Swiss etiquette - what not to do/do in Switzerland

Swiss etiquette - what not to do/do in Switzerland

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Removed user
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Jul 12, 2018 - 4:29 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> "High German" implies that other forms are inferior or of lower status.

The origin of the term High German is related to features of the language based on geography rather than social class/status or education.

Here is an extract from Exploring the German Language by Sally Johnson (Professor of Linguistics in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Leeds) and Natalie Braber (lecturer in the Department of Linguistics at Nottingham Trent University.)

The earliest forms of German – Old High German (750–1100)

(snip)

To summarise very briefly, the German-speaking regions at this time can be divided into three areas (see map 2.1):

  • Low German dialects were spoken in the area north of the so-called Benrath Line, and were not affected by the High German sound shift.
  • Central German dialects were spoken in the area south of the Benrath Line, but north of the Germersheim Line. These dialects underwent most, but not all, of the changes associated with the High German sound shift.
  • Upper German dialects were spoken to the south of the Germersheim Line in the area which now comprises southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria. These are the dialects which were most fully affected by the sound shift.

Furthermore, Central and Upper German can be grouped together as High German dialects. These are the forms which were affected by the second sound shift, and therefore provide the basis for the subsequent development of standard ‘High’ German.

At this stage in the history of the language, we can therefore see that the origins of standard German do not lie in northern Germany, as is often assumed. Instead, standard German originates from the areas which now constitute central and southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Alpenrose

Last modified on Jul 12, 2018 - 4:40 AM by Removed user
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Jul 12, 2018 - 4:50 AM in reply to Slowpoke

>> "High German" implies that other forms are inferior or of lower status.

There's another interesting article here, from a free online German course called Deutsch im Blick, produced by the University of Texas at Austin.

coerll.utexas.edu/dib/ pho.php?k=7

Here's an extract (my bolding):

... the Low German dialects are actually found in northern Germany while the Upper German dialects are found in southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland! This may seem confusing, but just remember that the terms Low German and Upper German refer to the topography (i.e., elevation) of the regions where they are spoken.

The Low German dialects are spoken in the low coastal regions bordering the North Sea and in the flat plains regions of northern Germany (above the red line, or the lightest grey area on the map). The Upper German dialects are spoken in the mountainous regions of the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany as well as in the Austrian and Swiss Alps (below the blue line, or the darkest grey area on the map). The Central German dialects are spoken in the regions in between (between the red and blue lines, the medium grey area on the map).

The Benrath Line (the thick line to the north) separates the Low German dialects from the Central German dialects, and the Germersheim Line (the thin line to the south) separates the Central German dialects from the Upper German dialects.

Alpenrose

Lucas
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Jul 12, 2018 - 5:44 AM in reply to Removed user

Thanks for sharing Alpenrose. Very interesting to know!

Slowpoke
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Jul 12, 2018 - 7:48 AM in reply to Removed user

HI Alpenrose -

<<">> "High German" implies that other forms are inferior or of lower status.

The origin of the term High German is related to features of the language based on geography rather than social class/status or education.">>

Facts are better than fiction. Thanks for the comments and data. Your comments caused my sluggish memory to disgorge some long forgotten and incomplete information about the origins of the term "Low German."

There still remains a desire on the part of many Swiss to avoid the use of 'High" (Hoch) German as a name and substitute "Standard" or as noted above, "Schriftdeutsch." From your cited reference, ("...the origins of standard German ...") it may be that "standard" has a specific technical meaning, as well.

Three of my well-educated friends in Switzerland, who are comfortable using the term "Hochdeutsch" because they under stand its true meaning still are aware of the negative feelings about the term on the part of many Swiss, because we joke about it once in a while. That is a case where facts and feelings diverge.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke

fredch
fredch
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Jul 12, 2018 - 10:55 AM in reply to Slowpoke

It seems a matter of the reception of a term by the one addressed. The explanation makes perfect sense to me, but to a Swiss it may be a different matter. This all started by speaking about what one should do to be polite, not correct (a term abhorrent to me).

cam223
cam223
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Jul 12, 2018 - 2:05 PM

Grocery stores are different than the US. We didn't realize that we had to have our own bags.Packing our own groceries was not a problem--we just had a couple of small bags with us. We saw a grocery store and decided to get some food. I ended up carrying groceries back to our rental in my purse--glad my purse was large.

fredch
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Jul 12, 2018 - 2:16 PM in reply to cam223

At checkout, you will find nice bags for a franc or so. The bags at Denner are large red ones with a Swiss white cross on them and two types of handles. They are superior to those in the USA, and I import several for use in USA.

Lucas
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Jul 12, 2018 - 2:40 PM

Oh yes, bag your own groceries and be sure to weigh your fruit and vegetables when you bag them.

You will get some angry looks if you don't weigh and get a bar code for your produce when you pick them.

Snowman
Snowman
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Jul 12, 2018 - 2:53 PM in reply to cam223

< we had to have our own bags >

At Migros, a large paper bag is available for CHF 0.30. Same at Coop, where you can also get small plastic bags for CHF 0.05.

Peterli
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Jul 12, 2018 - 3:02 PM in reply to fredch

Hello fredch and anybody else following this thread. I wonder if Nasser is still with us ??

The Denner bags are very sturdy with two pairs of straps, as you mentioned. As you can see in the attached image, even when brand new the Denner bags look old. It's a pretty good size, about 42 cm square when lying flat. At the top on each side there are small strips of velcro so that the bag can be kept somewhat closed.

I also attach an image of a Migros bag, which has the same width as the Denner bag, but about 3 centimetres less high. Made from 100% recycled PET.

