks letters on these keys to allow the Swiss to write French on a Swiss German QWERTZ keyboard (and vice versa). Thus a Swiss German VSM keyboard has an ä key that prints an à (a-grave) when shifted.[11] However, it is possible to write uppercase umlauts by use of caps lock or by using the ¨ dead key.

The names of municipalities, towns, stations, and streets are often not written with a starting capital umlaut, but instead with Ae, Oe and Ue, such as the Zürich suburb Oerlikon, or the hamlet Aetzikofen, or the Bernese municipality Uebeschi.[12] However, field names, such as Äbenegg, Ötikon (near Stäfa), or Überthal, and any other word, such as Ärzte (English: physicians), usually start with capital umlauts.[13]

As for the various dialects of Swiss German, they are occasionally written, but their written usage is mostly restricted to informal situations such as private text messages, e-mails, letters, notes, or within social media such as Facebook. The ability of German Swiss to transliterate their language into writing is an integral and important part of the identity and culture of German-speaking Switzerland.[14]

Spoken Swiss Standard German

The default spoken language in German-speaking Switzerland is the respective local dialect. Due to a rather large inter-cantonal migration rate (about 5% p.a.) within modern Switzerland for decades, many different Swiss German dialects are spoken in any one place, especially in urban areas; for example, in the city of Zurich (end of 2013): of the 272,700 Swiss (total: 400,000) living in Zurich, only 40% (28%) are from Zurich itself with 51% (36%) from the entire canton of Zurich.[15]

Outside of any educational setting, Swiss Standard German is only spoken in very few specific formal situations, such as in news broadcasts and reputable programmes of the public media channels; in the parliaments of German-speaking cantons; in the federal parliament in Berne (unless another official language of Switzerland is used), although dialect is certainly encroaching on this domain; in loudspeaker announcements in public places such as railway stations, etc. Church services, including the sermon and prayers, are usually in Swiss Standard German. Generally in any educational setting Swiss Standard German is used (during lessons, lectures or tutorials). However, outside of lessons Swiss-German dialects are used, even when, for example, talking to a teacher about the class. The situations in which Swiss Standard German is spoken are characteristically formal and public, and there are situations where written communication is also important.

In informal situations, Swiss Standard German is only used whenever a German Swiss is communicating with a non-Swiss and it is assumed that this person does not understand the respective dialect. Among each other, the German-speaking Swiss use their respective Swiss German dialect, irrespective of social class, education or topic.

Unlike in other regions where German varieties are spoken, there is no continuum between Swiss Standard German and the Swiss German dialects. The speakers speak either Swiss Standard German, or a Swiss German dialect, and they are conscious about this choice.[14]

Nevertheless, about 10%, or 828,200, of Swiss residents speak High German (also called Standard German) at home, but mainly due to the presence of German immigrants.[16]


The concurrent usage of Swiss Standard German and Swiss German dialects has been called a typical case of diglossia.[17] This claim has been debated because the typical diglossia situation assumes that the standard variety has high prestige, whereas the informal variety has low prestige.[18] In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, however, the Swiss German dialects do not have a low prestige and permeate every socio-economic class of society.

Since Swiss Standard German is the usual written language and the Swiss German dialects are the usual spoken language, their interrelation has been called a medial diglossia.[18]

Attitude to spoken Swiss Standard German

Most German Swiss can speak fluent Swiss Standard German, but may or may not like doing so, as it feels stilted and unnatural to many. When they compare their Swiss Standard German to the way people from Germany speak, they think their own proficiency is inferior because it is studied and slower. Most German Swiss think that the majority speak rather poor Swiss Standard German; however, when asked about their personal proficiency, a majority will answer that they speak quite well.[19]


  1. ^ a b The usage of the literal translation High German in order to refer to the German dachsprache should be avoided, since a regional variety group is referred to with the same name.


