Tuesday, 31 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 31:366

Walking home from school. Snow on the trees and on the verges but none on the path. I passed the man clearing it on the way to school!

Some snow vocabulary today!
Isaac taught me this one -
eine Schneeballschlacht - a snowball fight

Others from my Swiss German app -
ein Schneepflug / Schneeschnüützi - a snow plough or blower
heftiges Schneegestöber / guuxä oder guugsä - heavy snow

Monday, 30 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 30:366

I've been in all day as I have an ill little boy so this wasn't taken today but is a photograph I took for such an eventuality. This escalator is very helpful as it clearly indicates where you should stand if you don't want to move (feet together on the right) and where you can expect people to give you room if you want to walk up / down the escalator (one foot on each stair on the right) Might seem obvious to 'natives' but for someone who has just moved here, it's very helpful to ensure I fit in - and don't get trampled!

Today's German is related to this - 
links  - left
rechts / rächts - right
(apparently if you're herding animals, you say hüst for right and hot for left in Swiss German!)
der Bahnhof - the station
der Hauptbahnhof (HBf) / HB - the mains station
die Rolltreppe - the escalator

Sunday, 29 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 29:366

Some rather attractive toilet doors bring us very important vocabulary today. 
Damen / Frauen - d'Dame-Toalette - the ladies
Herren / Männer - d'Herre-Toalette - the mens
Wo ist die Toilette?  Wo isch d'Tualettä? 
 - Where is the toilet?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 28:366

Today we went on an excursion to Schloss Kyburg, a lovely castle in the Winterthur area of Kanton Zürich. Whilst the rest of us investigated, Isaac did his art Hausaufgarbe and drew one of the buildings. You can see the pictures from today here.

Today's words are all places you might live -
ein Schloss - a castle
ein Palast - a palace
ein Haus - a house
eine Wohnung - an apartment
ein Zelt - a tent

Friday, 27 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 27:366

Jude wrote a letter to his friend Joe today so off I went to the Kiosk to buy eine Briefmarke für England.
Here is d'Briefmarke.

Why does it say Helvetia?
Helvetia is the female national personification of Switzerland, officially Confœderatio Helvetica, the "Helvetic Confederation". (Wikipedia)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 26:366

This is Winterthur's very own wooden giant. One of several large wooden sculptural pieces in the town intended to be sat and climbed upon. He's rather lovely I think - big feet though!

A couple of verbs today - can you work out what they mean?
chlättere and hocke in Swiss German or in German klettern and sitzen.
That's right, to climb and to sit.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 25:366

Wo chan ich es Bilet chaufe?
Wo kann ich ein Ticket kaufen?

Today's photo answers that question! This is the machine at every bus stop from which you can buy all kinds of tickets includung a Tageskarte - a day pass and a Kurzstrecke ticket for a short journey. Fortunately you can get change - Automat gibt Rückgeld and if you make a mistake you can press Korrektur.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 24:366

This is the #1 bus that runs between Oberwinterthur and Töss. It's 'our' bus as it runs past our home and takes the boys to and from school every day. It's affectionately known as the Töss Bus in our house - the umlauts on the o make the two words rhyme if you say them with a slight Brummie accent! It runs like clockwork every five minutes and we love it.

Some transport words today!
de Bus - der Bus
s'Flogzüüg - das Flugzeug
de Zoog - der Zug
s'Auto - das Auto
s'Velo - das Fahrrad

Monday, 23 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 23:366

Two photographs for the price of one today; a BOGOF which is an acronym never heard here, obviously as it stands for Buy One Get One Free in English, but also because that's not the way offers seem to work. Prices are reduced but there are very few 'give aways' like that.
Anyhow, back to the pictures. I really love running and particularly like running in the wooded hills around Winti where I quite often come across wood sculptures like these nestling but the path. No signposting to guide you to them - they just... happen!

Ein Kaninchen / Chüngel oder Haas - a rabbit
Ein Vogel - a bird although I think that this is ein Reiher - a heron.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 22:366

I've just read a book called Switzerland for beginners. Written in 1962 by George Mikes and updated in 1975, it is very amusing and, despite its age, much of it still seems to ring true.

My favourite section is as below. In discussing that "the most terrifying and off putting of all Swiss virtues is cleanliness" Mikes says -
"This problem has, however, its glorious side, too. The Swiss have, in fact, solved the perennial question which has troubled philosophers throughout the centuries: What is the aim of life? The answer the Swiss give to this question is simple, original and convincing: The aim of life is to make your door-handle shine."
Hence today's picture! Not sure my door handle - mein Türgriff - shines enough though we do have a rather nice doormat - eine schöne Fussmatte

Saturday, 21 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 21:366

The Swiss take the idea that people like window shopping quite seriously. When shops are shut, you often find a selection of goods artistically displayed in the entrance area of the shop. This is today's (very cute!) display in Franz Carl Webber (or Karl Heinz Rumenigge as I keep calling it)

So - what do we have here?
A panda with a hat and a horse with sunglasses.
Ein Panda-Bär mit ein Hut (Huet) und ein Pferd (Paggu) mit eine Brille (Brülle)

Friday, 20 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 20:366

Strictly speaking I didn't take this picture today (it was rainy and windy) but I've been saving it as I'd already posted the day I took it and it tickled me.
A little man on a cherry picker pruning a tree with a pair of secateurs. In England, he'd be using a chainsaw and cutting off whole branches if not the whole tree. Here it was individual twigs.

