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Talk:Switzerland

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Top Passage[edit]

"France might have the real Magic Kingdom, but the true Disneyland of Europe belongs to the Swiss. Switzerland is a natural theme park showcasing three of Europe's most distinct cultures. To the north is the beer-drinking, sausage-eating stepchild of Germany; to the south-west the wine drinking and shopping spills effortlessly into France; in the south-east the sun warms cappuccino-sippers loitering in Italian-style plazas."

While the above passage sounds nice and catchy, and there is certainly also some truth to it, it is way too cheesy and over-simplyfies reality. I suggest to rephrase it. Furthermore, if you don't want to offend a Swiss living in the Siss-German speaking part you should not tell him that he in fact is more of a German than a Swiss. Today's feeling of most Swiss speking Swiss-Germans towards their German neighbors can probably best be described as "bitter-sweet".

Go for it! I'd rather keep the disney thing... actually it reminds me of a cartoon I saw in the Tribune de Genève, but the sausage-eating thing can totally go. I'd like to see what you can do with it. -- Mark 14:46, 26 Apr 2005 (EDT)

This introduction is quite strange. It compares a whole country to a Disneyland. Second, it calls a part of it "stepchild of Germany". This is about as true as if you claimed US a stepchild of England, just because they speak more or less the same language. Third, the North is not more "sausage-eating" than the rest of the country, so the implication of the clause is wrong. I suggest someone re-write the introduction. I'll clear the "stepchild" thing at least in some days if no-one else does. 21-12-05 Oli

I think the writer had an image in mind from a cartoon in the Tribune de Geneve when she wrote "Disneyland of Europe". At any rate the text is not set in stone. Please feel free to do a rewrite.
Actually I don't care for the "stepchild" language myself. So I'll take care of that now. You do the rest. -- Mark 10:53, 21 Dec 2005 (EST)
The Swiss Germans are like the Germans?? I'd say exactly the opposite: Switzerland is number 30 or 31 (depending on the sources) on the list of countries by beer consumption per capita, but Switzerland is number 3 or 4 (depending on the sources) on the list of countries by wine consumption per capita. Sausages??? The Wikipedia category "Swiss sausages" contains only 2 sausages compared to 35 "German" sausages, and last but not least: The Swiss are not responsible for two world wars, haven't killed 6 million Jews. Switzerland has been a democracy for many centuries, which means there is no long tradition of "everything has to be regulated by law, everything has to be standardized and everything else is verboten" like in Germany.

Editing in german[edit]

Cheers! I just recently started editing the pages for switzerland, bern and basel a bit. (I'm swiss, i grew up near basle and i live near bern). I would first like to apologise for my english... there will be a lot of correcting work for to do in future.

A proposition: Would it be possible to submit text in german and have it translated by the native englishspeaking? This would make it much easier to get help from some of my fello swiss friends.

You can submit German content at the German Wikitravel here. Jpatokal 12:47, 10 Dec 2004 (EST)

Template headers[edit]

You're doing a good job at turning a list of factoids into an article. I have to say that I LOATHE the 'headers' that were created for the templates. What's wrong with calling it 'money' and 'language'? It seems unnecessarily kitschy to me...

There should be a listing of 'Regions and Areas of Interest' right up near the top of the article to link it down to the subdomains... I guess this should go on the Template page but I can't find it. KJ 22:59, 7 Aug 2003 (PDT)

We've gotten rid of the -ing parts if that helps at all. Go ahead and add Regions/Cities or Highlights to the Country article template, I agree it should be towards the top.

I've done some radical cutting and rearranging to put facts in the table and reduced the map. I also don't like the headers in the template but will go with the flow. Any thoughts on the changes? Tiles 01:57, 11 Aug 2003 (PDT)

Hey, could the playing with format, etc go to the Country article template? Swizterland is a "real" country page, albeit a working example. The general conversation about what should go on country pages and how they should look is happening there. Thanks Majnoona

Germans don't understand Schwizerdüütsch[edit]

Hey Maj, you wanted to correct my editings? --- But it's really true: Germans, if not directly from the border, don't understand Schwizerdüütsch. Of course, you can discuss whether it's an own language or not. Following my own experiance, I'd say no. After having lived in Konstanz, directly at the Swiss border, for a year, I could understand most of it (excluding the wallisean dialect). Is this the way to learn foreign languages? --- Hansm 16:57, 2003 Sep 9 (PDT)


CIA fact table and flag[edit]

Is there a reason why the CIA fact table and flag went away? I know it seemed to be messing up the article format, but I kinda liked it...Majnoona