  1. ^ Russ (1994), p. 7.
  2. ^ Sanders, Ruth H. (2010), German: Biography of a Language, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., p. 200, ISBN 978-0-19-538845-9
  3. ^ Horvath, Barbara M.; Vaughan, Paul (1991), Community languages: a handbook, Multilingual Matters, Multilingual Matters, p. 101, ISBN 978-1853590917
  4. ^ Dürscheid & Businger (2006).
  5. ^ Russ (1994), pp. 55–56, 73–80, 84–87, 89–92, 96, 100 and 114.
  6. ^ "The problems of Austrian German in Europe". euro|topics. 16 March 2006. Retrieved 2015-05-13.
  7. ^ Leeman, Adrian (2012), Swiss German Intonation Pattern, Studies in language variation, 10, John Benjamins, ISBN 9789027234902
  8. ^ Hove (2007).
  9. ^ Hove (2007), pp. 2 and 4.
  10. ^ "Programme national de recherche PNR 56: Diversité des langues et compétences linguistiques en Suisse" (in French, German, and Italian). Berne, Switzerland: Fonds National Suisse. 2009. Retrieved 2015-05-10.
  11. ^ "Swiss standard: former VSM standard SN 07402". Winterhur. Switzerland: Schweizerische Normen-Vereinigung (SNV).
  12. ^ "Empfehlungen zur Schreibweise der Gemeinde- und Ortschaftsnamen, Richtlinien zur Schreibweise der Stationsnamen" (PDF) (Federal Recommendation) (in German) (Version 1.0 ed.). Bundesamt für Landestopografie, Bundesamt für Verkehr, Bundesamt für Statistik. 20 January 2010. p. 20. Retrieved 2014-05-16. In der Schweiz sind auf historischen Karten grosse Umlaute mit Ae, Oe und Ue bereits vor der Einführung der Schreibmaschine um ca. 1880 zu finden. Der Umstand, dass später auf der Schweizer Schreibmaschinentastatur keine Ä, Ö, Ü existierten, dürfte diese Schreibtradition gefördert haben. Heute wo die Schreibung Ä, Ö und Ü ohne weiteres möglich wäre, wurden wegen der einheitlichen Schreibweise in Verzeichnissen die grossen Umlaute von Gemeinde-, Ortschafts- und Stationsnamen konsequent als Ae, Oe und Ue geschrieben. ... Umlaute von A, O, U am Anfang von Flurnamen schreibt man gewöhnlich als Ä, Ö, Ü. Falls entsprechende Namen als Gemeinde oder Ortschaft existieren oder falls es sich um öffentliche Bauwerke handelt, werden die Umlaute häufig als Ae, Oe, Ue geschrieben
  13. ^ "Empfehlung: Gebäudeadressierung und Schreibweise von Strassennamen für die deutschsprachige Schweiz, Mai 2005" (PDF) (Federal Recommendation) (in German) (Version 1.6 ed.). Eidgenössische Vermessungsdirektion, Bundesamt für Landestopografie. 3 May 2005. p. 19. Archived from the original (MS Word) on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-16. Die Schreibweise Ae, Oe, Ue am Anfang von Strassennamen ist weit verbreitet, ebenso bei Orts- und Stationsnamen. Die Weisung über die Erhebung und Schreibweise der Lokalnamen sieht für Lokalnamen Ä, Ö, Ü vor. Die Meinungen, welche Schreibweise für Strassennamen gewählt werden soll, sind recht unterschiedlich. Das Eidg. Gebäude- und Wohnungsregister macht zu einer allfälligen Umstellung keine Vorschläge, empfiehlt jedoch, sich innerhalb einer Gemeinde für die eine oder andere Variante zu entscheiden. Bei einer Schreibweise bestehender Namen mit Ae, Oe, Ue wird abgeraten, Ä, Ö und Ü für neue Strassennamen zu verwenden.
  14. ^ a b von Matt (2012).
  15. ^ "Bevölkerung Stadt Zürich" (PDF) (Publication) (in German) (Ausgabe 4/2013 ed.). Zürich: Statistik, Stadt Zürich. 17 April 2014. p. 5. Retrieved 2014-05-15.
  16. ^ "Sprachen, Religionen – Daten, Indikatoren: Sprachen – Üblicherweise zu Hause gesprochene Sprachen" (official site) (in German, French, and Italian). Neuchâtel, Switzerland: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2016-01-13. Zu Hause oder mit den Angehörigen sprechen 60,1% der betrachteten Bevölkerung hauptsächlich Schweizerdeutsch, 23,4% Französisch, 8,4% Italienisch, 10,1% Hochdeutsch und 4,6% Englisch
  17. ^ Ferguson, C. A. (1972) [orig. 1959-60], "Diglossia", in Giglioli, P. P. (ed.), Language and Social Context, Harmondsworth: Penguin, pp. 232–251
  18. ^ a b Barbour, S.; Stevenson, P. (1990), Variation in German, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 212–213
  19. ^ Heule (2006).


