The past two three days i am searching through forums for differences and difficulties between German and Swiss German.

My situation is: I am from Greece and I want to work as physiotherapist in Switzerland (german cantons, Zurich, Zug etc). I can speak pretty good German (still learning to become even more fluent). Will I be able to find a job (i suppose it will require knowing language) and communicate with the people using German or will I need also Swiss German?

Can the Swiss German be learned easily (eg in 2-3 months) if someone speaks German good enough already?

Thanks for any answers! :)


1 Answer 1


You don't need to speak Swiss German, but understanding it will probably be necessary, as in my experience some Swiss refuse/or are unable to speak an understandable Swiss Standard German.

When I (German native from northern Germany with no exposure to Swiss German) went on holidays to Switzerland I several times had to switch to English to avoid a communication failure. But after 3-4 days I got used to it better.

If you are interested in diving into a dialect, I recommend the dialect from Bern, Berndeutsch, because it is a bit slower than the others.

  • 1
    Totally agree with: understanding it will probably be necessary and Berndeutsch, because it is a bit slower than the others +1
    – toesslab
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 16:48

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