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Heimal translates to "hey", but I similarly heard "hei-Dee" from the same person. The translator fails to give its english meaning. I don't think it's to be mistaken with the Swiss name "Heidi" which instead has emphasis on the first syllable instead of the second. Or I might have misheard, and it is just the same as saying the name. what does this expression mean?

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    heimal and hei-Dee are extremely uncommon - could you please give more context? Who uses this? Is this from a movie or similar? Is the speaker from a certain time period or region? – Arsak Feb 21 at 11:05
  • it was said by a European person not native to Germany or switzerland in present day – user610620 Feb 21 at 11:08
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    Could it be from an other language than German? And what exactly is the person saying? In which situation? – Arsak Feb 21 at 11:12
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    I'm not quite sure from the question whether "Dee" is meant to be pronounced as English or German; the English pronunciation would be spelled di or die in German, and the German pronunciation would be something like "day" in English. I think it's good practice to everything in German (or language other than English) in italics, unless the post is in German in which case put English in italics. – RDBury Feb 21 at 13:49
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Neither »heimal« nor »hei-dee« are German words. They are not used by German native speakers and have no meaning.


The most common German translations for the English salutation »Hey!« is:

Hallo!

Also in use:

He!
Hey!


The female surname »Heidi« is not Swiss ("Swiss" is not a language, similar to »Canadian« not being a language.) »Heidi« is the short version of »Adelheid« which is a German given name.

Heidi Klum is a German top-model, Heidi Horton is an Austrian Billionaire, Heidi Preuss is an US-American alpine skier, Heidi Greni is a Norwegian politician, and Heidi Range is a British pop singer.

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    In the US it's possible to say "Canadian" for "Canadian English". (The difference between US and Canadian English small but very noticeable to native speakers.) My understanding is that while the Swiss do learn Standard German in school, they do have a distinct dialect which is called Swiss German. Maybe you have to be more careful in German but I think in English you can get away with calling it Swiss for short. The suffix -i is (according to Wiktionary) common, and perhaps this is an instance of it. I've heard/read *Hallöchen" so there is a precedent. – RDBury Feb 21 at 13:38
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    @HubertSchölnast I think you meant Adelheid was a German given name and thus corrected it. – amadeusamadeus Feb 21 at 14:14
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    There are given names which are typical for Switzerland (like Beat) but Heidi is not one of them. – RHa Feb 21 at 16:10
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    I think the reasoning surrounding "Swiss" is a bit odd. Names can originate from or be associated with a place, and that can be expressed by the adjective based on that place, even if that adjective does not denote a language at the same time. As such, a name can be "Swiss" (schweizerisch) even if anything related to the language spoken in Switzerland would be referred to as "Swiss German" (schweizerdeutsch). – O. R. Mapper Feb 21 at 20:45
  • @RDBury: People in Canada also speak French. So, Canadian should mean both, English and French. (And Swiss should mean German and French and Italian and Romansh.) – Hubert Schölnast Feb 22 at 0:10

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