Yeah, it was totally messing up the layout. I tried making it work for a while -- you can check out the older versions in the Page History -- and then I gave up and just ripped it out. Go ahead and add it back in if you want to. I just thought the fact that it jumped all over the place was too much hassle. -- Evan 10:40, 5 Nov 2003 (PST)

There is a pb with the flag. CH should be Switzerland, isn't? Now it's China... Yann 10:08, 17 Feb 2004 (EST)

Regions of Switzerland[edit]

So, I'm trying to figure out how to make some regions in Switzerland. There are 26 cantons, which might be a little much. Here's my first shot at a region hierarchy:

A couple of problems with this: obviously, the German section is really long. Second, it's not clear that language is a good way to split up all the cantons; geography may play a more important role. Thirdly, I'm not sure some of the cantons have any existence independent of their eponymous cities; for example, are Geneva (canton) and Geneva (city) coterminous (have the same borders) and essentially identical? Is Basel Stadt anything except the city Basel (as the name suggests)?

Anyways, Swiss-aware folks would do Wikitravel a kindness by working on the above tree until it looks about right, and then moving it to the Regions section of this article. It might also make sense to have a List of Swiss cantons page with the full list. --Evan 15:22, 14 Apr 2004 (EDT)

OK, actually one problem here with doing it on a per canton basis at all is that the line between french-speaking and swiss-german-speaking parts of the country actually runs through several cantons. Cantons Jura, Basel-land, Solothurn, Fribourg, Berne, and Valais all straddle the linguistic divide. This is in part because all of the french speaking cantons with the execptions of Geneva and Valais were once teritories of Bern.
Anyhow, I'm going to propose a list which sort of ignores the french/swiss-german linguistic divide, and instead groups places according to how you get to them, and their interest to the traveler. Italian and Romansch are easier, since the regions are coterminous with cantons Ticino and Graubünden respectively. I'm leaving the list above untouched for now as a guide.
Actually I'm not terribly sure that the canton borders are at all imporantant to the traveller, I would probably just have the regions and the towns, and skip the cantons, or perhaps better yet, only have pages for the cantons which are more imporantant as destinations than their cities, freely mixing cantons and cities. There's certainly no reason for having both a Basel-Stad page and a Basel page, they are the same. Geneva (canton and Geneva (city) are not (at the moment), but for a traveller's needs they might as well be.
My only worry about using the layout above is that it's the one that Lonely Planet uses, but they got it from the Swiss Travel Office, so I think it's fair game. ;) -- Mark 09:13, 15 Apr 2004 (EDT)
So, I really like this. I renamed the "Romansch" and "Italian" parts just to their actual canton names -- not a problem, there. Also, I removed some "The"'s and "Region"'s. --Evan 13:10, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Ok. Cool. I'm going to make some more refinements and then move it out to the country page tomorrow, or so. I figure that the actual region pages can mostly wait until we have more content for them, though I will probably start on the Lake Geneva, Valais, and Central Switzerland regions pretty quickly. -- Mark 17:24, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Great. I want to say, this is an excellent break down -- a nice mix of legal boundaries, travel areas, geographical regions, linguistic, etc. I think it's a good model! --Evan 17:31, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)
Actually now that I go look at the Swiss tourism office site I see that I've missed a bit. They lump Fribourg in with the Jura rather than Berne (Seems odd having been there, Fribourg is like a little mini copy of Bern.) They also separate Geneva out into it's own region, separate from Vaud. Do you, fellow wikitravelers, think we should go with the official tourist regions or follow our gut. -- Mark 17:38, 20 Apr 2004 (EDT)
I don't like it that now Northeast Switzerland is cut into two unconnected parts. I think we can easily solve this problem by adding that western part to the Basel region, which is now way too small anyway. What do others think of this? --globe-trotter 16:34, 7 June 2010 (EDT)

Copyright violation[edit]

I have removed the money thing. It is submitted by anon and copied from: [1] --elgaard 09:52, 4 Jul 2005 (EDT)

'Work' information[edit]

Need some 'work' information (and also some 'learn' information) to progress this page from stub status. I worked in Switzerland for a while. It was a pain in the ass organising work permits even when my company was supposed to be doing it for me. This page looks like some good info: http://www.geneva.ch/WelcomeGeneva3.htm for that section. -- Nojer2 13:03, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

I wrote a few articles on working for the UN in Switzerland, let me dig up my old notes... try http://www.cagi.ch/ as well... Majnoona 13:35, 22 Nov 2005 (EST)

Cities list is getting too long[edit]

Hi all, It looks to me like the Cities list is getting far far too long. We're going to need to trim it soon to the 7+-2 rule of thumb (9 in other words) we've recently had this situation with the USA page as well, and I'm sure it will crop up again. I just figured the best thing to do would be to notify everybody before I just up and do it. - Mark 08:13, 1 Feb 2006 (EST)