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  • Dürscheid, Christa; Businger, Martin, eds. (2006), Schweizer Standarddeutsch: Beiträge zur Varietätenlinguistik, Tübingen, Germany: Narr Francke Attempto, ISBN 978-3-8233-6225-8
  • Hägi, Sara (2006), Nationale Varietäten im Unterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache (in German), Frankfurt am Main, Germany u. a., ISBN 978-3-631-54796-0
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10vor10 ("10 to 10") is a current affairs programme broadcast at 21.50 every Monday to Friday evening on the German-language Swiss public television channel SRF 1.

Einstein (Swiss TV series)

Einstein is the title of an infotainment show on the German-speaking Swiss public television channel SRF 1. Einstein is an in-house production by Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen (SRF) and reports on phenomena and mysteries of everyday life and of life.

Fascht e Familie

Fascht e Familie (German: Beinahe eine Familie) is a Swiss German language television comedy serial (sitcom) of the 1990s. It was filmed and produced at locations in Switzerland by Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF.

German-speaking Switzerland

The German-speaking part of Switzerland (German: Deutschschweiz, French: Suisse alémanique, Italian: Svizzera tedesca, Romansh: Svizra tudestga) comprises about 65 percent of Switzerland (North Western Switzerland, Eastern Switzerland, Central Switzerland, most of the Swiss Plateau and the greater part of the Swiss Alps).

The variety of the German language spoken in Switzerland is called Swiss German which refers to any of the Alemannic dialects and which are divided into Low, High and Highest Alemannic. The only exception within German-speaking Switzerland is the municipality of Samnaun where an Austro-Bavarian dialect is spoken.

German is the sole official language in 17 Swiss cantons (Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Glarus, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Uri, Zug, and Zurich). French and German are co-official in 3 cantons (Bern, Fribourg, and Valais). In the trilingual canton of Graubünden, more than half the population speaks German, while most of the rest speak one of the other official languages, Romansh and Italian.

While the French-speaking Swiss prefer to call themselves Romands and their part of the country la Romandie, the German-speaking Swiss used to refer to (and, colloquially, still do) the French-speaking Swiss as "Welsche", and to their area as Welschland, which has the same etymology as the English Welsh (see Walha). In Germany Welsch and Welschland refer to Italy; there, the term is antiquated, rarely used, and somewhat disparaging.

By the Middle Ages, a marked difference had developed between the rural cantons of the German-speaking part of Switzerland and the city cantons, divided by views about trade and commerce. After the Reformation, all cantons were either Catholic or Protestant, and the denominational influences on culture added to the differences. Even today, where all cantons are somewhat denominationally mixed, the different historical denominations can be seen in the mountain villages, where Roman Catholic Central Switzerland abounds with chapels and statues of saints, and the farm houses in the very similar landscape of the Protestant Bernese Oberland show Bible verses carved on the housefronts, instead.

German language

German (Deutsch [dɔʏtʃ] (listen)) is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

One of the major languages of the world, German is the first language of almost 100 million people worldwide and the most widely spoken native language in the European Union. Together with French, German is the second most commonly spoken foreign language in the EU after English, making it the second biggest language in the EU in terms of overall speakers. German is also the second most widely taught foreign language in the EU after English at primary school level (but third after English and French at lower secondary level), the fourth most widely taught non-English language in the US (after Spanish, French and American Sign Language), and the second most commonly used scientific language as well as the third most widely used language on websites after English and Russian. The German-speaking countries are ranked fifth in terms of annual publication of new books, with one tenth of all books (including e-books) in the world being published in the German language. In the United Kingdom, German and French are the most-sought after foreign languages for businesses (with 49% and 50% of businesses identifying these two languages as the most useful, respectively).German is an inflected language with four cases for nouns, pronouns and adjectives (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative), three genders (masculine, feminine, neuter), two numbers (singular, plural), and strong and weak verbs. German derives the majority of its vocabulary from the ancient Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. A portion of German words are derived from Latin and Greek, and fewer are borrowed from French and Modern English. With slightly different standardized variants (German, Austrian and Swiss Standard German), German is a pluricentric language. It is also notable for its broad spectrum of dialects, with many unique varieties existing in Europe and also other parts of the world. Due to the limited intelligibility between certain varieties and Standard German, as well as the lack of an undisputed, scientific difference between a "dialect" and a "language", some German varieties or dialect groups (e.g. Low German or Plautdietsch) are alternatively referred to as "languages" or "dialects".


