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  #21  
Old 18.09.2015, 15:11
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Re: Alternative Place Names

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Wollishofen is know as Wollywood, amongst a small circle of locals.
Must be a small circle, never heard it.
But do you know the places called:
Rappi
Wädi
Lieschtel
Langete
Schlaate
Huttu
Büli
?
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  #22  
Old 19.09.2015, 08:55
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Re: Alternative Place Names

I spelt it wrong dammit.... it's hood.... And yes, it's more a semicircle.
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  #23  
Old 19.09.2015, 22:51
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Re: Alternative Place Names

Rappi => Rapperswil
Wädi => Wädenswil
Lieschtel => Liestal
Langete => Langenthal?
Schlaate => Schleitheim
Huttu => Huttwil?
Büli => Bülach?
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  #24  
Old 19.09.2015, 23:13
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Re: Alternative Place Names

One needs to distinguish between a few cases:

a) monolingual Gemeinde
Zürich, Lausanne, Bellinzona, Davos

b) bilingual Gemeinde (trilingual perhaps with some Gemeinde in Kt. Grisons?)
Biel/Bienne, Fribourg/Freiburg, Bergün/Bravuogn, Vaz/Obervaz (the latter is romansh/german). These are the official names.

In a few rare cases the slash notation is also used for "Siedlungsnamen" (a settlement, an area name), i.e. inofficial names, for instance "Lenzerheide/Lai", which is part of the Gemeinde Vaz/Obervaz.

Cases a) and b) describe the respective official name(s) defined by the Gemeinde itself (notice the slash notation, this seems to be used all over Europe). In german these are called "Endonym", presumably the term exists in english as well. "Exonym" is the counterpart, a name in a foreign language given by outsiders, which leads to case c) below:

c) names used in a language foreign to the Gemeinde
Berne (for Bern), Bâle (Basel), Coire (Chur). They have no official meaning, though they're often used for instance on foreign maps and perhaps directories, travel guides, etc. Dübendorf has no influence on how the Gemeinde is named in China.

d) An additional, somewhat related case is a double name connected by a hyphen, which can have several meanings/origins:
i) SBB stations that serve multiple (usually two) Gemeinde
ii) a Gemeinde resulting from a fusion (Lüterswil-Gächliwil), or a Gemeinde melted into another (typically, much larger) one (Zürich-Altstätten, though I guess the double name isn't officially used anymore)
iii) any reason. For instance the settlement Effretikon enjoyed huge growth so there was a vote within the Gemeinde Illnau to change the name to Illnau-Effretikon in order to emphasize the increased importance of the settlement

Also noteworthy:
Gemeinde with a large area sometimes use an extension to denote a certain area. For instance Davos Platz, Davos Dorf, Wolfgang, Wiesen, etc.

Misleading names:
E.g. Davos Klosters. Davos and Klosters-Serneus are two Gemeinde, politically independent from one another. The Davos Klosters Bergbahnen AG is the main actor operating in the joint tourist/ski area and presumably cause for the potentially misleading name.

A four-language (de, fr, it, rr) directory of swiss geographical names can be found here.
The official directory of Gemeindenamen (page in german and english, selector in the left column bottom) can be found here.
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  #25  
Old 20.09.2015, 09:16
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Re: Alternative Place Names

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Do local people just refer to them by the name in their local language, or both names?
It is not a different name, but the same in a different language!
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  #26  
Old 20.09.2015, 10:18
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Re: Alternative Place Names

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b) bilingual Gemeinde (trilingual perhaps with some Gemeinde in Kt. Grisons?)
Biel/Bienne, Fribourg/Freiburg, Bergün/Bravuogn, Vaz/Obervaz (the latter is romansh/german). These are the official names.
No quite. Actually only true for Biel/Bienne.

Biel or Bienne are the officially recognized names of the town. "Biel/Bienne" is also the official labeling of the town. Therefore you consistently find it that way on official signs, maps, and address labels. Even throughout the country.

Fribourg and Freiburg are the officially recognized names of the town. Fribourg/Freiburg is not an official label. But you can find both names on signs, but without a slash!

Bergün and Bravuogn are the officially recognized names of the municipality. "Bergün/Bravuogn" is not an official label. But you can find both names on signs, but without a slash! However, you find it labled as "Bergün/Bravuogn" on maps.

Murten and Morat are officially recognized names of the town. Murten/Morat is not an official label. Signs are in German.