Sounds good. I imagine keeping 5+-2 major destination cities on the country page and the rest on their respective region pages... Majnoona 10:30, 1 Feb 2006 (EST)
I think 7 or 8 cities would probably work for Switzerland, but I had a hard time paring the list down to 9 when I culled them for the USA. -- Mark 15:44, 1 Feb 2006 (EST)

Removed External links[edit]

I removed the following links according to the External links guidelines. -- Jelse 04:50, 30 March 2006 (EST)

Swiss Army Knives - vfd discussion[edit]

Copied from Wikitravel:Votes for deletion:

  • Someone may want to put some of this in the Switzerland article, but we don't do articles on products. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 10:12, 15 March 2006 (EST)
    • Delete. Would make a nice start for a Wikipedia article, though. Ricardo (Rmx) 22:10, 15 March 2006 (EST)
      • This page "Swiss Army Knives" should not be deleted- it is authentic information for anyone travelling to Switzerland- all tourists will see Swiss Army Knives for sale in virtually every shop- so why not have some information about them on Wikitravel. 70% of Victorinox's sale of Swiss Army Knives are from the tourist- so this page should stay. Furthermore on the main Switzerland page there is incorrect information- It states that you can no longer buy Wenger Swiss Army Knives- This is totally incorrect. The facts are- In 2005 the Wenger firm was struggling and thus was bought buy its rival Victorinox- the Wenger firm is still producing Swiss Army Knives and in all the souvenir shops there are still 2 ranges the Wenger one and the Victorinox one. Production is still seperate and both Victorinox and Wenger will be producing seperate ranges indefinately. Wikitravel- please amend the Switzerland page accordingly. Just to realliterate please dont delete the Swiss Army Knives page- the majority of tourists to Switzerland will appreciate this info. Thanks.***
        • I am sorry I will need to go along with everone else in recommending this page be deleted, but I would really like to see you add some of this information to the Switzerland page, as the infomation is valuable. Also, please feel free to plunge forward and correct any information you find that is incorrect. We value your contributions, but we have policies and guidelines on what is an article. Please stick around and contribute. Thanks. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 12:15, 16 March 2006 (EST)
  • Delete. Merge relevant info into Switzerland. -- Jonboy 11:07, 16 March 2006 (EST)
  • Delete. Keep the info, but delete the page. -- Tom Holland (xltel) 12:15, 16 March 2006 (EST)
  • I HAVE SAVED WIKITRAVEL THE TROUBLE OF DELETING MY PAGE ON SWISS ARMY KNIVES- I HAVE DELETED IT MYSELF. FURTHERMORE I HAVE DELETED MY BRIENZ PAGE AND I HAVE DELETED MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INTERLAKEN PAGE. NEVER AGAIN WILL I WRITE ANYTHING FOR WIKITRAVEL- I'AM APPAULED BY THE SUGGESTION MY WORK BE DELETED. WIKITRAVEL IS OBVIOUSLY NOT INDEPENDENT AND IMPARTIAL. I'M WRITING THIS FROM AN INTERNET CAFE, THUS I DONT HAVE AN E MAIL NOR PC OF MY OWN. THIS MESSAGE IS FROM AN UNHAPPY TRAVEL WRITER.*
    • Hey, so the thing is, we don't want the information deleted, we just want it on a different page. Why is that so bad? -- Mark 15:04, 16 March 2006 (EST)
  • Delete. Not an article in accordance with Wikitravel:What is an article?. Also Wikitravel:Slippery slope. -- Colin 14:49, 16 March 2006 (EST)
  • I now agree that Swiss Army Knives doesnt really fall into your criteria. I will still contribute to Wikitravel. Thanks!
    • Delete the page, but the info (or a condensed version of it) should definitely be infoboxed in Switzerland#Buy. Jpatokal 10:23, 17 March 2006 (EST)

---

Changes[edit]

I've removed "Since 12. December 2005, smoking is prohibited in the trains. Not all signs are changed yet, but you will have to pay a fine, even if there is an ashtray attached to your seat!" since this information is out of date. 9. May 2006

  • Not quite sure why you deleted this information, or how it is "outdated." Smoking on trains is indeed prohibited now, at least those run by SBB, the national train company.
Feel free to put it back in as it would be useful to a lot of travellers. -- Sapphire 16:24, 8 November 2006 (EST)

I've removed the following quote, mostly because it is seriously outdated when considering today's culture in Switzerland. This may have been true twenty years ago, but today it is commonplace for anyone to carry a healthy exchange with law enforcement if there is indeed a disagreement. I speak from much (good) experience. The Swiss, in my perspective, have a serious respect for the law, but not law enforcement -- this is a democracy.