Helvetisms (New Latin Helvetia "Switzerland" and -ism) are features distinctive of Swiss Standard German, that distinguish it from Standard German. The most frequent Helvetisms are in vocabulary and pronunciation, but there are also some distinctive features within syntax and orthography.

The French and Italian spoken in Switzerland have similar terms, which are also known as Helvetisms. Current French dictionaries, such as the Petit Larousse, include several hundred helvetisms.

Henri Laaksonen

Henri Joona Julius Laaksonen (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhenri ˈlɑːksonen], Swiss Standard German: [ˈhɛnriː ˈlaːksonɛn]; born 31 March 1992) is a Swiss-Finnish tennis player. His highest singles ranking is world No. 93, which he achieved in August 2017, and his highest doubles ranking is world No. 191, achieved in December 2018.

When Laaksonen started playing tennis, he represented Finland. Since January 2011, he has represented Switzerland.

Lake Überlingen

Lake Überlingen (Standard German of Germany: Überlinger See, Swiss Standard German: Überlingersee) is the northwestern "finger" of the Obersee, the lower part of Lake Constance. The boundary of lake is defined as the ferry link from Meersburg to Constance. It extends north to Bodman-Ludwigshafen.

In contrast to the main south-eastern part of the Upper Lake, which is a condominium, Lake Überlingen is considered German territory.

The total area of Lake Obersee is about 473 km²; with its 61 km², Lake Überlingen is about as large as the Untersee part of the lake. The elevation of the water surface is about 395 m above sea level. The maximum depth of Lake Überlingen of 147 m is significantly lower than that of rest of the Obersee with 254 m.

Mainau, the Island of Flowers, is on the Constance side of Lake Überlingen. Neighboring municipalities are Meersburg, Überlingen, Uhldingen-Mühlhofen and Sipplingen in Bodenseekreis as well as Allensbach, Bodman-Ludwigshafen and the city of Constance in the Landkreis of Constance.

The Seefeld Aach in Uhldingen flows into Lake Überlingen in Uhldingen, and the Stockacher Aach between Bodman and Ludwigshafen. Several smaller streams also flow into the lake.

The intake point of the Bodensee-Wasserversorgung is in Sipplingen, at a depth of approximately 60 m. This firm supplies about 4 million people in many parts of Baden-Württemberg with drinking water, producing about 135 million m³ annually. This represents approximately 1.25% of the discharge.

Like the rest of Lake Constance, Lake Überlingen is a popular water sports area. Because of its steep banks, it is also a popular scuba diving area. It is, however, dangerous: the banks drop off steeply to about 60 m, visibility is limited, the currents often change and the water temperature in the deeper parts is only 4-5 °C. Novice divers drown almost every year.

Languages of Switzerland

The four national languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian and Romansh. All but Romansh maintain equal status as official languages at the national level within the Federal Administration of the Swiss Confederation. In some situations, Latin is used, particularly as a single language to denote the country.

In 2017, the population of Switzerland was 62.6% native speakers of German (58.5% speak Swiss German and/or 11.1% Standard German at home); 22.9% French (mostly Swiss French, but including some Arpitan dialects); 8.2% Italian (mostly Swiss Italian, but including Lombard dialects); and 0.5% Romansh. The German region (Deutschschweiz) is roughly in the east, north and center; the French part (la Romandie) in the west and the Italian area (Svizzera italiana) in the south. There remains a small Romansh-speaking native population in Graubünden in the east. The cantons of Fribourg, Bern and Valais are officially bilingual; the canton of Graubünden is officially trilingual.


