Cartoon Cartoon Fotolia Andi Short 800x600 5072755 rot© Andi-Short,

Every "Reigschmeckte" (newcomer) should find out for himself whether generosity is really a foreign word for the proverbially stingy Swabians. The Swabian dialect certainly tends toward economy.

For example, they are masters in economizing on needless mouth movements, preferring to use two typical nasal vowel sounds. The vowel "o” (õ) is pronounced like the "a" in the French word "chance" and the vowel "e” (ã) is pronounced like the "i" in the French "cinq". This changes "Wohing gehst du?" (Where are you going?) into "Mõ gõsch nã?” and "Wie bitte?” (What?) into "Hã?”

Swabians also make short work of prefixes and suffixes, saying "gangã” instead of "gegangen" (went) and "Wäsch” instead of "Wäsche" (laundry). Swabian speakers will never have reputations as hardliners. Hard consonants such as P, T and K are usually pronounced softly, thus sounding like B, D and G. There´s also the diminuitive suffix "-le," which gives the dialect a likeable sound and allows the Swabians to have fun with the language.

The frequent pronounciation of "s" as "sch" as in "Fäschd" (Fest=festival) and "Schdoin" (Stein=stone) is especially characteristic. Newcomers often have a tough time with Swabian because of the unconventional grammar and pronounciation, and the many terms that can be understood only by natives. Or do you already know what Gsälz, a Bachl and the Läll mean (marmalade, halfwit, tongue)?

English Schwäbisch
Hello! Grissgodd!
I come from Stuttgart I beh aus Schduagrd
newcomer to town Reigschmeckte
Why don´t you understand me? Warom vrschdanda Sia mi net?
Excuse me? Wasele?
Enjoy your meal En Guada
Go to a restaurant Eikeera
Are you finished? Henners?
That was great! Schee isch gwä!
Certainly not! Hanoi!
You must be off your rocker Ha i glaub du bisch nemme ganz bacha
I love you I hau dia gära
You won´t annoy me so easily I hann Nerva wia brode Nuudla
My car is broken! Mein Karra isch hee!
Stuttgart is a nice city Schduagerd isch a scheene Schdadd
Nice girl Schneggle
I´m pretty drunk! I hann an Balla!
I don´t feel like working today Heid hann e koin Schaffgoischd
Dusk Zwischa Dag ond Siehschmened
Ready, set, go! Uff die Spätzle, ferdich, Sooß!
Good night Guads Nächdle