Like the Germans, the Swiss have an extreme sense of respect for authority. Make sure you respect any police you interact with, even if you may see no point in what you are being requested or ordered to do. -- ab1247 02:06, 3 February 2007 (EST)

I've added "(but note that, in Basel city at least, whilst the cross-walks give priority to pedestrians many drivers will stop on and reverse over cross-walks without much care or attention)" to the Stay Safe section having heard stories and personally experienced many of these incidents.

"Talk" section[edit]

"Talk" section: style and tone[edit]

Moved from my talk page 83.67.217.254 16:48, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

Hi there, and welcome to Wikitravel. Please note that this is a travel guide, not an encyclopedia. As such we expect writers to use an irreverent and fun tone. Please do not delete text for satisfying this requirement.

Thanks, and have a nice day! -- Mark 16:58, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

Hi again. Can you please take a moment to explain what you find so offensive about our take on Swiss linguistics? Thanks. -- Mark 03:13, 20 June 2007 (EDT)

In your last edit summary you wrote: "It doesn't introduce any useful info, it's very poor style, it's misleading and wrong". Well, I think the information is useful, and I rather like the style. What's "misleading and wrong" about it? Maybe if you tried fixing it instead of just deleting it, that might come across as a little more constructive. - Todd VerBeek 20:32, 21 June 2007 (EDT)
Maybe if you tried to read more carefully, you would notice that I did fix it, and indeed something was wrong.
As for its being misleading, I dispute that English will get you anywhere in Switzerland, or anyway it's nowhere near as useful as German.
Style may be a matter of taste, or in your case lack thereof, but my claim that the paragraph doesn't add anything useful stands. Thank you and goodbye. 83.67.217.254 02:06, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
You're quite mistaken on both counts. English is far more useful than German is in Suisse Romande, while it (unfortunately) slightly bests French outre Sarine. I know of which I speak, being that I live in Romandie myself.
Now, it's true that in school swiss languages are taught before English, however there are lots and lots of immigrants in Switzerland, and they're the ones who wind up doing jobs in areas that have a lot of traveller exposure. Don't expect to be able to speak German with a Portuguese waitress in Lausanne, and don't try to speak french with the South Asian gentleman selling coffee on the train. You won't get very far.
So, unless travellers are willing to learn 4 languages (of course that's to be encouraged), then they need to know that the default fallback language for travel in Swtizerland is in fact English.
Meanwhile, you seem to have a problem with the style of the intro paragraph. I think we just differ there. It might be a little over the top, but not much. We really want to keep this guide lively, and not dull dull dull like an encyclopedia. We strongly resist people who come along and dull stuff down, or just delete paragraphs referring to them as "unencyclopedic crap". If you want to change that paragraph you're going to have to be a little more constructive with your criticism than "crap". -- Mark 02:35, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
I think I have been far more constructive and specific in my criticism than you reverters have been so far. I notice you have edited the point that I found misleading, while failing to admit that it was. Of course there are exceptions, if you are in China Town (or talking to a Chinese guy) in New York you are probably better off speaking Cantonese, but that doesn't mean that we can put Cantonese and English on the same plane when talking about the USA as a country, does it? 83.67.217.254 03:02, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
Unless I'm mistaken your main argument is that the current text is "crap" and "pretentious bullshit" while Mark has made a solid argument to the contrary. Given that state of affairs I suspect most editors would be inclined to restore the article to its original form until there is some agreement that your reverts improve the article. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:11, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
You are mistaken. My argument has been much more specific than what you report, and Mark's argument was not solid at all, since he has contradicted it in his own edits. 83.67.217.254 03:43, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
You call "unencyclopedic crap" specific? -- Mark 04:25, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
Maybe not, but everything else I said is, even if you choose to ignore it. 83.67.217.254 16:43, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
Where? I'm glad that you're finally participating in a conversation here, but I can't really find anything earlier where you did much more than blank the paragraph with a dismissive comment. -- Mark 02:25, 23 June 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I'm trying to improve the article. I also find the original author's take to be just a little bit too sassy. I would especially like to do something better than "confusing people with". However so far Mr. 83.67.217.254 I've been discussion and you've been dismissing. If by chance you speak Romansch maybe you can tell me how to write "speak Romansch". Thanks! -- Mark 03:15, 22 June 2007 (EDT)
Oh, and you know, attempting to get staff to speak French on a train between Geneva and Lausanne is hardly like a trip to Chinatown. It really annoys me in fact that I have to fall back to English and sometimes I make them try to speak French just 'cause I can. However, the fact is that when travelling in Switzerland you sometimes need English in addition to the school version of the local language just to get by. -- Mark
I'd just like to note that, as a former Swiss resident, the Talk section seems quite accurate, and I entirely fail to see what's offensive about it...? Jpatokal 17:31, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

The original paragraph went:

No, there is no "Swiss Language" per se. Depending on where you are in the country (or what street you're on in some cities) the locals might spreche Schwyzerdüütsch, parler Français, parlare Italiano, or be confusing everyone with a little-known language called Romansch, which is closely related to Latin. English and German are your best bets for general use, but with a mostly multi-lingual population, it shouldn't be hard to find someone who can talk your talk.

