Grüss Gott Peterli -
<<"I know I should refer to the Vierwaldstättersee but when writing in
English I just say Lake Lucerne. Funny how we rarely if ever see it
written as Lake Luzern.">>
Shouldn't. Luzern is German. Lake is English.
In English, Lucerne is most correct, but sometimes Lucern is a less preferred option.
Just to confuse things, there is a plant named, in English, "lucern" -
<<"lucern - definition and meaning - Wordnik
Leguminous plants such as clover, vetch and lucern are green fodder which. when harvested in due season, provide cattle with the vitamins and proteins necessary for them to achieve full production capacity. Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1945 - Presentation Speech. Cultivating lucern and potatoes is, without doubt, a dignified ...">>
And, the etiology includes French spellings with a "z" -
<<"Lucerne | Define Lucerne at Dictionary.com
1620-30; alteration (by association with Latin lucerna lamp) of French luzerne < Provençal luzerno glowworm (the plant was so called in allusion to its bright seeds); akin to Old Provençal luzerna lamp < Vulgar Latin *lūcerna, for Latin lucerna. See lucid ..">>
(Although, interestinglyWhat probably conditioned me to favour French
names was when I learned that Lake Geneva is Genfersee for Swiss
Germans, and the lovely city name Genève is Genf ! Of course, I always
refer to le Lac de Neuchâtel, and I choose to call Lake Geneva Lac Léman
or sometimes simply le Léman. ....)
Interesting. I always thought that Lac Léman was the "real" French name, but that in Romandie, Lac Genève is preferred by the Swiss. Don't know where i heard that, so it may not be true.
And, for me, Neuchatel is far enough south into the land of "frites" that I never think of it as Neuenberg, either. Luckily, it is only a short distance northwards to be able to enjoy Rösti, an alternative and pleasant form of potatoes. ;-)
(.....I know that the Bodensee has a French
name but I would never refer to it as Lac de Constance, nor would I
change the name of the city of Konstanz to anything else. Nor would I
refer to Lake Lucerne as Lac-des-Quatre-Cantons (except when writing in
French) or, heaven forbid, Lake of the Four Cantons.">>
Of course not. I know that you know better. You would refer to it as the Lake of the Four Forest Cantons. ;-).
I always wonder why it is not the Lake of the Three Forest cantons. That is, Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Uri. Maybe there is an elementof Swiss precision here. If it might have been named "Three in the past, once Canton Nidwalden split off with thte most prosperous parts, leaving behing poor Obwalden, it surely became necesary to make the name confirm. ;-)
When I write in this Forum, I should use "Lucerne," because the official language here is English.
However, I have chosen in that case to use "Luzern" because that is what people will see on signs when they are in the canton or, for example, in Zürich Hauptbahnhof, looking for trains to Lucerne.
Once in a while, some one asks - "Is Luzern the same as Lucerne?'
When speaking, it does help that the German "z" is pronounced as the English "ts" is thus similar to the French pronunciation.
And, one of the graceful things about most of Switezrland, is that if they are able, the Swiss will return a comment or answer a question in the language used to provide it.