Muesli (); Swiss German: Müesli [ˈmyəsli], non-Swiss Standard German: Müsli [ˈmyːsli] ) is a cold breakfast cereal dish based on rolled oats and ingredients like grains, nuts, seeds and fresh or dried fruits. This mix may be combined with one or more liquids like milk, almond milk, other plant milks, yogurt, or fruit juice and left for a time to soften the oats before being consumed. The cereal is served cold.Developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital, muesli is available ready-made in prepackaged dry form, or it can be made from scratch. In Switzerland and Germany, it is also eaten as a light evening dish called Birchermüesli complet: muesli with bread (butterbrot) and coffee with milk (café au lait).

PostBus Switzerland

PostBus Switzerland (known as PostAuto Schweiz in Swiss Standard German, CarPostal Suisse in Swiss French, AutoPostale Svizzera in Swiss Italian, and AutoDaPosta Svizra in Romansh) is a subsidiary company of the Swiss Post, which provides regional and rural bus services throughout Switzerland, and also in France, Germany, and Liechtenstein.

The Swiss PostBus service evolved as a motorized successor to the stagecoaches that previously carried passengers and mail in Switzerland, with the Swiss postal service providing postbus services carrying both passengers and mail. Although this combination had been self-evident in the past, the needs of each diverged towards the end of the twentieth century, when the conveyance of parcels was progressively separated from public transportation. This split became official with the conversion of PostBus into a separate subsidiary of the Swiss Post in February 2005.

The buses operated by PostBus are a Swiss icon, with a distinctive yellow livery and three-tone horn. The company uses an image of a posthorn as a logo on its buses and elsewhere. On some mountain roads, indicated by a traffic sign of a yellow posthorn on a blue background, the public transport, in particular the postal buses, have priority over other traffic and traffic users must follow instructions by public transport drivers.


Romandy (French: la Romandie) is the French-speaking part of western Switzerland. In 2018, about 2.1 million people, or 25.1% of the Swiss population, lived in Romandy. The bulk of the romand population lives in the Arc Lémanique region along Lake Geneva, connecting Geneva, Vaud and the Lower Valais.

Schweiz aktuell

Schweiz aktuell (literally "Switzerland Today") is the title of a current affairs show on German-language Swiss public channel SRF 1. Started in 1981 as DRS aktuell, Schweiz aktuell has, since 1991, been broadcast from 19:00 to 19:25 from Monday to Friday on SRF 1 and repeated on SRF info.

Standard German

Standard German, High German, or more precisely Standard High German, (German: Standarddeutsch, Hochdeutsch, or in Swiss Standard German Schriftdeutsch), is the standardized variety of the German language used in formal contexts, and for communication between different dialect areas. It is a pluricentric Dachsprache with three codified (or "standardized") specific regional variants: German Standard German, Austrian Standard German, and Swiss Standard German.

Regarding the spelling and punctuation, a recommended standard is published by the Council for German Orthography (formed in 2004) which represents the governments of all majority and minority German-speaking countries and dependencies. Adherence is obligatory not for everyday use but for government institutions including schools. For pronunciation, there is no official standards body but there is a long-standing de facto standard pronunciation ("Bühnendeutsch"), most commonly used in formal speech and teaching materials; it is similar to the formal German spoken in and around Hanover. Adherence to those standards by private individuals and companies, including the print and audio-visual media, is voluntary but widespread.

Swiss German

Swiss German (Standard German: Schweizerdeutsch, Alemannic German: Schwyzerdütsch, Schwiizertüütsch, Schwizertitsch Mundart, and others) is any of the Alemannic dialects spoken in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and in some Alpine communities in Northern Italy bordering Switzerland. Occasionally, the Alemannic dialects spoken in other countries are grouped together with Swiss German as well, especially the dialects of Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg, which are closely associated to Switzerland's.Linguistically, Swiss German forms no unity. The linguistic division of Alemannic is rather into Low, High and Highest Alemannic, varieties all of which are spoken both inside and outside Switzerland. The only exception within German-speaking Switzerland is the municipality of Samnaun where a Bavarian dialect is spoken. The reason "Swiss German" dialects constitute a special group is their almost unrestricted use as a spoken language in practically all situations of daily life, whereas the use of the Alemannic dialects in other countries is restricted or even endangered.The dialects of Swiss German must not be confused with Swiss Standard German, the variety of Standard German used in Switzerland. Most people in Germany do not understand Swiss German. Therefore, when an interview with a Swiss German speaker is shown on German television, subtitles are required. Although Swiss German is the native language, from age 6, Swiss school students additionally learn Swiss Standard German at school and are thus capable of understanding, writing and speaking Standard German with varying abilities mainly based on the level of education.

