1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: German
  4. >
  5. I need help with a decision, …


I need help with a decision, Austria or Switzerland!

Hi, so I was accepted to two six-month exchange programs, one to Austria and the other to Switzerland. I noticed that each country has its own dialect, and also read that it may even be difficult to some Germans to understand those dialects.

I am currently at level B2, just passed B1, and am wondering if I will benefit from any of those countries at all, or if I will be able to practice my Hoch Deutsch, as that is what I speak (B1.)

Thanks for your help :)

May 28, 2017

1 Comment


You will be understood perfectly if you speak Hochdeutsch -- people are exposed to it through television etc.

However, if you want to understand the locals, then you'll generally have an easier time of it in Austria than in Switzerland.

Swiss German is very hard to understand even for native speakers of German from middle and northern Germany. If they see that you are not Swiss, nearly all Swiss will switch to Swiss Standard German, which uses the grammar and vocabulary of Hochdeutsch but often has a typical Swiss accent which may still make it hard to understand.

Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.