Today's German words / phrases are greetings. Don't forget, the Germab is in bold and the Swiss German in red.
guten Morgen - guete Morge - Good morning
guten Tag / Nachmittag- guete Namittag - Good afternoon
guten Abend - guete-n-Obig - Good evening

Thursday, 19 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 19:366

A familiar symbol with a different word.

Useful education vocabulary includes der Schule / Schuel - school, die Universität - University, das Gymnasium oder der Kantonschule - secondary school (like a grammar school). And I discovered an interesting thing. You can only studieren (study) at university. Until then the verb is lernen.

Extra image today is the Swiss education system - although as Sybille pointed out, no Kanton is the same as the next!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 18:366

'Let's go for a walk.'
"Not up Goldenberg!"

This is the opening of any conversation involving walking or running in our house. Goldenberg is the nearest hill to us here, although Breite and Bruderhaus are quite near too and offer a similar challenge! And it is a mega hill. Very very steep. However, once ascended, the view is beautiful and it's well worth the effort. I've yet to manage to keep running all the way to the top but I'm working on it. This photo shows the steps approach - you can't see all the steps and the top isn't in view although the building in the extreme top right hand corner is nearly at the top. Today I went up to read my book and admire the view in the sunshine.

Goldenberg of course means Golden Mountain - der Berg is the mountain and der Hügel or Hoger is the hill. Der See is a lake (NB die See is the sea), der fluss is a river and das Wasserfall or Schträäzär or Wasserschodlär is a waterfall. More geography terms in German can be found here!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 17:366

The reduit was getting a bit full of bottles and cans so today I put them all in my trusty pink shopping trolley and tootled off to Migros (plastic bottles) then to the Sammelstelle to dispose of the bottles and cans.

So today I recycled
PET Getränkeflaschen - PET drinks bottles
NonPET Flaschen - bottles that aren't PET
Grünglas (Weinflaschen) - Green glass (wine bottles)
Braunglas (Bierflaschen) - Brown glass (beer bottles)
Weissglas (Marmeladeglas und Tomatesosseglas) - white glass (jam jars and tomato pasta sauce bottles)
Aluminiumdosen - aluminium cans

Monday, 16 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 16:366

There are many lovely buildings in Winterthur - and this is one of them - the Stadthaus. The fountain in front is switched off for the winter but it was in full flow when we arrived in Switzerland in October. The Stadtgarten is behind another lovely building, Museum Oskar Reinhart.

Die Stadt is the town in German and to go into town is in die Stadt gehen or schtibärä.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 15:366

Sunday afternoon in Winterthur - glorious sunshine although cold, and the boys decided to have a kick about. Something I love about here is that school fields can be used by the general public out of school hours. So we popped around the corner and made use of the nets at the Gewerbeschüle. I even went in goal for a bit.

Der Fussball is football in German and  Ich mag fussball spielen I like playing football. In Swiss German the verb is tschuutä  or schuttä.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 14:365

Ever since I moved to Switzerland, I've been constantly asked about whether I've been skiing yet. I have pointed out several times that I live in Winterthur where it hasn't really snowed but the questions persist. Well today I didn't ski but I did see lots of snow and did some sledging.
This bench is in Amden and you can see how much snow there has been up there by the fact that the bench is submerged - in fact, you can only see it as someone has 'dug it out'.

What can you see in the photo? einige Bäume, eine Bank und viel Schnee.

Friday, 13 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 13:366

John's been away on a "team building meeting" up a mountain. And this was my consolation prize. Pretty - and very tasty too!

I like die Bonbons oder die Süssigkeiten but I much prefer die Schokolade oder Schoggi (chocolate)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 12:366

Today I went for a run - like I do often - and this is Wiesendangen Kirche, the turning point. Very pretty!

I quite often get 'sort of' lost on my runs. A useful phrase I need to memorise is Ich habe mich verirrt - I am lost. Ist das die Strasse nach Winterthur? - Is this the road to Winterthur?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 11:366

Recycling is a serious business in Switzerland and this is what happens when you don't get it right! The dreaded pink sticker is slapped on your bundle and it is left behind to shame you! The 'crime' with this bundle was that the 'bundler' mixed paper and cardboard. Whilst they are collected at the same time, they must be separate.

