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German, Italian and French: The romantic words and phrases you need in Switzerland

Looking to get romantic in Switzerland this week? Here are some essential phrases to help you woo your lover in different parts of the country.

A couple cuddle at Rochers de Naye, Veytaux, Switzerland.
A couple cuddle at Rochers de Naye, Veytaux, Switzerland. Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash

It’s Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Whether you celebrate or prefer to ignore it, here are some romantic phrases in three of Switzerland’s official languages to try out on your partner or whenever you next have a crush. 

Swiss German

Ich ha di soo gärn!

To people unfamiliar with Swiss German, this may not sound harsh rather than romantic.

But in fact, this phrase falls under the ‘awwww’ category; it means ‘I love you so much!’ 

Du bisch mine Schätzli

In the Swiss-German part, this word (or its variation, Schätzeli) literally means ‘my little treasure.’

This term of endearment is used between lovers, though parents also say it to their children — it applies to anyone you love, adore, or like A LOT.

Ich bi total i dich vernarrt!

Another expression which you can safely use in Swiss-German parts of the country. It means, simply,  ‘I am totally wild about you.’

If you prefer to express your love in high German, these are the phrases to learn:

Schmetterlinge im Bauch

The feeling of excitement and anticipation when you set eyes on your crush is the same in German as it is for English-native speakers, it seems: the phrase “having butterflies in the stomach” – or Ich habe Schmetterlinge im Bauch – is widely used when speaking German too.  

Ich bin verknallt in dich

Before you reach the being-in-love part of a relationship, you may find yourself being verknallt in someone – meaning to have a crush on someone.

As the noun Knall means “bang” or “crash” in German, it’s likely that the expression comes from the feeling of being hit with a crashing infatuation. 

Du hast wunderschöne Augen

A stone-cold dating classic that’s sure to bring a smile to your German-speaking sweetheart’s face. Meaning “you have beautiful eyes” this phrase is a guaranteed winner. Of course, you can replace Augen (“eyes”) with any other part that you find particularly beautiful (if you so wish!)

READ ALSO: Hochdeutsch vs Swiss German – What are the key differences?

Willst du mein Freund/meine Freundin sein?

In the modern world – and especially in the dating scene of bigger cities, it might not always be clear where you stand with your lover in terms of exclusivity. 

Ich bin in dich verliebt

Ah, to be in love. This is the phrase you want to save for that special someone when you know it’s really love, as it means “I am in love with you”. 

Another, very straightforward way to declare your love is to say “Ich liebe dich” or even “Ich hab’ dich lieb”.

Remember… these are ‘standard’ or ‘high German’ phrases. Check out this video for some local Swiss German variations of saying I love you.


Mon petit chou

This may not sound romantic, since the word ‘chou‘ means ‘cabbage’ in French.

But rest assured that if someone refers to you as ‘my little cabbage’ in the French-speaking pars of Switzerland, that person really, really likes you.

Mon amour

Perhaps slightly formal, but this tells someone that you love them, it literally means ‘my love’. Also in the realm of more formal and slightly old-fashioned greetings is mon coeur – my heart or my love.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about languages in Switzerland

Le ou la faire craquer

This mean to fall for someone. Craquer means to ‘give in’ so you’ll use this idiomatic phrase when you’ve managed to seduce someone or when you have been seduced.

Elle me fait trop craquer – I’ve really fallen for her.

Voici mes conseils pour le faire craquer –  Here’s my advice to snag him.

Décrocher un premier rendez-vous

Here’s a phrase which means ‘to get a first date’. It’s not always easy – but when it happens you may want to share the news.

J’ai enfin décroché un premier rendez-vous avec elle ! – I finally got a first date with her!

En pincer pour

This is the phrase you need when you really like someone. Pincer means ‘to pinch’ but this idiomatic phrase is used when you are really fond of someone.

J’en pince pour toi – I really like you. 

Mon bébé

Here’s the French version of ‘baby’ or ‘babe’. Its most frequently used between lovers, and is kinda cute!

Two people on bikes.

Romance is in the air. Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash


Mi piaci

Let’s start at the more casual end of the romance spectrum.

Mi piaci simply means ‘I like you’ – while it’s often non-romantic, it can definitely also mean ‘I fancy you’. Instead of ‘like’ though, Italian uses the verb ‘please’ and inverts the subject and object, so in purely grammatical terms the literal English translation of this expression is more like ‘you please me’. 

READ ALSO: Swiss Italian vs standard Italian – what are the key differences?