I had several problems with that, which is why I still think this deserved to be removed. Some users defended this paragraph revert after revert, with weak or no arguments. As a proof of the weakness of their arguments, some of the problems I raised have eventually been addressed by the same users. The issues:

  1. It didn't add any info that was not already in the subsequent paragraphs. This is not true anymore.
  2. The tone was below the threshold of decency. Now that the "confusing everyone" part has thankfully gone, we are left with the condescending "No, there is no Swiss language" when really "There is no Swiss language" would suffice.
  3. Sloppiness. "Schwyzerdütsch" was misspelt, a beyond-colloquial "what street you're", "Language" with capital "L", "Italiano" with capital "I". Some of these are now fixed. Not really a problem, as this is what a wiki is all about, but indicative of the overall quality.
  4. Puts German and English on the same plane when we all know this is not true. This has been fixed.
  5. More condescension and unnecessary display of language skills with the not-so-amusing "parler Français" etc. This has now been changed from bad to worse, because, that I know of, in those languages after a modal verb you need an infinitive and not a conjugated form of the verb. Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken, in German the subordinate verb would go last, as in "dürfen Schwyzerdütsch schprechen", which makes the whole rhetoric fall apart. Using other languages other than English in this context and in this way is out of place, confusing and anyway has no added value.
  6. It suggests that it's not hard to find somebody that speaks your language, which is in general not true, or not any more true than it would be in any other part of Europe. The wording has been changed, but the issue not addressed.
  7. If anything, this paragraph should go at the bottom of the section, after we have mentioned more important facts, namely what the official languages are, etc.

83.67.217.254 17:40, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

Moved back here 83.67.217.254 22:13, 25 June 2007 (EDT)

Your complaint about the "condescending" tone of the text is left rather hollow by the mean-spiritedly insulting tone of your comments. - Todd VerBeek 18:13, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

