Bärndütsch – Language guide for beginners

Two years ago I wrote here on the blog, as I try to “make friends” with the German language. But given that we live in an area where the Bernese dialect called Bärndütsch is spoken, I´m trying to penetrate into this vernacular. In today’s post, I bring you an overview of the basic difference from standard German, as I managed to decipher it yet. I hope that this language guide can help someone new coming here not to feel so “lost in translation” at the beginning of his/her stay, as we´d been. Come with me, dip into the secrets of beautiful Bärndütsch …

In the beginning, I would just like to point out that I am no linguist, but I enjoy learning new languages and recording interesting words in this cute hawk-lisping language 🙂 How could you notice on the Facebook page of this blog a little, I had managed to gather. Not that I was fluent in Bärndütsch, but I dare say that I’ve already picked up some words and I was able to understand them.


der Mann → dr Maa
die Frau → d Frou
das Kind → ds Chind

Converting consonants

    • s → sch (ist – isch, bist – bisch, du weisst – du weisch, Fest – Fescht)
    • k → ch (Kind – Chind, Kirche – Chirche, Kerze – Cherze, Käse – Chäs, krank – chrank, Kalk – Chalch)
    • l → u (gelb – gäub, mal – mau)


  • ge → g (gesund – gsund, Geschichte – Gschicht, Gelassenheit – Glasseheit, Gesellschaft – Gsellschaft, Geschrei – Gschrei)

Converting vowels

    • a → ä (waschen – wäsche)
    • ä → ö (Wäsche – Wösch)
    • e → ä (er – är, Bern – Bärn, Luzern – Luzärn, , gern – gärn, fern – färn)
  • u/ü → ue/üe (gut – guet, Müsli – Müesli, Rübli – Rüebli, Frühling – Früehlig, Fuss – Fuess, Bub – Bueb, Blut – Bluet, Buch – Buech, Mut – Muet)

Converting dipthongs

    • ei → i/ii (Preis – Priis, Zeit – Ziit, Freitag – Fritig, meine – mini)
    • au → uu (Haus – Huus, Maus – Muus, auf – uuf)
  • el → äu (Keller – Chäuer, Teller – Täuer, Welle – Wäue)


  • ung → ig (Quittung – Quittig, Ahnung – Ahnig, Sitzung – Sitzig, Vereibarung – Vereinbarig)
  • e → i (Kuche – Chuchi, Schmiede – Schmiedi)
  • lein/-chen → li (Hölzlein – Hölzli, Tierchen – Tierli, Mädchen – Mädeli, Blümchen – Blüemli)
  • eln → le (häkeln – häggle)
The big challenge comes when you come across a word, where there are several transformations blended together. Like in the following words:

klein – chli, Keller – cheuer, stellen – steue, alle – aui, Zelt – Zäut, Feld – Fäud, Kuche – Chuchi, Kern – Chärn, Kindlein – Chindli, Weglein – Wägli, meine – mini, Kästchen – Chäschtli


But my favorite word is this: Chuchichäschtli. Can you, according to previous hints guess what the word means? 😉

So what do you think of my little language guide for beginners (from the beginner)? Is there something missing in it? Or do you have a tip for an interesting textbook of Bärndütsch? If so, let me know in the comments!


PS: Huge thanks belongs to my dear Therese Liechti for proofreading and giving more examples of interesting words 🙂  And if you don´t know who is Therese, read this article:  A nice surprise
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Categories: Language, Switzerland
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