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Berne or Bern?[edit]

see Talk:Canton of Bern -User:Docu

In English that's clearly Berne!  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:14, 25 January 2010 (UTC) 
Exactly: In English you don't write it Bern but Berne. Why when doing the correction is it systematically reverted?
The official spelling in English is Berne. Could someone change that in this article? Why this German spelling?

National Reach Around Festival[edit]

Finally, the "National Reach Around Festival" has been removed from the festivals section. I noticed it over 2 years ago when consulting Wikipedia before a trip to Bern. Curious, I asked a friend who lived there if there was such as thing, and she had never heard of it. I checked the history page and found the National Reach Around Festival had been added years ago.

I considered removing the entry, but I didn't want to rob future travelers of the joy of trying to imagine the logistics of such a festival. Kudos to whoever listed it, and to whoever lives at for finally removing it! Although I am a bit sad to see it go. I've been spreading the word about the Festival for 2 years hoping life would imitate art. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC)


On de:Diskussion:Schweiz is a discussion documented, which declares, that Bern is not the capital of Switzerland but the "Bundesstadt" which has a different meaning, but is in fact nearly the same. -- 08:52, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"Bundesstadt" translates to "Federal City". The Swiss "Federal (Supreme) Court" is located in Lausanne, Canton of Vaud. That seperation of the legislative city (Bern) from the judical supreme court city (Lausanne) is probably the reason that Bern is not considered the "capital" of Switzerland. However, most of the Federal offices are located in Bern. The problem with not recognizing Bern as the capital is probably related to Switzerland being originally a Confederation until 1848 with equally sovereign state members -- none supreme to the others in any way. Now it is functionally a Federation, but retaining the name "Confederation." --TGC55 12:54, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Spelling consistency[edit]

Without wanting to appear pedantic, there are a few issues in this article with regar to spelling consistency: theatre, for instance, is used in both its US and UK variant. Judging from the use of movie theater for cinema and from Berne's English name rendered as rhotic [ˈbɝːn], I suspect the initial target was American English. I therefore suggest modifying the few British variants into their American counterparts. JREL 21:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

List cleanup[edit]

The lists in this article must be cleaned up. Right now the article looks more like a tourist brochure than a encyclopedic article. /Grillo 13:06, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Bern vs. Berne[edit]

Can/will someone please, explain, and/or add, to this article regarding these two spelling forms of the city? I also am conerned with the Bern Trial vs. the Bern Trial.

Thanks, Ludvikus 07:58, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Essentially, Bern is the locally used (High) German form, while Berne is the French and traditional English form. Our usage is inconsistent, and I'm thinking of setting up a RfC about it. Sandstein 21:14, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, done, please see Talk:Canton_of_Berne#Spelling_request_for_comment. Sandstein 22:02, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Santo Domingo[edit]

Is there a reference for this addition. If there is, it should be kept, but the information added to the infobox. -- User:Docu

Requested move, January 2008[edit]

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was No consensus. User:Docu

BerneBern — Per Talk:Canton_of_Berne#Spelling_request_for_comment. To me, "Berne" looks kinda strange, I had to use google to see that it was actually in good use in English. It's always been "Bern" on any map I've owned, etc. There does seem to be a good balance between the two usages, but besides my personal loathing of silent "e"s, when there's balance between an archaic French-influenced English name and a native one fully integrated in modern English, the modern native name should be preferred. —Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:10, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Survey, 2008[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support as nom. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:11, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Bern is the German, Berne the French, spelling, of the city. Berne, like Nuremberg, is traditional in English; for those who care, local and official usage is divided. See #Usage in reliable English language sources above, and leave well enough alone. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd say Berne is more like Basle than Nuremburg, the last of which is made more difficult by a non-English character. Bern is English BTW, and happens unlike the archaic Berne with the silent "e" to correspond with native usage. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:46, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Close poll at this stage. Because local and official usage is divided, as noted above, we could benefit from a more thorough discussion at the RfC first. If and when we decide to move this, the name would have to be changed throughout Wikipedia and on Commons, a huge endeavour. Sandstein (talk) 09:53, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Pmanderson, Berne is the English name. (talk) 19:31, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
    • This is incorrect; both are used in English, "Berne" less so than "Bern". Regards, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:46, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Bern is the common name. EJF (talk) 17:39, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I support this move - the Google result is persuasive, especially given that most of the results for Berne are for pages titled and predominantly using Bern. Also, Encarta, Britannica and Columbia encyclopaedias all use Bern for the article title. I am convinced Bern is now the predominant English language usage. Knepflerle (talk) 15:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Berne is the English name. Google hits prove nothing in this close spelling difference (there are millions of spelling errors picked up by Google - do they all have credibility?) So "Bern" might be considered a predominant name in English - but that doesn't mean that it is correct. Just because a lot of people say the same thing, it does not mean that it is the right thing (see Wikiality). One simple source that nobody has mentioned so far is the website of the city itself: - now if you go to the English-language section it says that the name of the city in English is Berne, never Bern. Now, if anyone should know the name of the city in English, then it should be the city itself. As for Basel, the English section of uses Basel and not Basle, so in that case we can say that there is an archaic version no longer used, but not Berne. Leave well enough alone- 52 Pickup (deal) 19:10, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Discussion, 2008[edit]