There are various words for rubbish in German - der Müll, der Abfall, der Biomüll and so on. You put der Abfall in die Mülltonne in a special (very expensive!) Gebührensack from which der Müllmann collects it.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 10:366

I've lasted 10 days but it had to happen - today's photograph is a tree. And not just any tree - this is one of my favorite trees in 'my' park. It's so big and striking. And I love the way that, rather than chopping off a branch that is in danger of falling, the tree surgeons came along and supported it with a huge rubber band. Can't wait to see what it looks like in spring.

Today's word is Wetterböcke, the name of a new app on which two goats tell you the weather where you are in Switzerland in the appropriate language for your town/region. So I shall be regularly checking in order to be taught Swiss German by goats!

Monday, 9 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 9:366

This is a very important document that I must carry everywhere I go. And I'm rather fond of it. I like the way it's in all four official languages of Switzerland - or at least the front is. And the photo inside isn't too hideous!

Inside I had to fill in my Vorname and Name as well as my Geburtsdatum (DOB) and Staatsangehörigkeit which is a rather long way of saying nationality. And it says 'Aufenthaltsbewilligung gültig für die ganze Schweiz bis 13.10.2016' so I can stay until I'm exactly... Well, that'd be telling but that is my birthday!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 8:366

This is one of my favourite Swiss snacks. Not only are they delicious but they also have the loveliest pictures on the wrappers.

And snacks brings me to two of the first Swiss German words I learned, taught to me by my friend Monika as she made me look like Farrah Fawcett (long story!)
At about 9am, the Swiss have Znuüni (Kaffee und Gipfeli) and later at about 4pm they have Z'vieri (from neun / nüün and vier)

Saturday, 7 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 7:366

This building is near the Feuerwehr (fire station) in Winterthur and, according to the sign, is part of the Mehrzweckanlage Teuchelweiher or msw-Winterthur. It's apparently a multipurpose plant - which seems odd and a bit of a waste of such a beautiful building!

Today's useful phrases are
Enschuldigung / Entscholdiged si bitte - excuse me.
Ich verstehe nicht / Ich verstoone's need - I don't understand.

Friday, 6 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 6:366

Today is Heilige Drei Könige otherwise known as Epiphany or Three Kings Day. Loaves like these are made to celebrate. In the sweet bread as well as sultanas and almonds one person will find a plastic figure of a king or a bean. The person who find the king is given the crown and becomes king or queen for the day.

In German you count 1-10 like this:-

But in Swiss German you count :-

The Swiss like their umlauts - and double vowels!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 5:366

Continuing the theme of 'street furniture', today we focus on a stationery/mobile phone shop in Untertor. Papeterie Schoch sells all kinds of items including art supplies, moleskin books and some lovely pens just like the one above the front door.

Papeterie comes from French - Switzerland is multilingual after all! - in German the word for a stationer's shop is eine Schreibwarenhandlung. You might buy d'Föllfädere, s'Blisteft und d'Poscht-Charte or ein Füller a pen, ein Bleistift a pencil and eine Postkarte a postcard.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 4:366

'Our end' of Winterthur town centre is called Obertor, and this is the beautiful sign that hangs above the Zentrum Begegnung & Bildung which runs all sorts of courses (must investigate further!)

Obertor means 'Upper gate' and the other end of town is called Untertor which means 'Lower gate'. I've yet to find any actual gates but I'm sure I could find out where they are if I asked around!
Ein Tor is a gate but eine Tür is a door.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 3:366

As I read and see reports of storms and gales in the UK, it's a beautiful day in Winterthur. This is the view from my bedroom across the park. My Nan used to judge the quality of the day by whether there was enlighten blue in the sky to make a sailor's trousers. More than enough for that today!

In German you say Es ist sonnig (it's sunny) or Die Sonne scheint (the sun is shining) but you can also say Die Sonne lacht which literally means that the sun is laughing.
Ist das sonnenklar? (Is that as clear as the sun or, as you say in English, crystal clear?)

Monday, 2 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 2:366

A 'tip top' snack around here is heisse Marroni. Sold at stalls in the Marktgasse and outside Winterthur Hauptbahnhof, these chestnuts are roasted in huge black pans then sold in brown paper bags with two compartments - one for the chestnuts and one for the shells. Delicious and very good for you!

Today is Berchtoldstag (or Bächtelis as they call it here) which is ein Feiertag or holiday in certain kantons of Switzerland including Zürich.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

TipTopSwiss 1:366

There are many beautiful houses near where I live, with shuttered windows, balustraded balconies and tiled roofs out of fairy tales. This was one that caught my eyes today thanks to the creepers but also due to the canopied 'bottle shelf'. How cool is that!

Bet it came in useful last night for New Year's Eve when Swiss wish each other En guete Rutsch or have a good slide until midnight strikes and then the greeting becomes Es guets Nois.