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Old 09.07.2011, 14:34
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Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Hi
can sbdy explain to me why the Romandie is called Welschland ? (welsch etc)
merci
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Old 09.07.2011, 14:44
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

No, but:
Welsch
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Old 09.07.2011, 14:53
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

I may add that this is not the nicest word for the Romands... Welschschweiz is not really a nice word. It became Westschweiz in order to be more respectful. But Welsch in not really an insult, it's just somehow demeaning, a bit distant.
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Old 09.07.2011, 14:57
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

No offense taken here - and we call them

les Suisses Totos

or les Bourbines

or les Bourbinets

where is that sketch by Ms Porchet on 'les bourbines'?

Last edited by Odile; 09.07.2011 at 16:19.
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Old 09.07.2011, 15:01
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Look for La leçon de géographie :-)

That was my point: one does not write Bourbines in a text, so Welsch is to be used with great care in German too, but it is welcome at the right place.
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Old 09.07.2011, 15:39
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Quote:
No offense taken here - and we call them

les Suisses Totos

or les Bourbines

or les Bourbinet

where is that sketch by Ms Porchet on 'les bourbines'?
Roughly what does 'bourbines' mean, Odile?
There's nothing in my dictionary between 'bourbillon' and 'bourdaine'.
Or is it some secret language we foreigners could never understand?
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Old 09.07.2011, 16:20
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

I haven't got the foggiest. It really does not 'mean' anything. Mind you, do those expressions mean anything : scouser or geordie

From Wikipedia:

Bourbines

Un bourbine, c'est un Helvète qui vit du mauvais côté de la barrière de Röstis ou RöstiGraben et qui parle le dialecte suisse allemand ou Schwitzerdütsch, une très ancienne langue, gutturale, crachée, ayant ses racines au Moyen-Âge. La tradition veut que les Romands appellent leur compatriotes alémaniques de différentes manières comme les schtôbirnes, les totos, les casques à boulons, les macheurs de gravier, les creucreu, etc.
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Old 09.07.2011, 16:24
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Quote:
I haven't got the foggiest. It really does not 'mean' anything. From Wikipedia:

Bourbines

Un bourbine, c'est un Helvète qui vit du mauvais côté de la barrière de Röstis ou RöstiGraben et qui parle le dialecte suisse allemand ou Schwitzerdütsch, une très ancienne langue, gutturale, crachée, ayant ses racines au Moyen-Âge. La tradition veut que les Romands appellent leur compatriotes alémaniques de différentes manières comme les schtôbirnes, les totos, les casques à boulons, les macheurs de gravier, les creucreu, etc.
Oh well! That'll teach me not to ask stooooopid questions
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Old 09.07.2011, 16:55
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

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Un bourbine, c'est un Helvète qui vit du mauvais côté de la barrière de Röstis ...
Let's be nice and say "... de l'autre côté ..." rather than "du mauvais côté"
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Old 09.07.2011, 17:04
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Of course- not my words though. I do think it is meant to raise a smile.
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Old 09.07.2011, 17:13
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Quote:
I do think it is meant to raise a smile.
Or a wink , maybe even or
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Old 09.07.2011, 17:25
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

It is a bit like the Canadians vs the Quebecois.

They like to call us Frogs, we like to call them Tête carrée (Square head)

It is known, we both accept it but don't call me like that in my face kind of.

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Old 09.07.2011, 17:31
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

From http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welschland:

Welsche oder Walsche ist vermutlich ursprünglich die germanische Bezeichnung für die Kelten. In der deutschen Sprache werden heute unter Welschen als Exonym jeweils die am nächsten wohnenden romanischen Völker bezeichnet, und in seinen Varianten ist diese Bezeichnung über ganz Europa zu finden. Der Ausdruck Welschland wurde früher unter anderem für Italien und Frankreich verwendet, heute hauptsächlich in der Schweiz für die Romandie (auch Welschschweiz).

Translated:

Gallic or Walsche is probably the original Germanic name for the Celts. In the German language today Welschen as exonym respective closest living Romanic peoples referred to, and its variants are found all over Europe. The expression Welsch country was earlier for including Italy and France used today mainly in Switzerland for the Romandie (also Welsch Switzerland ).

See also the British variant [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_people]:

The name Welsh originated as an exonym given to its speakers by the Anglo-Saxons, meaning "foreign speech"...
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Old 09.07.2011, 21:53
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Thanks, interesting, I knew Welsh means Celt,so I was a bit surprised to see it used for Romands, especially as the French are the Franks (germans) but now I understand it refers to the Sprache.
thks to all
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Old 09.07.2011, 22:58
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

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Thanks, interesting, I knew Welsh means Celt,so I was a bit surprised to see it used for Romands, especially as the French are the Franks (germans) but now I understand it refers to the Sprache.
thks to all
Welsh / Welsch does not really mean Celt. In its very early existence, it may have been derived from the Celtic tribe of the Volcae, a Celtic tribe that lived in southern France in pre-Augustean times. However, after some time, many Germanic peoples used the word for just about any other people whose language was all Greek to them, so to say. In those times, that mainly meant all the Celts and the Romans. Those were the important foreigners of those times.

Since there are not that many Celts left in continental Europe, now it just means people of a Romance language. In the UK, where it originally meant the same, since the Romans got thrown out, it now refers to the Cymric people. Why it doesn't include the other insular Celtic languages (Goidelic, encompassing Manx, Irish and Gaelic; plus Cornish) is beyond me.

The root of the word can be found in many English and German words and place names, partly even in other languages. For instance, the Walloons in Belgium got their name from it. Walenstadt in eastern Switzerland was Wualaha stade in Middle German, which means the lake shore where they speak a different language (the eastern part of the Walensee was settled by Romansh speaking tribes). Walnut (German: Walnuss) was the nut that came to the Germanic areas from the Romance speaking areas of Europe. Etc.. Etc..

Although the English article in Wikipedia says Welsch has a somewhat pejorative meaning in German, I'd like to object (sorry Faltrad). The way I grew up with Swiss German as my native language, I never got the impression it was pejorative per se. It may occasionally be used in a pejorative way, but that is the case also with just about any term that is used for "them, not us." For instance, "American" is sort of neutral, but it is part of the term "Ugly American" too. That does not give the word proper a pejorative connotation.

I must admit, I simplified things a bit (I'm sure Faltrad will notice), but digging up more details would go beyond the scope of this thread.
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Old 10.07.2011, 00:05
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

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Although the English article in Wikipedia says Welsch has a somewhat pejorative meaning in German, I'd like to object (sorry Faltrad). .
It's ok to be sorry, fact is that one has to think a little bit before using it. That does not mean it is per se pejorative. There are many many words that comes out very differently depending on tone and who says it when in what context. Welsch is one of them.
I am sure that we agree and just express ourselves differently. It is also different when a Swiss like you have heard it in a perfectly neutral way whole his life and a French/German (in that context an outsider) who has mixed experiences on both sides of the Röschtigraben about both Bourbines and Welsche...
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Old 10.07.2011, 09:01
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Any idea where "totos" come from?
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Old 10.07.2011, 10:02
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

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Any idea where "totos" come from?

Toto = Teutons (Germans)

nb. does not have a negative meaning
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Old 10.07.2011, 11:00
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

Quote:

where is that sketch by Ms Porchet on 'les bourbines'?
here:




and here:


Enjoy!
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Old 10.07.2011, 12:46
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Re: Why are the French-speaking Swiss called Welsch ?

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Toto = Teutons (Germans)

nb. does not have a negative meaning
Of course not. See Welsch.
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