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Old 10.09.2011, 08:24
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Why do people call this country Swiss?

We must have had a thread about it sometime, but I can't find it

But why do people do this?

You wouldn't say, I'm going on holiday in English, I like the food in French....

What an odd and widely spread habit!
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:28
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

Thanks for asking this question, I was going to ask the same thing. I just don't understand where it comes from either.

Will be curious to know the answer!!
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:33
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

The French word for Switzerland is 'Suisse' and so non-native English speakers just assume that 'Swiss' is the name of the country in English and not the adjective to describe something from Switzerland. That's my guess.
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:39
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

ADH I thought that at first but then I saw a native English speaker (from the UK!) refer to it as Swiss. Very strange.
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:43
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

Probably because they know it from the French Suisse, or Italian Svizzera not far behind, and Swiss Made is all over the place, Swiss alps, Swiss this and that, a lot of non-Swiss take Swiss to be the English word for Switzerland. "Switzerland" is logical, but doesn't follow in form.
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:43
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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The French word for Switzerland is 'Suisse' and so non-native English speakers just assume that 'Swiss' is the name of the country in English and not the adjective to describe something from Switzerland. That's my guess.
Its a good theory, but the word doesnt appear as Swiss in any single piece of documentation, map, travel guide etc
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:46
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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The French word for Switzerland is 'Suisse' and so non-native English speakers just assume that 'Swiss' is the name of the country in English and not the adjective to describe something from Switzerland. That's my guess.
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ADH I thought that at first but then I saw a native English speaker (from the UK!) refer to it as Swiss. Very strange.
I think despite whether someone is "native" English speaker or not, many folks see the Suisse / Svizzera / Schweiz / Svizra and translate it directly to say "Swiss" (which, afaik, it actually does) instead of considering that in English, we call it "the land of Swiss people" aka Switzerland. After all, Canada isn't "Canadianland," Peru isn't "Peruvianland" and so on.
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:49
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

I grew up in Denmark and when I told English people they asked me if spoke Dutch.



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Old 10.09.2011, 08:53
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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Its a good theory, but the word doesnt appear as Swiss in any single piece of documentation, map, travel guide etc
I take your point. I know that having lived in many countries, you tend to just anglicise some words of that country's language(s), even though they are not correct. I even start to just use the foreign word in the middle of the English sentence. It's also quicker to say 'Swiss' instead of the three-syllable word 'Switzerland'.

Taking your comment further, Swiss German is not a formally written language yet the speakers use words that are not written down anywhere in maps, travel documentation etc. (although I know there are many informal written forms of Swiss German) An example would be 'Zueri' meaning Zurich.

As a language graduate, this goes against all I was taught and it's completely verboten to me...see, I just did it!
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Old 10.09.2011, 08:54
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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I think despite whether someone is "native" English speaker or not, many folks see the Suisse / Svizzera / Schweiz / Svizra and translate it directly to say "Swiss" (which, afaik, it actually does) instead of considering that in English, we call it "the land of Swiss people" aka Switzerland. After all, Canada isn't "Canadianland," Peru isn't "Peruvianland" and so on.
I don't go saying Angela comes from Peruvian... Doens't make sense...

In my mother tongue, Switzerland is also similar to just "Swiss", but when we learn English we learn the correct name of the country (and it sticks because it's quite a difficult word to pronounce).

I don't know many people that call the tulip country Dutchland...

I guess either people really don't know it better, are just too lazy to write the whole thing S-W-I-T-Z-E-R-L-A-N-D (it is a messed up word!), or are afraid of calling it Sweeden and having every single international government making fun of them...
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:01
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

Switzerland is harder to type, Schweiz looks unpronounceable, maybe S'cheese would be more appropriate...
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:11
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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We must have had a thread about it sometime, but I can't find it

But why do people do this?

You wouldn't say, I'm going on holiday in English, I like the food in French....

What an odd and widely spread habit!
I think it is just stupidity.
If you don't know the name of the country you are living in, then what on earth are you doing here
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:26
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

I blame the airline - and stupidity...
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:29
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

I would never call 'Switzerland' 'Swiss' but I call Australia 'Oz'....
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:30
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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I blame the airline - and stupidity...
... and the bank.



...and the French.

Last edited by Sagitta; 10.09.2011 at 09:42.
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:41
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

And many English people refer to "Dutchland" as Holland whereas Holland is only one part of the Netherlands (= the low countries).

Referring to Switzerland as Swiss is daft.
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:53
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

Isn't it good nettiquette to refrain from correcting grammar ?
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:55
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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ADH I thought that at first but then I saw a native English speaker (from the UK!) refer to it as Swiss. Very strange.
I think it has to do with SWITZERLAND being a long word and then if you are going to repeat it often while writting maybe to some 'Swiss' or 'Switz' is more convenient...I just write down CH.
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:56
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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We must have had a thread about it sometime, but I can't find it

But why do people do this?

You wouldn't say, I'm going on holiday in English, I like the food in French....

What an odd and widely spread habit!
i would say it was a non-native speaker mistake, simple as that. there are a few different clues in there that lead one to believe the speaker is not native english / american-english speaking.

indeed, the author writes english like german is his or her mother tongue.

"I am afraid, I will be let go soon, and my permit will expire in November."

- the comma after afraid is a very german way of writing, "ich befurchte, dass.."
-no american refers to "the dole" as "the dole"; we call it "unemployment"
- other not incorrect but odd grammar useage

me thinks you're reading into it too much!
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Old 10.09.2011, 09:59
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Re: Why do people call this country Swiss?

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Isn't it good nettiquette to refrain from correcting grammar ?
Yes, thats why i didn't correct it on the thread i saw, but opened another to wonder why it happens so often
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