Any additional comments:
  • Comment People above are saying Bern isn't used in English; this is pure nonsense. If anything, it's Berne that isn't used. It's plain archaic, and honestly, I've rarely encountered it ... seems a bit like Basle or even Aix-la-Chapelle. Anyways the US government seems to be under the impression Bern is English, as do the BBC, CNN, etc. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:43, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
    • Just to add, googling with the query: "bern switzerland", we get:
      • So Bern gets 10 times the hits as Berne and people are saying "Bern" is not English. Wonders indeed will never cease. WP:UE does not mean employ archaic terms for the sake of English difference. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:09, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


At Talk:Canton_of_Berne#Spelling_request_for_comment, there is an extended discussion on the topic. Please contribute-- User:Docu

That discussion gives the impression of being dead. As you'll see from my nom, I'd already seen it. Besides the fact that native names for modern cities are always preferable (for me) per se, the evidence I've seen shows conclusively this city is predominantly called Bern. Besides that, it's wrong to give the impression that the city is French when its actually, like most of Switzerland, (Swiss) German. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 12:27, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. We should reopen the discussion. --DerRichter (talk) 21:22, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it should be changed, and not discussed any longer. "Traditional" English is not necessarily correct. (See Basel v. Basle). I would say that the current spelling is what should be used and the predominant current English is Bern. RickH86 (talk) 15:11, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I would agree for the city, officially recorded as German-speaking, but not for the canton, officially bilingual, where the usual (maybe old) exonym should prevail. The Bernese themselves may vote against this idea, since such a move sanctions their loss of political clout ;-) . Clpda (talk) 22:51, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
this sounds reasonable. There appears to be a tendency in English language sources in recent decades to move closer to the 'native' spelling. I am sure it would have been Berne all the way 30 years ago, but now it may actually be true that Bern is winning out. As with Zürich/Zurich, we can go either way here. --dab (𒁳) 08:03, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

I support a move to Bern. In fact I was very surprised to find out that it is called Berne here when I randomly ended up here. If we have Zürich I can't see why we don't have Bern. Närking (talk) 17:29, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

It should be moved to Bern. I recently noticed that The New York Times also uses Bern.[1][2][Bern Travel Guide]--Ami in CH (talk) 01:46, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Having the page at Berne is particularly inappropriate when the city is specifically mentioned in Wikipedia:WikiProject Swiss municipalities/Article title conventions. That clearly states that Bern should be used. The convention goes on to quote two instances where the traditional English names of cities should be used : Lucerne rather than Luzern and Geneva rather than Genève. In view of this the page should move back to Bern. Skinsmoke (talk) 03:22, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
This is Wrong, Wrong and Wrong. It's so annoying that Swiss german people, often being employed on some jobs, do complete wrong translation into their own language or habits that suddenly are reported as being the "only right" name. They do it for French too, it's what we call "Français Fédéral" (i.e. transforming other names or nouns into their own appreciation of another foreign language.) These people might work for Berne Tourism or even might edit the official and administrative web-servers of Switzerland, and then, as they are "supposed" to translate and take care of English content, they just write "Bern" in English as they would do in their own language. The Website of the Canton uses in English "Berne". The city of the canton uses in English "Berne". Even the Embassy of the UK in Switzerland uses "Berne". To what it may be, England still "owns" the "invention" of English. And if it's a matter of the number of speakers and then that in the US, they use "Bern", well then the Indian Embassy also uses "Berne" with an -e. We have to respect the original spelling of how it was intended to be and historically too. Diplomacy often used French for a long time, and you can look around Europe, where you have a French translation of a city, you might find some pretty similar translations into English when it doesnt vary radically: examples: Roma (DE), is "Rome" (FR/EN), Prag (DE) is "Prague" (FR/EN), München is "Munich" (FR/EN), Lisbon (EN) is closer to Lisbonne (FR) than Lissabon (DE), Copenhagen (EN) is closer to Copenhague (FR) than to Kopenhagen (DE) with a K-. I could keep on longer. We have the same problem, now we can read "Canton of Zürich" with umlaut, when the umlaut doesn't even exist in English and the Airport of Zurich (probably the most exposed use for English speakers and foreigners) uses the English form without Umlaut neither. Even the only English-speaking Airline (Flybe) that goes to Berne Airport writes "Berne" on its website in English. I keep on saying that Wikipedia should refer to "what it is in reality, officially" and not "what the majority of people think it is". The European Union uses "Berne" in its English communiqués [1]. Even Reuters uses Berne in its US edition [2]. And if NYTimes "uses" Bern, it also uses "Berne" and that was not "30 years ago", but in 2009 :-) [3]. As for example, my village is found on GoogleMaps only in its German version. And 99% of the people there do speak French as a mothertongue. And GoogleMaps keeps on using the german name once introduced when Canton of Berne received this land and colonised it after 1815 and made it "official" because the people who gave the maps' names to GoogleMaps have been german-speaking people coming from a german speaking city, with a german speaking canton. Is it supposed to say that my village should be written in English "Illfingen" instead of "Orvin"? The answer is definitely "no". The Canton itself names itself "Berne". It's the exact same terminology problem with the City of Bienne in English, introduced as the "City of Biel" in English because people working at the Tourist desk and the City information are swiss-germans. Enough of this Germanisation of Swiss names, even here on Wikipedia. And if one has to refer to the majority of the language spoken there, well sorry but then, the local "official" name should be "Bärn" and nothing else... -User:Ngagnebin 23:37, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