With the difference that my comments are directed to some editors, not all users. 83.67.217.254 00:20, 23 June 2007 (EDT)
The more important difference is that the text in the article was intended as a friendly remark, but your gratuitous insults are clearly intended to offend. That's both un-called-for and counterproductive, because it gives people the impression that you're more interested in tearing things (and people) down rather than building them up. Wikitravel is a pretty friendly project - in the spirit of helping fellow travelers and getting along with people who are strangers to each of us - and being undiplomatic here just makes people more resistant to what you say. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and hoping you're perceptive enough to see the benefit of being more polite, but many others won't. - Todd VerBeek 08:54, 23 June 2007 (EDT)
Thank you 83.67.217.254 22:13, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
It seems to me that you keep mistaking this travel guide for an encyclopedia. It's not an encyclopedia.
As for the spelling of Schwyzerdütch: There's no such thing as a fixed orthography. Some Swiss spell it with one ü some with two. It was a native speaker who switched it to two some time ago.
Google says the spelling with one "ü" is overwhelmingly more common. 83.67.217.254 22:13, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
It really does depend on what street you're in, especially in Fribourg or Bienne.
Never said it didn't 83.67.217.254 22:13, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
It's an intro, it's there to give a feeling of what to expect for the traveller. As such it can be a little jazzed-up, and followed by more "encyclopedic" information further down. -- Mark 02:24, 23 June 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for carefully dodging most of the remaining issues. Why do you keep repeating the word "encyclopedic" in quotes? Are you running out of arguments? I have used it only once, and everything I said applies equally well to non-encyclopedic contents. 83.67.217.254 22:13, 25 June 2007 (EDT)
"Thanks for carefully dodging" is probably not quite as polite as you want to be if you mean to change my mind on anything. As it is I've made an effort to try to figure out what you wanted (before you posted your list of objections). Now that I have your list I can respond. Hopefully we can work together to come up with something we can both live with.
Here's a point by point response:
  • "It didn't add any info that was not already in the subsequent paragraphs. This is not true anymore."
Good. I think we agree on this point.
  • "The tone was below the threshold of decency. Now that the "confusing everyone" part has thankfully gone, we are left with the condescending "No, there is no Swiss language" when really "There is no Swiss language" would suffice."
I really don't think that's condecending at all, I think it's just snappy writing, and I like the way it sounds better than the duller version without the "No". Perhaps it seems condescending to you, being that in the UK you have a proper education in things like geography. However, you might be surprised at the number of Americans who confuse Switzerland with Sweden. So we disagree on this point.
  • "Sloppiness. "Schwyzerdütsch" was misspelt, a beyond-colloquial "what street you're", "Language" with capital "L", "Italiano" with capital "I". Some of these are now fixed. Not really a problem, as this is what a wiki is all about, but indicative of the overall quality."
Yeah, I agree with you. I tried to get it a bit more consistent. I don't want to throw it out though, because our guides tend to be waaaay too dry as it is since we get a lot of editors from Wikipedia.
  • "Puts German and English on the same plane when we all know this is not true. This has been fixed."
Thanks. I still wonder if I've really gotten my point across on this though. Let me relate an anecdote: I have a number of friends who occasionnally serve as officers in the Swiss Army. Pretty much everybody who has a degree is an officer, at least until age 45 or so. Anyhow, my friend David says that when they have joint excercises with one of the German-speaking cantons then everybody is supposed to speak their own native language, which is then supposed to be understood by the other officers, etc. Anyhow, after a day or so everybody gets fed up with that system and they all switch to English.
What we're trying to communicate here is that within some levels of society the Swiss use English as a sort of least-common-denominator fallback tongue. How do you think we should communicate that without making the article too dry?
  • "More condescension and unnecessary display of language skills with the not-so-amusing "parler Français" etc. This has now been changed from bad to worse, because, that I know of, in those languages after a modal verb you need an infinitive and not a conjugated form of the verb. Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken, in German the subordinate verb would go last, as in "dürfen Schwyzerdütsch schprechen", which makes the whole rhetoric fall apart. Using other languages other than English in this context and in this way is out of place, confusing and anyway has no added value."
You really think so? To me it seemed like she was just having a little fun with it. Maybe I ruined it by trying to fix it up?
Well, if you can come up with something fun and witty to replace it go ahead. What we want to avoid here is a "just the facts" approach which would make for a dead-dull guide.
  • "It suggests that it's not hard to find somebody that speaks your language, which is in general not true, or not any more true than it would be in any other part of Europe. The wording has been changed, but the issue not addressed."
Yeah, I don't think we've quite found the right wording here. I like the turn of phrase "talks your talk" though, and would like to keep it there until we have something with as much bounce that communicates what we really want.
  • "If anything, this paragraph should go at the bottom of the section, after we have mentioned more important facts, namely what the official languages are, etc."
I totally disagree. Wherever possible we should have the livelier if less strictly informative writing up front. That's what makes a travel guide readable, and more than just a reference work. -- Mark 03:24, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

I changed "sprechen Schwyzerdütsch" into "redet Schwyzerdütsch" as sprechen is not used in Swiss German. 195.65.112.42 08:32, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

I really wish the pedants who spend so much time changing minutiae in the Talk section of this article would actually contribute some useful travel information instead.--Burmesedays 04:50, 24 April 2010 (EDT)

"Talk" Section: too long?[edit]

I don't know about you guys but I think this section really needs to be trimmed. At the moment, there is all this technical information on the linguistics of Swiss German, and while I won't say it's useless, I think that belongs more in the Wikipedia article about Swiss German than in an actual travel guide. I understand that Wikitravel encourages lively writing instead of an encyclopaedic style, but to me, it seems that there is so much information that reading through the section for practical information you need to visit Switzerland has become such a chore. For instance, someone who wanted to visit say, Zurich should know that the local language in Zurich is a dialect of German, which a German speaker from Berlin might not understand. It would probably also be helpful if he knew that most people in Zurich have learnt standard German in school, but I don't think he'll need to know about the historical genealogical relationship between the Zurich dialect and the Berlin dialect. I did trim try to trim the section myself, but there have been major objections so I'm writing here to see if we can come to a consensus on it. Superdog 23:18, 7 November 2012 (EST)

Yes, it is long and very detailed. Thanks for bringing this to this discussion page, Superdog.
Perhaps it might be an idea to use all that text as the basis for a new Travel topic? Then when the conservatives can see that all the text is preserved, you can take the hatchet to it without so many yelps of complaint... --singaporeAlice 00:55, 8 November 2012 (EST)
So let's discuss, what should be in and what should be out? I for one think that we can delete all the detailed linguistics of Swiss German, since this is not a linguistics academic artile. Sure we can highlight that Swiss German consists of many different dialects of German, but I do not think we need to go into details about the genealogical relationships between each of the dialects. I think that belongs under the individual regions in anything. What do you think -- Superdog 09:38, 9 November 2012 (EST)
I have left 2 messages on your IP interlocutor's talk page. Finish the new article, copy relevant text to the individual regions and then the way will be clear for a hatchet job... --singaporeAlice 15:50, 9 November 2012 (EST)

