Fish Translations in Switzerland

March 18, 2010
by Jack McNulty


Buying fresh fish in Switzerland is not as easy as one may expect. First of all, much of the fresh fish available has been filleted and the skin has been removed, erasing most of identifiable characteristics. So there goes all of those handy tips on buying fresh fish like checking the eyes, gills and skin.

So what is that piece of fish sitting in the ice? Is it a fresh water fish or salt water fish? Is it white and delicate or blue and oily? Is it wild or farm raised? Is it endangered…or perhaps mass-produced and frozen?

Oh the questions…and I haven’t even broached the subject of fish names!

Some of the available fish in Switzerland share the same English name…so that’s easy. Others, though, use the French name, Italian name or – and this is lots of fun – some sort of hard-to-pronounce-tongue-twisting Swiss-German name which doesn’t appear to have any word root whatsoever!

Sure, it may be easy to point-and-order at any fish counter…or maybe even ask the fish monger a question or two about the fish – something I would encourage. Perhaps you may even be tempted to discreetly pull out your iPhone and quickly access Google Translate…hmm!

Or, you could simply use our handy fish translation table for saltwater, fresh water and shellfish varieties in four languages.

Download a Free PDF Version

Finally…and only because this is fun. Try your hand at this dandy little German tongue-twister…

Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische
Frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz

Enjoy your fish…