Distentis and Mustér are officially recognized names of the municipality. And Disentis/Mustér is the offical label of the municipality. Therefore you find it that way labled on maps. And you find both names on signs, but without a slash.

... IOW: so there is no consistency, since it is a matter of the municipalities/cantons to decide about the naming and labeling.
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  #27  
Old 20.09.2015, 11:38
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Re: Alternative Place Names

The CFF - SBB railway station at Murten - Morat is right in the middle of the Röstigraben, and until a couple of years ago the station signs all stated "Murten Morat" with no hyphen. This seems sensible, as the next railway stations are officially French speaking in 3 directions, and German speaking in the other direction. (Courgevaux, Faoug, Sugiex, Muntelier)

But a couple of years ago all the signs were replaced, and now we have simply Murten.

The town Murten and canton Fribourg are bi-lingual. Official letters arrive with French printed on one side, and German on the other. The shop people are nearly all bi-lingual, and conversing with a very good comprehension!

The local French Swiss trains only give announcements in French, but the BLS trains give announcements in 2 languages, and sometimes with English as well.

One day my wife, (Who only spoke fluent English and very good German) was on the east side of the river at Freiburg, the German speaking part, and she asked the kiosk lady in German for a coke. She came back without one and in a furious mood, "I only asked her for a coke, and she shouted at me in French and pointed up the road!" "Ha ha, I said, in French coke is cocaine, and Coca-Cola is called Cola" - so you can't be too careful.
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  #28  
Old 21.09.2015, 13:16
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Re: Alternative Place Names

Furthermore, som monolingual place names were given extra names to make them more markeatble to tourists in the late 19th Century. these names never had official character but still linger in usage. Thus you have the German names

Bellenz = Bellinzona
Schulz = Scuol (GR)
Neuenburg = Neuchatel (I think this one may be older actually, seeing the town was Prussian at one point)

and many others like it.
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  #29  
Old 21.09.2015, 14:01
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Re: Alternative Place Names

Thanks for all the replies so far. This has been very enlightening and educational. It is a lot more complex than I first thought
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  #30  
Old 21.09.2015, 14:42
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Re: Alternative Place Names

When one sends a letter from here to places in the French and German speaking bits (or mentions it in conversation), one normally uses the Italian name, i.e. Lucerna, Zurigo, Berna, Basilea, Losanna, Ginevra, Coira, etc.

Hell, even the train announcements will use multiple place names when they announce in multiple languages.

Tom
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  #31  
Old 21.09.2015, 15:41
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Re: Alternative Place Names

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How does the bilingualism actually work on the ground? Do shopkeepers switch between the two languages depending on how they're addressed? Or do the different language communities just go to their own shops in their own parts of town?


I can't help imagining it as something like China Mieville's "The City and the City", with the inhabitants of Biel studiously ignoring the inhabitants of Bienne who are stood right next to them lest they be caught in breach!
NO. You adapt to the language dominating in a particular shop or bistro. I mean if everybody around speaks French you also shift into French. Very easy
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  #32  
Old 21.09.2015, 15:47
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Re: Alternative Place Names

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Furthermore, som monolingual place names were given extra names to make them more markeatble to tourists in the late 19th Century. these names never had official character but still linger in usage. Thus you have the German names

Bellenz = Bellinzona
Schulz = Scuol (GR)
Neuenburg = Neuchatel (I think this one may be older actually, seeing the town was Prussian at one point)

and many others like it.
and Scuol in German is SCHULS and NOT .....lz...
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  #33  
Old 21.09.2015, 15:49
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Re: Alternative Place Names

There is the street/trail running thru the village called Holzweg!
Each time I'm there, I'm tired of barking up the wrong tree.
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  #34  
Old 21.09.2015, 16:45
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Re: Alternative Place Names

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Furthermore, som monolingual place names were given extra names to make them more markeatble to tourists in the late 19th Century. these names never had official character but still linger in usage. Thus you have the German names

Bellenz = Bellinzona
Not quite that simple. Vast areas of the Ticino got annexed by Uri in the 15th century. Bellinzona was a federal condominium under the administration of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden between 1500 and 1798 (the Napoleonic invasion), when it became the capital of the new Canton of Bellinzona within the Helvetic Republic.

In other words, Bellinzona was under heavy influence of the German-speaking Confederates for several centuries, and its German name back then already was Bellenz.
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