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  #41  
Old 29.09.2011, 08:06
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Sorry but the San Gottardo starts at Göschenen and the border is even south of Hospental, which means that the longer part of the San Gottardo is in Uri, and distance-wise the shorter part is in Ticino.

This will remain similar when the new rail-link gets opened with the entry being high up in Uri (Erstfeld-Amsteg) and the exit down in the Leventina. I crossed the San Gottardo by train and by car numerous times, and know the place fairly well enough. AND in schooltime liked to see the Italian side as this automatically made me "SON nr. ONE"
Yes, but the pass itself is in Ticino (the "pass" being the highest point), as is the lake and museum.

Tom
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  #42  
Old 29.09.2011, 08:20
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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I suspect the reason isn't snobbery but a holdover from the days when French was used more as a lingua franca throughout western Europe.
Nail on head.

When the British discovered Switzerland, the dominant international language was French. Look at any poster for Zermatt or Interlaken or Luzern from the late 19th or early 20th centuries: it will most likely be in French.

There isn't really any reason for English writers to change a 120 year custom now, is there? I will often use the German name for a city (Luzern, Basel) because I live here, but why should a journalist in London or New York bother to do that?

Looks like you'll just have to get used to it.
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  #43  
Old 29.09.2011, 08:26
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

With FC Basel being in the champions league against Manchester this week I heard a few discussions about whether they should use Basel or Bale (sorry, don't know how to put an accent on the a). The general opinion was that being English radio/TV presenters and therefore not bound by geographical location or linguistic preference, the presenter could choose the one he/she liked the sound of most - Bale seemed to win the day most of the time - I think it just sounds nicer to English ears.
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  #44  
Old 29.09.2011, 08:48
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

Of course there is the Swiss-German language radio station round here called "Radio Aargovia", and half the taxis that wait outside Baden station are run by a company called "Aargovia Taxi". There seems to be a general move in English speaking places to drop less well known "English" names for places and adopt a "local" name, but some place names are too deeply ingrained in the language (Cologne, Bavaria, Rome, Naples, Geneva) to actually do that with.

I had an argument recently with an Aussie friend who lives in London about the Baesl/Bâle topic, and I pointed out that first Basel is more compatible with normal English pronunciation and it is what the majority of the locals call it, but he kept on using Bâle.
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  #45  
Old 29.09.2011, 09:01
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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And when Switzerland is abbreviated its always SUI and not SCZ like it is in German papers, even though I believe its should really be SCH.
The intenational standard, ISO, 2-digit country code abbreviation for Switzerland is "CH" and the 3-digit is "CHE" as soneone else pointed out. Often on this forum and other media you see "SWZ" which is the ISO code for Swaziland.

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Not only place names but even the currency, they say its Franc and Centimes and not Frank and Rappen.
Perfectly correct especially if referring to the french-speaking areas.

And as for Genf, Geneva, etc... as I understand it is still a long running dispute over the old maps and confederacy due to the "Genfersee", which most around here refer to as "Lac Leman", but apparently it is still Genfersee in official terms.
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  #46  
Old 29.09.2011, 09:01
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Does anybody here get worked up that the French call London "Londres"?
Wait... you mean the capital of Inglaterra is not Londres? Are you also going to tell me the capital of Escócia is not Edimburgo?

(It took me about 1 year to find out Genf and Genève are the same place... I honestly thought it was two different cities...)
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  #47  
Old 29.09.2011, 09:26
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

First of all, it is al-Qāhira and not Cairo, Le Caire or Kairo.
Second, the situation for Germany is even worse.

Geman, Norwegian: Deutschland, Tyskland
English, Italian, Greek: Germany, Germania, Γερμανία
French, Spanish: Allemagne, Alemania
Finish, Estonian: Saksa, Saksamaa
Croatian, Czech : Njemačka, Německo
Latvian, Lithuanian :Vācija, Vokietija
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  #48  
Old 29.09.2011, 09:43
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Remember, English also has a very strong French component.
Which is mainly visible during football world championships and air controller strikes.

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Second, the situation for Germany is even worse.

Geman, Norwegian: Deutschland, Tyskland
English, Italian, Greek: Germany, Germania, Γερμανία
French, Spanish: Allemagne, Alemania
Finish, Estonian: Saksa, Saksamaa
Croatian, Czech : Njemačka, Německo
Latvian, Lithuanian :Vācija, Vokietija
I'm with the OP. Just as you have shown is the situation clearly a mess. We Germans once tried to fix it, but the other folks didn't agree.
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  #49  
Old 29.09.2011, 11:09
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Hehe yeah my argument is filled with more holes than a slab of Emmental. You know this is an educational thread for us all to learn from

But then even the Swiss army print Suisse on the uniforms for all the soldiers, so who am I to step in and start changing things.
maybe they should change it from Suisse to Swiss and keep everybody happy!
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  #50  
Old 29.09.2011, 11:17
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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You will also notice that Switzerland only gets a mention in the British press when there is something negative to report (or fabricate).

"The Swiss franc rose again on news that Swiss GDP is the highest in Europe - oh and by the way there sun shone again..." doesn't sell papers.
Yeah, whenever I talk to people in the UK, it always turns to, "Oh, I know Switzerland, it's the euthanasia place, right?"

Still, at least they know where Switzerland is. Most of my former US acquaintenances think I live in Sweden.
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  #51  
Old 29.09.2011, 11:27
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

I guess it depends on the bias in the article as to which language place name would be best used. If they want to portray the place as something other than the stereotypical "cold and efficient" then to native English it is best to avoid the German spelling.

