Sie haben Ski-Sprache zu verstehen?

Learn German to navigate the slopes more effectivelyAnd now for some German to use in a ski resort. Much of Austria and all of Swiss German-speaking Switzerland, speak in a dialect all but incomprehensible to a High German speaker. Fortunately they learn High German at school and will understand and welcome your attempts to communicate in the language. In Romansh areas, High German is also understood.

General Phrases  
Careful! Vorsicht!
Help! Hilfe!
Avalanche! Lawine!
Attention! Achtung!
Sorry! Sorry!
Excuse me. Entschuldigen Sie.
Please. Bitte.
Thank you Danke / Merci (CH)
Hello Grützi (CH) / Grüss Gott (A)
Do you speak English? Sprechen Sie Englisch?


At the ski or snowboard school…  
I would like lessons Ich möchte Unterricht
ski lessons Skikurse
snowboard lessons Snowboardkurse
private tuition Nachhilfe
an English-speaking instructor ein Englisch sprechender Lehrer


At the lifts…  
I want a lift pass for 1 day. Ich will einen Skipass für einen Tag.
I want a lift pass for 1 week. Ich will einen Skipass für eine Woche.


In a ski shop…  
ski boots Skischuhe
ski poles Skistöcke
skis Ski
a snowboard ein Snowboard
snowboard boots Snowboardschuhe
ski gloves Ski-Handschuhe
ski goggles Skibrille
socks Socken
sun cream Sonnencreme
lip salve Lippensalbe
I’d like to hire skis. Ich möchte Skier mieten.
I’d like to buy a snowboard. Ich würde gerne ein Snowboard kaufen.
How much is that? Wie viel ist das?
Can you write it? Können Sie es schreiben?
My boots hurt me. Meine Stiefel verletzt mich.
My shoe size is… Meine Schuhgrösse ist …
I weigh… Ich wiege …
I want to ski. Ich möchte fahren.
I want to snowboard. Ich möchte Snowboard.
I am a beginner. Ich bin ein Anfänger.
I am an intermediate. Ich bin ein Zwischen.
I am advanced. Ich bin fortgeschritten.


Some phrases you might need on the slopes…  
Where is… Wo ist …
cable car Drahtseilbahn
gondola Gondel
chairlift Sessellift
draglift Schlepplift
ski bus Skibus
train Zug
restaurant Restaurant
self-service restaurant Selbstbedienungs-Restaurant
piste map Pistenplan
blue run blaue Piste
red run rote Piste
black run schwarze Piste
off-piste abseits der Piste
closed piste geschlossenen Piste
no entry kein Einlass
icy eisig
snow Schnee
powder Pulver
mogul Mogul
rock Rock
tree Baum


And afterwards in the bar…  
beer bier
red wine rotwein
white wine Weisswein
mulled wine Glühwein
A beer, please Ein Bier, bitte
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French words and phrases for skiers and snowboarders

Chamonix Cable CarAs promised here are some useful phrases to get by in French-speaking ski resorts.

General Phrases  
Careful! Attention!
Help! Aidez-moi!
Avalanche! Avalanche!
Attention! Attention!
Sorry! Désolé!
Excuse me. Excusez-moi.
Please. S’il vous plaît.
Thank you Merci
Hello Bonjour
Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais?


At the ski or snowboard school…  
I would like lessons Je voudrais leçons
ski lessons cours de ski
snowboard lessons cours de snowboard
private tuition cours particuliers
an English-speaking instructor un instructeur anglophone


At the lifts…  
I want a lift pass for 1 day. Je veux passer un ascenseur pour un jour.
I want a lift pass for 1 week. Je veux passer un ascenseur pour 1 semaine.


In a ski shop…  
ski boots chaussures de ski
ski poles bâtons de ski
skis skis
a snowboard un surf des neiges
snowboard boots bottes de planche à neige
ski gloves gants de ski
ski goggles lunettes de ski
socks chaussettes
sun cream crème solaire
lip salve pommade pour les lèvres
I’d like to hire skis. Je voudrais louer des skis.
I’d like to buy a snowboard. Je voudrais acheter une planche de snowboard.
How much is that? Combien est-ce?
Can you write it? Pouvez-vous écrire?
My boots hurt me. Mes bottes me font mal.
My shoe size is… Ma pointure est …
I weigh… Je pèse …
I want to ski. Je veux faire du ski.
I want to snowboard. Je veux faire du snowboard.
I am a beginner. Je suis un débutant.
I am an intermediate. Je suis un intermédiaire.
I am advanced. Je m’avançai.


