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Old 10.10.2011, 16:55
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Re: What are your village life non-negotiables?

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So does that mean that the use of Ort and Stadt is inter changable?
No, it means that even a city of 5 million inhabitants can still be called a Stadt. It may also be called a Grossstadt, but unlike an American city, it will still have institutions such as a Stadtrat, a Stadtpolizei etc., definitely not a Grossstadtrat (City Council) or a Grossstadtpolizei (City Police).

As stated elsewhere, in Switzerland, settlements up to 10'000 people are called Dorf. A Stadt has more than 10'000, unless it had imperial town privileges in the Middle Ages, but then it usually is called a Städtli in Swiss German, Städtchen in Standard German. For instance, Werdenberg near Buchs SG has about 50 inhabitants but calls itself the smallest Stadt in Switzerland, because in medieval times it had town privileges (like the right to fortify the settlement, to have market and guilds etc.).

A settlement of, say, 100'000 or more souls may but needn't be called a Grossstadt. Such a settlement will never call itself Grossstadt, though. "Willkommen in der Grossstadt Basel" would cause laughing fits. Zurich, on the other hand, is often jestingly called the biggest village in Switzerland -- not by the Zurchers themselves, of course.

As I said, that's the way things have been handled in Switzerland for a century or more. It's different in other German-speaking countries.

The term Ort does not say anything about the size. It just means a place in general, usually a settled one, but it can be used even in geometry, physics etc.. In the old Swiss Confederation, the word Ort was often used for what we now call cantons, for instance the Acht Alten Orte (Uri, Schwyz, Unterwalden, Luzern, Zürich, Zug, Bern, and Glarus).
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  #42  
Old 10.10.2011, 17:44
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Re: What are your village life non-negotiables?

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In the United Kingdom, a town may become a city by:

  • being the seat of a bishop;
  • being granted a Royal Charter;
  • custom.
Switzerland, however, is not the United Kingdom.
The Mr King I mentioned above could not get into such specific details. His class of about 25 consisted of at least 12 nationalities, among them Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iran, Malaysia and Ecuador. And so had to make it easy.
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