Consider for example "Graubünden" which sounds to English ears like something one might develop on the sole of one's foot - "ooh Doris I've got one of those on mine as well". Whereas "Grisons" is something one might try if found on a restaurant menu and "Grigioni" sounds like a fun guy who'd make a good pizza.
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  #52  
Old 29.09.2011, 11:51
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

When I first travelled by train from Munich to Italy I was shocked to end up in Firenze, nervous about where Venedig was but relieved to discover I at least would end up in Roma, which had a familiar ring to my non continental ear.
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Old 29.09.2011, 13:57
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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You will also notice that Switzerland only gets a mention in the British press when there is something negative to report (or fabricate).

"The Swiss franc rose again on news that Swiss GDP is the highest in Europe - oh and by the way there sun shone again..." doesn't sell papers.
Not only does that not sell papers - it is not correct. Not that the media has ever been a pantheon of truth!

Your comment made me recall an article about the UK in the Swiss press (incidentally these are usually negative), which basically intimated that the good old Rolls Royce was really a Swiss product. The truth of the matter was there is some outfit in Zug "producing" Rolls Royce cars into pimpmobiles adorned with lots of chavtastic bling for its Middle East clientele. Apparently their clients wanted "Schweizerqualität" not sch"/%%erqualität from the UK.
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  #54  
Old 29.09.2011, 14:04
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Apparently their clients wanted "Schweizerqualität" not sch"/%%erqualität from the UK.
Since BMW took them over is the manufacturing quality actually acceptable. Just as Ford had to raise Jaguar to Ford standards in the 90s.
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Old 30.09.2011, 13:38
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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I guess it depends on the bias in the article as to which language place name would be best used. If they want to portray the place as something other than the stereotypical "cold and efficient" then to native English it is best to avoid the German spelling.

Consider for example "Graubünden" which sounds to English ears like something one might develop on the sole of one's foot - "ooh Doris I've got one of those on mine as well". Whereas "Grisons" is something one might try if found on a restaurant menu and "Grigioni" sounds like a fun guy who'd make a good pizza.
The correct English is the "Grey Leagues" (I have seen older maps with that written).

Tom
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  #56  
Old 30.09.2011, 15:44
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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The obsolete English is the "Grey Leagues" (I have seen older maps with that written).

Tom
Fixed that for you, to accurately reflect linguistic reality.
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Old 01.10.2011, 06:47
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Yes, but the pass itself is in Ticino (the "pass" being the highest point), as is the lake and museum.

Tom
Sure, but the Ospizio is NOT "the pass" but as you say just its peak.

In the case of the new tunnel being built now, I think that more than 60% will be inside the Ticino-Canton
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  #58  
Old 01.10.2011, 07:06
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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Nail on head.

When the British discovered Switzerland, the dominant international language was French. Look at any poster for Zermatt or Interlaken or Luzern from the late 19th or early 20th centuries: it will most likely be in French.

There isn't really any reason for English writers to change a 120 year custom now, is there? I will often use the German name for a city (Luzern, Basel) because I live here, but why should a journalist in London or New York bother to do that?

Looks like you'll just have to get used to it.
A journalist in NY most likely will use the English names
- Basle
- Berne
- Lucerne
- Zurich
- St. Gall
- Geneva

A journalist of the Corriere della Sera most likely will write
- Basilea
- Berna
- Luzerna
- Zurigo
- Genevra

A journalist of LeMonde will write
- Bâle
- Berne
- Lucerne
- Zurich
- Genève

All this is as normal as a journalist here writing about Warschau, Moskau, Lissabon, Rom, Mailand, etc

So that I still fail to see the problem.

Sure, I once had a problem with an employee of the Polish embassy who opposed to me using the German names of Stettin, Danzig, Breslau, Posen, Krakau, Warschau, etc . I assured him that the Swiss army had no intention to conquer Poland (not even Russia) in the foreseeable future. But that I might buy a Polish newspaper and regard any using of Polish names for Swiss cities as a definite threat by Poland of occupying Switzerland shortly The good man understood humour
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Old 01.10.2011, 07:09
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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With FC Basel being in the champions league against Manchester this week I heard a few discussions about whether they should use Basel or Bale (sorry, don't know how to put an accent on the a). The general opinion was that being English radio/TV presenters and therefore not bound by geographical location or linguistic preference, the presenter could choose the one he/she liked the sound of most - Bale seemed to win the day most of the time - I think it just sounds nicer to English ears.
BASLE is the English name of Basel ! Those English radio/TV presenters might take a crash course of English language for a change
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Old 01.10.2011, 07:16
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Re: Switzerland being mentioned in English Media

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And as for Genf, Geneva, etc... as I understand it is still a long running dispute over the old maps and confederacy due to the "Genfersee", which most around here refer to as "Lac Leman", but apparently it is still Genfersee in official terms.
This "dispute" is NOT linguistic but an intra-Romand affair. The lake which in German and English clearly IS the Genfersee / Lake of Geneva for the Genevans clearly and in TOTAL is the "Lac de Genève" , for the Vaudois is in most of its place the "Lac Léman".

If the Lausannois think to have a chance to change things, they ought to see that "Lemansee" or "Lemanersee" will never get used, as it is too silly.

Just as nobody translates Vierwaldstättersee into English or French or any other language.

Sorry, Lausanne may be in need of some additional soul-plumbers
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