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Swiss Poetry

Hazel Brugger - Bilingual comedy!

One of the rising stars of Swiss German slam poetry and comedy is Hazel Brugger (*1993; left). She performs in Swiss or High German, depending on which audience she is addressing. This means she also sometimes slightly alters the same joke to fit in better with the rhythm and timing of the language she is using and the cultural context of the audience. Compare her performance in High German here with the same material performed in Swiss German here. What are the jokes about? Do you think they are still funny in either type of German?

In the High German version, Brugger talks about a “Patensohn” instead of a “Baby”, and adds a couple of Germany-specific jokes about bread, while the Swiss German version is more graphically absurd about what should or should not be done to a small child, e.g. cutting it in two halves and covering it in butter, like bread.