Intro pic[edit]

The intro pic is rather glum, nondistinct and non-Swiss. Surely we've got some pictures of alpine meadows, giant cowbells and yodeling guys in funny hats eating cheese? Jpatokal 17:29, 22 June 2007 (EDT)

Yikes, I searched for "yodle" instead of "yodel" on google, trying to come up with a joke, and was rudely blinded by the hasselhoff. Is that even legal? Probably better suited to the Germany page anyhow, why they love him I'll never know...
Seriously though, what about:
  1. this
  2. this
  3. this
  4. this
  5. this
  6. this
There's lot's more on Flickr – cacahuate talk 03:28, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Wow! Switzerland looks an awful lot like a certain section of Georgia! I rather like this image from commons. --Peter Talk 04:48, 26 June 2007 (EDT)
Hmm, or this one from flickr --Peter Talk 15:43, 26 June 2007 (EDT)

myswitzerland.com repeated removal[edit]

There has been an anonymous user who initially changed the myswitzerland.com link to another site, and after the other site was eventually blacklisted has been removing the myswitzerland.com link. Wikitravel:External links is clear on why a link to the official tourism site for Switzerland should be included in this article, and why no other links to a Switzerland is appropriate. If there is any disagreement, Wikitravel talk:External links is the place to discuss it. Removing the link multiple times a day is pointless, as it will always be restored, just as a link to disneyland.com would always be restored to the Disneyland article. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:23, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Other destinations[edit]

All of the items in other destinations are cities. I do not see any discussion here allowing this, or see any reason why it should be, so I will delete them all, --ClausHansen 15:08, 14 August 2010 (EDT)

Most should go, but the two ski resorts should be OK. --Peter Talk 22:08, 14 August 2010 (EDT)
I'm not sure if I agree with this. Our organizational structure does not really fit Switzerland. Most people don't go to the big industrial cities, but instead they visit rural areas and the Alps. Places like Interlaken are among the most visited areas of Switzerland, so leaving them out does not help navigation. --globe-trotter 10:57, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
There are only 7 cities listed so room for two more there. Interlaken is an obvious candidate being a small but very popular town/municipality. Also we should not assume that there have to be ODs listed. That being said, various Alpine regions would seem like good ODs. And there's Matterhorn. Probably others I can't think of right now. --burmesedays 11:15, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
I notice a Zermatt pipe re-direct has been inserted for Matterhorn. Not sure that is right for an OD? Shouldn't listed ODs be articles? In any case, Matterhorn is an article. --burmesedays 11:51, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
Maybe the OD could read: Zermatt - famous mountain resort at the base of the mighty Matterhorn ? --burmesedays 11:54, 29 August 2011 (EDT)
I linked to Zermatt, because that is the destination in Switzerland. The Matterhorn is an article that also covers the Italian side of it (I think the Matterhorn article can better be changed into a disambiguation page, but opinion differs about that on Wikitravel). But just calling it Zermatt is fine too. --globe-trotter 12:09, 29 August 2011 (EDT)

speeding section....[edit]

no idea where wiki got the speeding info from but its totally incorrect.

switzerland has cross border agreements in regard to driver informtion with france, germany and austria.

"all of europe" is really not correct as is the asia, south america etc etc.

take UK for instance, CH can send a letter requesting it to be passed onto the registered owner, which it normally is, but there is absolutly no bilatteral agreement between UK and CH so there is no requirement for the owner to do anything further except ignore.

feedback welcome.

-- —The preceding comment was added by 146.216.2.65 (talkcontribs)

speeding section....[edit]

would like to add to the person comments above and agree who ever wrote the speeding section must have recieved really bad information or just made it up - where did this come from?? in many countries speeding is a criminal act so nothing special there.....

Switzerland has agreements of driver information with france,austria and germany but no other countries.

You WILL NOT be taken to court by your home country (except those above) - under which laws... answers please?

in fact the recently proposed "Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety" has been rejected by many member states.

