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Humpty Dumpty Lewis Carroll
Samuel Pepys Diary
Smaller Umberto Eco (Instagram Post).png
Otto Zufle


My name is Stephanie, and this is a picture of me with my dad and my sister, Barb. My sister and I were both born in New York, but our parents are Swiss and Swiss German was my first language - and, of course, theirs. When I was 5, we moved to Canada. Immersed in Canadian schools and culture, English very quickly became our primary language. But our "ear" for Swiss German never really left us. For me, there is nothing quite like the sing-songy nature of someone speaking in Swiss German. When I hear it on the street, I want to know where the people speaking it are from, and what brings them to where I am. I re-learned German in school and studying in Germany. But, it is not the same. 

For my dad, even though he speaks English like a native speaker, along with French and Italian, his mother tongue is with him always. Growing up in Gretzenbach, Switzerland, his dialect is Niderämter Schwizerdütsch. He's been working on this Swiss German dictionary for as long as I can remember. Everything written here, apart from this short introduction, is his words. I have a printed copy in a binder on my bookshelf. When a word comes to him he jots in down. A devoted jotter, he is. On a fairly regular basis, he'll tweak a word, or replace it all together. Like everything dad undertakes, there is curiosity and perspective. He would never suggest that this dictionary is exhaustive. But, it is nonetheless more exhaustive than anything I've come across. That is his way. It always struck me as a great shame that he never tried to publish it as a book. But, as he told me when he shared these files with me, a dictionary is a living, breathing thing - always evolving. And, so it came to pass that I decided to turn it into this website - - so that others could enjoy it too.

And, I sincerely hope you do.

Viel Spaß,


"I am redye to revoke my sayenge,

if any-thynge have passed my mouthe for want of lernynge

and to submytte myself to correction,

and my boke to reformatyon."

John Fitzherbert, Book of Husbandry, 1534

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