Apr 23, 2018 - 12:10 AM
in reply to rockoyster
>> Learning, learning.
It's sometimes easier to remember if you know why something is the way it is.
Emmental is a compound word consisting of three elements:
- Emme (the name of the river)
- n = an element binding both words (often because it makes pronunciation easier)
So you end up with Emmental = valley of the Emme (river)
Most other words you see with -tal at the end will be a valley. Those with -see at the end will be a lake.
And now you would like to learn some more, right ;-) (Well, you could pretend!)
I got the following info from a website called swissworld.org in 2011. This domain no longer exists, so I can't link to it.
The names of countless Swiss towns and villages hint at the nature of the country.
- Place names that contain the syllable -berg indicate a mountain, those in -bühl, -egg, -halden or -rain point to a hill.
- A name containing -moos indicates a swamp, while -ried was a reed bed.
- Fields also occur frequently, as in -acher, -feld, -matt or -wang.
- Ticino has many place names containing words such as campo (field), prato (meadow), piano (flat) or monte (mountain).
The names in French-speaking Switzerland are harder to recognise, since the words have developed in different ways. But
- praz/pré indicate a meadow
- sax/sex/scex are from a word for rock.
While names ending in -wil or -weil derive from farmsteads, many others contain hidden reminders of how hard the early inhabitants had to work to clear the land in the first place.
- Rüt(l)i, Schwand(en), Brand, and Stock all relate to ways of clearing the ground
- In Ticino names like ronco and arzo also refer to ways of clearing the land, by digging up the wild vegetation or burning the trees
- The French equivalents include variations on essert, cierne, breuleux, or ars.
And for something on the amusing side: a peak at Glacier 3000 is officially called Sex Rouge (red rock). The company operating the cable car there renamed it in their promotional material and on their website "for touristic reasons" as Scex Rouge!
That info came from the Swiss Government site www.geo.admin.ch/, but is no longer online.
Last modified on Apr 23, 2018 - 12:15 AM by Alpenrose666