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How to Talk About the Weather With a Swiss Person

It's cold in Switzerland and it's not even November! As always, weather changes in Switzerland are a great topic for conversation at work, when doing shopping or when running into your upstairs neighbor. 'It's cold today!' or 'What a beautiful sunny day!' are common conversation starters. It's what we Swiss call a 'Lückenfüller' (lit. a gap filler) that people use to avoid uncomfortable silence in conversations.

The Weather - A Safe Topic

I believe talking about the weather is something that people do all over the world and in all different languages. It is a "safe" topic and you can feel free to join the comments about the cold or heat or rain or whatever the day brought along.

Little anecdotes about similar weather or totally different weather in other parts of the world can be shared as well. However, keep in mind that this is usually a short and rather shallow kind of conversation so you are expected to keep it short. After all, most of the people you weather-talk with are not your closest friends and are probably not interested in your whole life story.

How to Talk about the Weather with a Swiss Person

So, how should you talk about the weather with a Swiss person? Truth is, it's not very different from talking about the weather with anyone around the world with the main difference that it's done in Swiss German (or possibly French, Italian or Rumantsch if you're not in the German speaking part of Switzerland).

Short guide to talking about the weather in Swiss German:

Es isch x hüt.
(It's x today.)

Morn wirds x.
(Tomorrow it's going to be x.)

Geschter isch es x gsi.
(Yesterday it was x.)

Was für es x Wätter!
(What x weather!)

Hoffentlich wirds glii besser!
(Hopefully it will get better soon!)

"x" can stand for:
  • chalt (cold)
  • heiss (hot)
  • sehr heiss (very hot)
  • grau (grey)
  • näblig (foggy)
  • iischalt (icecold, freezing)
  • schwül (muggy)
  • nass (wet)
  • agnähm (pleasant)
  • gruusig (ugly)
  • schön (nice, pleasant)
  • sunnig (sunny)

Let me know any other weather related phrases you'd like to know in Swiss German!

Wetterhahn (weather rooster) - Rainer Sturm  /



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