Some phrases you might need on the slopes…  
Where is… Où est …
cable car téléphérique
gondola gondole
chairlift télésiège
draglift téléski
ski bus ski-bus
train train
restaurant restaurant
self-service restaurant restaurant self-service
piste map plan des pistes
blue run piste bleue
red run piste rouge
black run piste noire
off-piste hors-piste
closed piste piste fermée
no entry entrée interdite
icy glacé
snow neige
powder poudre
mogul mogul
rock rock
tree arbre


And afterwards in the bar…  
beer bière
red wine vin rouge
white wine vin blanc
mulled wine vin chaud
Can I have a beer? Puis-je avoir une bière?



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The Best Three Star Hotels in the Swiss Alps

Last winter the Swiss newspaper, the Sonntags Zeitung, published a list of the best hotels in Switzerland. The full article is here, but I have listed what they consider the best three star hotels:

skier gets ready to hit the piste

1. (Last Year: 4) Alpine Lodge,Saanen-Gstaad BE
Tel 033 748 41 51,
Doubleroom from 360 Fr.

2. (1) Waldhaus am See,St. Moritz GR
Tel 081 836 60 00,
Doubleroom from 310 Fr.

3. (3) Romantik Hotel Schönegg, Wengen BE
Tel 033 855 34 22,
Doubleroom from 380 Fr.

4. (2) Krone, La Punt GR
Tel 081 854 12 69,
Doubleroom 250 Fr.

5. (5) Misani, Celerina GR
Tel 081 839 89 89,
Doubleroom from 230 Fr.

6. (6) Jungfrau, Wengernalp BE
Tel 033 855 16 22,
Doubleroom from 440 Fr.

7. (8) Hotel Kernen,Schönried-Gstaad BE
Tel 033 748 40 20,
Doubleroom from 320 Fr.

8. (-) Chesa Randolin,Sils Baselgia GR
Tel 081 830 83 83,
Doubleroom from 236 Fr.

9. (11) Eienwäldli, Engelberg OW
Tel 041 637 19 49,
Doubleroom from 280 Fr.

10. (-) La Couronne, Zermatt VS
Tel 027 966 23 00,
Doubleroom from 256 Fr.

11. (7) Sporthotel, Pontresina GR
Tel 081 838 94 00,
Doubleroom from 250 Fr.

12. (13) Bella Vista, Zermatt VS
Tel 027 966 28 10,
Doubleroom from 235 Fr.

13. (12) Parkhotel Schönegg, Grindelwald BE
Tel 033 854 18 18,
Doubleroom from 340 Fr.

14. (16) Alphubel, Saas-Fee VS
Tel 027 958 63 63,
Doubleroom from 314 Fr.

15. (15) Chesa Grischuna, Klosters GR
Tel 081 422 22 22,
Doubleroom from 439 Fr.

16. (20) Alpenblick, Fiesch VS
Tel 027 970 16 60,
Doubleroom from 150 Fr.

17. (9) Le Mont Paisible,Crans-Montana VS
Tel 027 480 21 61,
Doubleroom from 220 Fr.

18. (14) Romantik Hotel Muottas Muragl, Samedan GR
Tel 081 842 82 32,
Doubleroom from 240 Fr.

19. (18) Adler, Adelboden BE
Tel 033 673 41 41,
Doubleroom from 308 Fr.

20. (19) Müller Mountain Lodge, Pontresina GR
Tel 081 839 30 00,
Doubleroom from 300 Fr.

21. (24) Meisser, Guarda GR
Tel 081 862 21 32,
Doubleroom from 230 Fr.

22. (17) Bodmi, Grindelwald BE
Tel 033 853 12 20,
Doubleroom from 294 Fr.

23. (10) Homann,Samnaun-Ravaisch GR
Tel 081 861 91 91,
Doubleroom from 290 Fr.

24. (21) Europe, Zinal VS
Tel 027 475 44 04,
Doubleroom from 200 Fr.

25. (25) Alphorn, Gstaad BE
Tel 033 748 45 45,
Doubleroom from 252 Fr.

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French say Non to ski guides

English skiers and snowboarders who have enjoyed the company of a Ski Club or travel company guide in France will need to go elsewhere this winter unless a French court ruling is reversed. But this is France and the canny French authorities rarely pass up an opportunity to undermine the spirit of the Entente Cordiale if it means protecting French jobs – just a shame the French government shows so little disdain for creating them in the first place.
SCGB reps often found in the larger resorts like Saas-Fee. This picture was taken in the company of one such rep, from nearby Saas-Grund.
The problem in a nutshell is that the French courts have stipulated that leaders of organised groups must be suitably qualified. What that means for Dad organising a package and taking the little ones for a day on the pistes, or for groups of friends hitting the slopes together, I don’t know, but I do know that all those weeks of training that Ski Club of Great Britain reps get is clearly not of French quality.

Which is a pity, because I often enjoy joining a rep for a day on the slopes and have discovered some useful tips from so doing. And the good news is you can still do it in Switzerland and other Alpine nations. For Switzerland, check out Swiss Winter Sports, where there are bags of insider tips.

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