Thursday, 14 November 2013

WordPress Daily Prompt: Non-Regional Diction

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent. 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LOCAL.


Was – ig glaube es nit. Ig soll uf schwiizer tütsch öppis schriebe. Dash isch nit ernscht. Es würde nieme verstah u ig bi sicher es wäre langwielig.

What more or less says “Huh, I don’t believe it. I should write something in Swiss German. That cannot be serious. No-one would understand and I am sure it would be boring.” OK I might even have a few mistakes in the written Swiss German, but written Swiss German does not really exist as such. Every writes in their own way, but following the German way of doing it. One author comes to mind that wrote in dialect, Jeremiah Gotthelf. He was a priest in a place called Lützelflüh and wrote about the local yokels, some of his stories were filmed (naturally in original Swiss German) and they are really good.

Swiss German is what is spoken in the German speaking part of Switzerland – logical really. But there are as many dialects as places almost. We can start with hello – where I live in Solothurn “Gruessech”, in Zürich “Gruetzi”. Saying goodbye is easier, “ciao” has become quite Swissified in all language regions, after all it is Italian. Wait a minute, some say “adieu” but that comes from the French influence. Of course the people living in the Kanton (State) of Graubünden would say “Sta bain” as a farewell, but they have their own language with about six different dialects. So you take a walk along a street in a village in Graubünden and meet someone, they greet you with “Allegra”.

I think I had better keep with English, as this Swiss German stuff with its over one hundred dialects and four languages is going to confuse everyone. Me – I have been living in Switzerland for 46 years, 44 of which I have been married to a native, so if you cannot beat them, just join them.

Nah let me talk in cockney. That was me lingo where I grew up, dahn in the East End of London, Befnal Green to be exact. I ain’t gonna explain all the rhyming slang, as that gits more complicated as the years go by. At one time me dad would talk about “ ‘aving a dekker at the black and white” and “gimme mi bins”. Eesy peesy ‘e just want to ‘ave a look at the newspaper and needs ‘is glasses.

Of course that cockney stuff is getting more modern every day. Like they now talk about a “Bobby Moore” ya know, that was a footballer dahn in West Ham, but these days a Bobby Moore ‘as become a door. Ya can also talk abaht a Gordon and Gotch – easy – a watch. And so it goes on wiv all that new stuff. In my days it was just dahn the apples and pears (like the stairs), or go dahn the frog and toad (the road). We don’t really talk that way so much any more, but it ain’t wot you say it’s the way that you say it I suppose. The first cockney rule is drop your ‘aches. You know that letter that comes after “g” and before “I” in the alphabet. It just don’t exist east of the City of London. We don’t need it. Have becomes “ave” and a real advanced  word would be “ain’t” but that for the clever ones cos it means “have not” in the Queen’s language. Nah it even goes furver like “you ain’t got nuffing”. Nah that really need some finking, like exhausting the old brain cells. If you ain’t not nuffing you got somefing, but dahn in my part of London it don’t mean that, cos it means you got somefing. Just a matter of knowing wot you talking abaht.

So that’s enuf for now. I ‘ad a look in YouTube and fahnd a little film where they had a cockney crew in Star Trek, so let’s see if ya can understand it.

‘ave fun.


  1. The Swiss/German dialects would lose me rite proper!! But that there cockney, it's no bovver.......kinda loike me Brummie dialect where oi'm coming frum!!

    That Cockney Star Trek ay 'arf funny!!

    1. I noticed your perfect Swedish somewhere on a comments on your ape with the quantum maths. Very good.