And an image of three bags from the Coop which I have bought over the course of a few years. I must say I like these the best, particularly the one that when open looks like a basket. These are all 35 centimetres square. They too are 100% recycled PET.

I had a neat one from Aldi (who, along with Lidl, are moving into Switzerland) but gave it away, so no photo of it.

These bags are available in all of the stores right when you get to the check-out. It's fun how this thread has gone all over the place.

Last modified on Jul 12, 2018 - 3:32 PM by Peterli
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Peterli
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Jul 12, 2018 - 3:56 PM

Since Shopping bags has become a topic of discussion, I'll add a couple more images for anybody traveling outside the confines of Switzerland.

First, one from the Alsace area of France, just north of Basel (Bâle for francophones). It is purchased at Carrefour and is a "sac isothermique", made with Aluminum (not PET) to keep food cold or warm for a while. It is 48 centimetres wide and a little less in height and has plastic closures along the top that can be snapped closed. The photo on the "sac" is from Colmar, a place anybody in the general area should visit.

The second one is from Edeka, my favourite grocery store in Germany. It measures 48 x 32 centimetres. Not as attractive as the ones from the Coop or Migros, but fairly well made. Perhaps Slowpoke will give us a translation of "Wir Lebensmittel" in one of the German languages he has mastered. If you are traveling in Switzerland and anywhere near the border with Germany, pop over to an Edeka or a Kaufland for your groceries. Most prices are much better over there. The Swiss know this, as witnessed by the high number of cars with Swiss license plates in the parking lots over there. Same goes for the French border, with cities like Morteau and Pontarlier. No doubt the same for the Ticino and Italy.

My apologies to Naseer for miss-spelling his name in my post above. When I noticed my error it was too late to correct it.

Last modified on Jul 12, 2018 - 4:33 PM by Peterli
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Peterli
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Jul 12, 2018 - 4:16 PM

As a follow-up to what Lucas stated about purchasing fruits and vegetables. For example, suppose you want to purchase a few apples, you must note the number on the bin where you chose the apples. Put your apples into a plastic bag, place the bagged apples on the scale that will be there and then enter the number from the bin. Out will pop a ticket indicating the price for your apples. Attach the ticket to your bag and so when you get to the cashier he or she does not have to do any weighing and the process is speeded up. That's the way it works at the Coop near Neuchâtel where I usually shop and perhaps Lucas can confirm this for over in Zurich and elsewhere. Of course, if you are in a small village store or at a Saturday market with all kinds of fresh produce at various stalls, all the above does not apply. In such cases, the vendor will have a scale and will weigh whatever you want to buy. This is kind of about "etiquette", so we are kind of back on the original topic of this thread, aren't we ?

Last modified on Jul 12, 2018 - 4:31 PM by Peterli
Peterli
Peterli
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Jul 12, 2018 - 4:25 PM

One more shopping bag, and this one is just for Lucas. Well made but unfortunately only 20% recycled materials and imported from China.

Last modified on Jul 12, 2018 - 4:28 PM by Peterli
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maggiehorswell
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Jul 13, 2018 - 12:03 AM in reply to Peterli

Wir (heart picture) Lebensmittel

We (love) groceries.

Maggie

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
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Jul 13, 2018 - 12:35 AM in reply to Peterli

<<"hat's the way it works at the Coop near Neuchâtel where I usually shop

and perhaps Lucas can confirm this for over in Zurich and elsewhere.">>

true inBrunndn.

Surely universal in Switzerland,

Slowpoke

Minnie
Minnie
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Jul 13, 2018 - 1:31 AM in reply to Peterli

This process of ticketing, weighing and bagging fruit and vegetables is, in my experience, common all over Switzerland at the Migros and Coop supermarkets.

Another place to get nice shopping bags might be the local grocery store in your village - I have a lovely one from 'our' village, the Dorfladen Oberried am Brienzersee www.dorfladen-oberried.ch

It also helps support the local economy if you do some of your shopping in the village, and the stores often have local produce, such as the amazingly delicious Hasliberg ice-cream as sold at the shop near the Innertkirchen bus station.

I guess that reminds me of another element of Swiss etiquette. In my experience, people appreciate you asking which canton they come from - it seems to be important part of identity, additional to the pride of being Swiss.

This has been a very interesting thread - particularly the linguistic scholarship Alpenrose, thank you!

Cheers,

Minnie

Peterli
Peterli
443 posts
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Jul 13, 2018 - 2:06 AM in reply to maggiehorswell

Hallo Maggie,

Richtig, aber das war ein Test für Slowpoke ! Vielleicht schlief Slowpoke. 😉

Peterli

Last modified on Jul 13, 2018 - 2:10 AM by Peterli
Lucas
Lucas
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Jul 13, 2018 - 7:52 AM in reply to Peterli

Thanks Peterli!
Yes exactly how it works in shops in Zurich.

I have a question about the area around Neuchatel that I will post on the forum shortly. Looking for tips on a day trip as I haven't been there before. If you or any other member who is familiar with the area could give me a few tips it would be much appreciated!

Last modified on Jul 13, 2018 - 7:53 AM by Lucas
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
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Jul 13, 2018 - 8:44 AM in reply to Peterli

<<" Vielleicht schlief Slowpoke. ">>

Genau.

Slowpoke

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4727 posts
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Jul 13, 2018 - 9:13 AM in reply to Minnie

Hi Minnie-

<<"such as the amazingly delicious Hasliberg ice-cream as sold at the shop near the Innertkirchen bus station.">>

Do you mean the Volg?

Slowpoke

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