-- —The preceding comment was added by 146.216.2.66 (talkcontribs)

My, what similar IP addresses you have. LtPowers 20:01, 30 March 2012 (EDT)


haha, i am the original poster and discussed the false info wih other collegues who said they would comment. But please search the IP - its a company with its own ISP and all computers have the same outgoing IP. Regardless this still doesnt detract from the fact the info is vastly incorrect. —The preceding comment was added by 178.83.197.123 (talkcontribs)

Fines[edit]

I don't think we really need a huge list of traffic fines added to this article. It sets a bad precedent, and it's hard to keep maintained properly. LtPowers 14:45, 25 July 2012 (EDT)

Well, it is just another way to tell what you have to take into account/ what you have to take care about. Instead of using prose text, a list is a more efficient way to do so. By the way, how much a fine costs does not change that easily in Switzerland, since it is a federal issue, and such things work slowly (though effectively) in Switzerland. And BTW, the fines change definitely much less often than the ticket prices of public transport mentioned as well in the text above. And they, the ticket prices do not change that often, either (because they are under public observation)!
I heard a lot of foreigners complaining about, if they would have known how expensive fines are, they would have acted differently. Well, not the best morality IMHO, but it shows how important it is to know. BTW: I would also like to know, how they look like in other countries, also from an ethnological point of view. Since, it gives you, as a visitor also the information, how things are treated in the country of interest. In other words, it refers to culturally particular aspects. E.g. in Switzerland, Swiss are really pedantic about the right of way for pedestrians, what I personally support, and a lot of foreigners visiting Switzerland or working here, do wonder why that many pedestrians show them the "Stinkefinger" when they do not stop at a pedestrian crossing! ;-) ZH8000 06:58, 26 July 2012 (EDT)
Nonetheless, I think the list should be pared down to a representative sample, rather than an exhaustive list. The vast majority of travelers will never encounter any of these fines, and so a long list is just a waste of space for them. LtPowers 18:58, 26 July 2012 (EDT)
Well, this is just a list of 20 points (plus speeding). The original list consists of 488 entries. So I would call 20 out of 488 quite small, and I tried hard just to pick the most important and probably for every single visitor not so 100% obvious ones. As I already said, it is not so much about the fines itself, but much more about the rules! And hopefully, any visitor will not encounter them, that's one important aspect to list them, actually, to make them aware in order to fulfil its major intention: to keep traffic accidents at a record high low rate for the last 30 years, and actually calculated in total numbers, not only in percentages (imagine that considering how many more cars are running on Swiss raods now than 30 years before!). And, if you don't know them, the probabilty to get one is definitely higher ;-)) And finally, there is no English translated Swiss traffic rules/law fines list to be found anywhere on the net!  ;-) ZH8000 23:02, 26 July 2012 (EDT)
Maybe I'm wrong here; I just don't want to see this sort of list proliferating on our travel guides. I think it's not something we're well suited for. Do other travel guides include long lists of infractions and fines? Also, I can't say I agree that infractions like "Not correctly stopping at a stop sign" and "Driving too fast" are non-obvious. I'd like to see what others have to say. LtPowers 11:36, 27 July 2012 (EDT)

Switzerland - Get around - By car - Fines list[edit]

Hi JC,

you removed the following two:

  • Keeping motor running though not necessary: CHF 60.-
  • Stopping on crossings during rush hours: CHF 60.-

by arguing that these are redundant.

I do not see it! Please advice me where I can find this redundancy!

Thanks. —The preceding comment was added by 178.82.226.3 (talkcontribs)

Grüezi! Please always sign messages on talk pages with ~~~~ to allow an appropriate discussion. I added a tag on your above message but if you want to engage at Wikitravel please consider to sign up for a permanent account.
Your second point is already included in your third bullet of the infobox "On a pedestrian crossing, parking: CHF 120.-, stopping: CHF 80.-, even during rush hours: CHF 60.-" The first touches our common sense policy as this is an offence in most European countries. It's called no advice by Captain Obvious. I hope that answer your question. Regards, Jc8136 09:32, 25 July 2012 (EDT)
Second point: a pedestrian crossing (Fussgängerübergang) is not to be mismachted with a crossing (for cars, Kreuzung) or vice versa. You could also call it an intersection, if you like, but you get the point?
And well, it is great, if it does touch your common sense, but I suspect, this is very much an individual attitude/perception. And daily life shows by far a very other reality! And of course, this site is not only addressed to Europoeans, but rather more to e.g. US-americans. And they do not even realize that this is the case. And finally, even when, if it would be that much common sense, no rule or law would be necessary, don't you think so? Regrads, ZH8000 06:29, 26 July 2012 (EDT)

Lake Geneva - lake or part of Switzerland?[edit]

Now Lake Geneva page is referred as a part of Switzerland and as the lake itself (see e.g. Evian), which does not lie only in Switzerland.

Should not there be a separate page for the part of Switzerland, e.g. Arc Lémanique/Léman arc/etc, as it is called here?

Or Lake Geneva should be only a page for the part of Switzerland, but not for the lake itself? It is also not good, because this region include places which are not only directly on the lake.

Ilya Pobelov (talk) 17:11, 1 September 2013 (EDT)

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