(In honour of Swiss National Day…)This is currently my favourite Swiss German dictionary. Its monolingual, and the definitions are charmingly vague and amateurish (‘Schwiiz: schtaat zmittst z Öiroopa’), but it seems to be quite accurate for the dialect where I live and it contains a wealth of resources. Of particular interest to a beginner like me is the fact that it comes in two volumes, the first a standard alphabetical wordlist, but the second organised by theme – läben und tood, huus und wone, sexualitèèt, and so on – making it ideal for picking up new vocabulary around a specific area.Everyone who writes in Swiss German has to practically reinvent the language from scratch, and this is no different. The writing system adopted here makes extensive use of grave accents to show open vowels (e.g. böös /bøːs/ ‘bad’ versus nö̀ö̀ch /nœːx/ ‘near’); this is typographically challenging (as you can probably see there, depending on your browsers unicode skills) and Im not sure all of those distinctions are actually phonemic anyway, but nevertheless its quite useful when it comes to distinguishing between the confusing variety of E-sounds. Standard German has only /e/ and /ɛ/ (and schwa), but Swiss German also has /æ/, for example—setze /setsə/ ‘to put’mèrke /mɛrkə/ ‘to notice’wält /vælt/ ‘world’All of these can be short or long. The tricky one is /ɛ/. Its not common, and usually appears before /r/, but different writers render it in different ways. Here, as you can see, its represented by è; but in the magisterial multi-volume Schweizerisches Idiotikon they use ë, and in most published literature there is no special character for it at all, with writers simply varying between e and ä depending on mood or personal whim.Other idiosyncrasies here include the decision not to capitalise nouns (as you can see with wält above), which is presumably motivated by a desire to dissimilate the language from Standard German but which is not really reflected in much of the actual Swiss German literature out there. The entries themselves are pleasingly thorough, with declension details for nouns and adjectives and details of conjugations for the verbs, an IPA reference for Zurich phonetics, and a thoughtful introduction which, as far as I can work out, discusses some of the local variations in different towns and villages.The author (who grew up five minutes away from where I live) may well be a local nutter for all I know; I see that he has written a series of twenty-five murder-mysteries in Züritüütsch and put them out under his own publishing house. Well, good luck to him. This work was clearly a labour of love, and its been done properly. It makes for an excellent introduction to how folk round here speak – at least within shouting distance, which is the best you can ever hope for with Swiss German.