Sono pazzo/a di te

If you are mad about someone, you can tell them exactly that. Sono pazzo/a di te – ‘I’m mad about you’ – is one phrase that directly translates between Italian and English. Just like in English, in other contexts pazzo literally means ‘crazy/mad’.

Colpo di fulmine

Literally a ‘lightning bolt/strike’, a colpo di fulmine is the Italian way to talk about love at first sight: it’s as though you were struck by lightning, and haven’t been the same since.

This phrase obviously needs to be used in combination with other words – you might say la prima volta che ti ho visto/a è stato un colpo di fulmine (‘the first time I saw you it was love at first sight’).

A less poetic alternative is amore al primo sguardo/amore a prima vista, which translates directly as ‘love at first sight’.

Two hands of a married couple

a married couple. Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

Sei la mia anima gemella

Buckle up, because we’re really heading into intense territory now. A soulmate in Italian is an anima gemella – literally, a ‘twin soul’.

You’ll want to make sure you’re deeply in love – or at least a couple of glasses deep into your Sangiovese – before telling your love interest sei la mia anima gemella: ‘you are my soulmate’.

READ ALSO: How did Switzerland become a country with four languages?

Mi sono innamorato/a di te

When you’re telling someone you love them, sometimes it’s best to be direct about it.

Mi sono innamorato/a di te means ‘I’ve fallen in love with you’/ ‘I’ve fallen for you’; if you want to take things even more back to basics, you can go with a simple ti amo – ‘I love you’.

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For members


What Switzerland needs to do to accommodate 10 million residents

Forecasts say the Swiss population could swell to 10 million in the coming years. How would the country accommodate the increasing number of people?

What Switzerland needs to do to accommodate 10 million residents

Some studies indicate that Switzerland’s population is expected to exceed 9 million people this year (from the current 8.8 million), and reach the 10- million mark a few years down the road,

This growth is due to several factors, one of which is that people in Switzerland are living longer — in fact, according to some figures, the country has the highest life expectancy in the world.

Chart: OECD

Another important factor is that the number of foreigners who have settled in Switzerland in the past few years has grown significantly.  

“Switzerland has been in a situation of uninterrupted demographic growth for several decades, and this is explained in particular by the arrival of young migrants, who also contribute to the Swiss birth rate,” according to Philippe Wanner, professor at the Institute of Demography and Social Economics at the University of Geneva. 

This prospect is prompting MPs to ask the Federal Council to develop scenarios on how the small country can make room for that many residents.

Specifically, deputy Judith Bellaiche has called on federal authorities to devise, already now, a plan on how to prepare the country’s infrastructure for the growing numbers.

In response, the Federal Council said it “will take up these concerns in the context of legislative planning from 2023 to 2027.”

What exactly does this entail?

These are the main areas where measures would have to be taken:


Housing, especially in cities where most immigrants settle, has become scarce.

In Zurich, for instance, 30,000 foreign nationals settled there in 2022.

And according to a forecast by the Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB), more people are likely to move to the Zurich area this year as well — only to be faced with a shortage of dwellings.

READ ALSO: Zurich hit by affordable housing shortage amid record-high immigration

In other high-demand housing markets, like Geneva, the situation is similar.

To remedy the situation — and ensure that expanded population will find accommodations — the government must attack the root of the housing problem.

One way would be to ease construction regulations to allow more dwellings to be built. Right now, dense construction is becoming increasingly problematic because of high land prices in many regions, along with noise protection regulations.

Various politicians are already proposing this, and other measures to counteract the housing shortage.

READ ALSO: How can Switzerland solve its housing shortage and curb rents?

Healthcare system

There are more than 280 hospitals throughout Switzerland, and the general level of care is excellent.

Except during the Covid pandemic, when these facilities became saturated, in normal times access to patient care is not a problem.

But is Switzerland’s system ready to handle the influx of more people?

Only time will tell whether the current number of public hospitals and private clinics suffices. A major problem, however — unless it will be resolved in the meantime — is a shortage of healthcare workers.

For instance, there are already about 15,000 too few nurses in Switzerland and, unless more are trained, there may not be enough to care not only for the current population but even more so, for newcomers.

In January 2023, the government made plans to improve working conditions of medical personnel — including fewer hours and better pay — in order to prevent essential staff from resigning, and therefore ensuring enough qualified personnel in Switzerland’s hospitals. 

Public transport

One of the arguments brought forth by anti-immigration groups like the Swiss People’s Party is that the more people there are in Switzerland, the more overcrowded public transport will become.

However, beyond stating that in the event of higher population the country will need “a robust and strong railway infrastructure,” the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has not yet presented a concrete plan to tackle the 10-million population.