How to speak Bremen!
German like you've never heard it before!
The Bremen dialect contains lots of loan-words from Low German and uses its missingsch sentence structure. Here are some useful pieces of vocabulary ...
So you're out and about in Bremen, mingling with the locals and you want to make a few new friends? Why not say a few words in Bremisch? People always appreciate it when visitors try to speak the local language – it's the same anywhere in the world.
The Bremen dialect contains lots of loan-words from Low German and uses its missingsch sentence structure. You'll often hear locals mumbling and dropping syllables. Older speakers eschew the German sch in favour of a more English s – so stein is pronounced stine rather than schtine. The intonation is also slightly different than in standard German.
Here are some words and phrases to listen out for or use during your next visit to Bremen.
Greeting at all occasions: Good morning, hello, good evening!
Another greeting for all times of day.
Now that's …
So so (in answer to the question "How are you doing?"
It's Freimarkt time! (the Freimarkt is Bremen's famous annual festival)
"Ischa'n büsch'n lütsch."
That's a bit small isn't it?
"Komm Sie aus Brem?"
Are you from Bremen?
"Sind Sie'n Tagenbaren?"
Are you Bremen born and bred? Literally, were your parents born (baren) and raised (tagen) in Bremen as well?
"Ach, Sie sind'n Butenbremer?"
Right, so you're from Bremen, but you don't live there any more?
"Ich will nach/nach'n …Karstadt/Bett/Freimaak"
I want to go to …Karstadt/bed/to the Freimarkt (Germans usually use a variety of prepositions instead of 'nach' for everything)
"Ich geh nach Tanne Meier."
Literally: I'm going to Aunt Meier. What's meant is: I'm going to the toilet. (although in Bremen people go to toledde or to the toeh)
"Lust auf Kaffeesieren?"
Shall we go and get a coffee?
"Woll'n wir auf'n/up'n Swutsch?"
Shall we hit a few bars/go for a drink?
"Lass uns noch mal um den Pudding geh’n."
Let's go for a walk around the block.
"Das is aber heute wieder'n Schmuddelwedder."
Yet another rainy day we've having!
"Das war'n netten Klönschnack."
That was a nice long chat.
"Wo ist umzu heute was los?"/"Das is' gleich umzu!"/"In Bremen und umzu."
Is there anything going on round here today?/That's not far from here/right there/over there/around the corner!/In and around Bremen.
"Bist Du auch so'n Frostködel?"
Do you feel the cold quickly too?
"Lass Dich knuddeln."
"Nun wer'n Se nich gleich fühnsch!"
Don't get angry now!
"Ganz schön plietsch!"
That's really clever!
What a little fidget!
What a nutcase!