It depends on what "Swiss-German" you are referring to. Standard German (Hochdeutsch) is the language used on the radio and on television, most official speakers there would only betray their Swiss origin in intonation, and by a tendency to pronounce the "r"s at the end of words. The other one is "Schwytzerdütsch" and has many local varieties, a few of the main differences to Standard German are the absence of the voiced "s", the absence of the palatal fricative ("ch" in standard German "Licht"), which is replaced by a guttural fricative (Standard German "Nacht"), the diminutive by adding "-li" to a word instead of the German "-chen", a difference in lexis and grammar, in short, it is a different language which is only called a dialect because the Swiss kept Standard German on in order not to be seen to prefer any of the local dialects to the other, and also for practical reasons, their neighbours in the North and East are German-speaking, with Standard German as the official version even in Austria, after all. They subtitle their "ordinary" speakers in their evening news. I always found that very funny.
· 1 decade ago