University of Zurich

The University of Zurich (UZH, German: Universität Zürich), located in the city of Zürich, is the largest university in Switzerland, with over 25,000 students. It was founded in 1833 from the existing colleges of theology, law, medicine and a new faculty of philosophy.

Currently, the university has seven faculties: Philosophy, Human Medicine, Economic Sciences, Law, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Theology and Veterinary Medicine. The university offers the widest range of subjects and courses of any Swiss higher education institution. As of October 2018, 23 Nobel laureates and 1 Turing Award winner have been affiliated with University of Zurich as alumni, faculty or researchers.

Zeller See (Lake Constance)

The Zeller See (Standard German of Germany; Swiss Standard German: Zellersee; could be translated as "Lake of Radolfzell") is part of the Lower Lake, the lower part of Lake Constance. It lies in the bay of Radolfzell, and between the peninsula of Mettnau to the north and the peninsula of Höri to the south. To the west it is bounded by the ried of the Radolfzeller Aach.The Zeller See has a maximum depth of 22 metres.


Zürich or Zurich ( ZEWR-ik; see below for other names) is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zürich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

Permanently settled for over 2,000 years, Zürich was founded by the Romans, who, in 15 BC, called it Turicum. However, early settlements have been found dating back more than 6,400 years ago. During the Middle Ages, Zürich gained the independent and privileged status of imperial immediacy and, in 1519, became a primary centre of the Protestant Reformation in Europe under the leadership of Huldrych Zwingli.The official language of Zürich is German, but the main spoken language is the local variant of the Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Zürich German.

Many museums and art galleries can be found in the city, including the Swiss National Museum and the Kunsthaus. Schauspielhaus Zürich is one of the most important theatres in the German-speaking world.Zürich is a leading global city and among the world's largest financial centres despite having a relatively small population. The city is home to a large number of financial institutions and banking companies. Most of Switzerland's research and development centres are concentrated in Zürich and the low tax rates attract overseas companies to set up their headquarters there.

Monocle's 2012 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Zürich first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within". According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe in terms of GDP per capita. The Economist Intelligence Unit's Global Liveability Ranking sees Zürich rank among the top ten most liveable cities in the world.


In German orthography, the grapheme ß, called Eszett (IPA: [ɛsˈtsɛt]) or scharfes S (IPA: [ˈʃaɐ̯fəs ˈʔɛs], [ˈʃaːfəs ˈʔɛs], lit. "sharp S"), represents the [s] phoneme in Standard German, specifically when following long vowels and diphthongs, while ss is used after short vowels.

The name Eszett combines the names of the letters of s (Es) and z (Zett) in German. The character's Unicode names in English are sharp s and eszett.It originates as the sz digraph as used in Old High German and Middle High German orthography, represented as a ligature of long s and tailed z in blackletter typography (ſʒ), which became conflated with the ligature for long s and round s (ſs) used in Roman type.

The grapheme has an intermediate position between letter and ligature.

It behaves as a ligature in that it has no separate position in the alphabet. In alphabetical order, it is treated as the equivalent of ⟨ss⟩ (not ⟨sz⟩).

It behaves like a letter in that its use is prescribed by orthographical rules and conveys phonological information (use of ß indicates that the preceding vowel is long).

Traditionally, it did not have a capital form, although some type designers introduced de facto capitalized variants of ß.

In 2017, the Council for German Orthography ultimately adopted capital ß (ẞ) into German orthography, ending a long orthographic debate.While ß has been used as a ligature for the ⟨ss⟩ digraph in early modern printing for languages other than German, its use in modern typography is limited to the German language. In the 20th century, it fell out of use completely in Swiss Standard German (used in Switzerland and Liechtenstein), while it remains part of the orthography of Standard German elsewhere.

ß was encoded by ECMA-94 (1985) at position 223 (hexadecimal DF), inherited by Latin-1 and Unicode (U+00DF ß LATIN SMALL LETTER SHARP S).

The HTML entity ß was introduced with HTML 2.0 (1995). The capital variant (U+1E9E ẞ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER SHARP S) was introduced by ISO 10646 in 2008.

Official languages
Major dialect groups
Sign languages

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