Knowing the language is the key to getting to know the culture.
As an expat in Switzerland you can usually get along very well without German, but it is polite and supports the integration process to learn the national language and to be able to communicate with the locals and understand their behavior. So speaking German and understanding Swiss German are very important. We show where and how best to learn German in Switzerland.
There are many traditional schools in Switzerland, the best known nationwide
A complete list of all educational offers including language courses in Switzerland is available at bildung-schweiz.ch.
Anyone who is closely involved in their work can take part in online courses – there are an infinite number of providers. It is therefore important to make sure that you do not take out a subscription or take part in a trial lesson before paying anything and that the technology is reliable and easy to use. The teachers should be qualified language teachers and not “just” native speakers.
Here the possibilities are endless and very promising. One of the advantages of self-study is that you can learn at your own pace and write down content better. You can divide the time freely, easily change the learning location, and simply repeat individual lessons.
You should try to be immersed on a daily basis by trying to master everyday life in German, listening to Swiss radio and podcasts and, if possible, surrounding yourself in Swiss and standard German.
2. Websites, apps, audio courses, textbooks for self-study
Free and chargeable offers are available online and offline. However, it is advisable to employ a teacher for 1-2 hours a week who creates the curriculum, recommends and corrects interesting materials.
3. Meetups, get-togethers and clubs
If you have little contact with Swiss people as an expat, it is advisable to learn with other expats or to go to places where you can meet nice locals. You can find these online, for example, in organized Facebook groups, e.g. expats in Zurich.
Offline you can meet new people to practice German in meetup groups, round tables and clubs. There are many ways to do this, such as Meetup. When learning, people also have to ask themselves whether standard German or Swiss German should be learned.
Standard German is the official language in Switzerland, but it is not standardized, and many people wonder whether learning Swiss German is not a better choice.
In the end, this question is location-dependent. Swiss German is spoken in many German-speaking parts of Switzerland. In other parts, however, it is common to use Swiss standard German.
To learn the Swiss dialect, however, it is advisable to work with native Swiss speakers. At best, they are also teachers of German as a Foreign Language (DaF). Schweizerdeutsch.Online is one of the top providers of live online courses. There are also many sources of material for the Swiss dialect.