Zentrum Paul Klee? and the Maesta???!!!!![edit]

Really amazing that 1 - there is no mention of Paul Klee immigration to Bern and his long-term residence there! 2- no mention either of Switzerland's largest museum and one of the most impressive in the world = Zentrum Paul Klee - Completed in 2007 - It is of outstanding architecture and truly one of the world's great art collections + an edicational and multilingual center that blows people away! How can this possibly have been overlooked??? One of the greatest Expressionist painters of all times and an incredible monument to him! Wow!

Furthermore, there is the National Art Gallery of Switzerland which has prehistoric to contemporary collections and after Paul Klee it is indeed Switzerland's 2nd largest museum and it houses in incredible collection including Duccio's Maesta!!!! see: -How can any one go to Bern and not bother to go see the Maesta which is world famous and anyone who has taken the most rudimentary art history class has studied in-depth! This article is revulting!!!!!!! (talk) 06:50, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi. Please read WP:SOFIXIT.  Sandstein  08:03, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Tea gardens?[edit]

When I visited Berne many years ago, I was struck by the many Tea gardens or Tea shops, contrasting sharply with the many coffee shops elsewhere in Europe. They were especially numerous near the clock tower shown in the article, under the arcades. Is this still to be found? If someone knows, can it be added to the article? --DThomsen8 (talk) 13:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Requested move, June 2009[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was moved to Bern. Aervanath (talk) 07:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

BerneBern — Relisted by User:Deacon of Pndapetzim. Dekimasuよ! 00:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

There has been consensus since January 2008 (see discussion above under "Berne/Bern/Berna") for a move to "Bern". Skinsmoke (talk) 13:19, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

  • I am one of three who opposed this in January 2008, and I still do. I don't see why we should pick and choose among the four official languages of Switzerland; we should stay with the traditional English choice amongst them. Those who argue that this is a German-speaking canton should consider the parallel case of Cologne, also in a Germanic Land. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:39, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Make this Stronge oppose and ignore Deacon on the ground of WP:ENGVAR and WP:UE. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:22, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
      • What on earth are you talking about? Bern is the most common English name. :/ Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:28, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
        • Only because American is more common than the Commonwealth dialects put together. It's clear that needs to be an exception to WP:NCGN; it is news to me that we need to say this. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:40, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Currently weak support. Both variants are in active and apparently interchangeable use in English, to the extent that the city itself uses both at the same time on its official English website, But whichever variant we use, we should be consistent across the project. I'll notify WP:CH of this request.  Sandstein  18:02, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Bern is BGN Standard. Närking (talk) 18:57, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
    • See WP:NCGN. This is a fancy way of saying that it is the local official name, which we do not use unless it is also normal usage in English. Firenze is BGN Standard for Florence, but we use the conventional name. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:46, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, WP:NCGN gives Bern and not Berne. Närking (talk) 18:04, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See my evidence below. The usage seems to depend on the variant of English used. Withdraw oppose. Apparently UK does use both spellings of the name. Jafeluv (talk) 17:12, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Berne" is the standard English name for this city. Withdraw, no preference. Ed Fitzgerald t / c 20:35, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Strongest possible Support. Native name (having it at "Berne" gives the wrong impression that the city is French, when it isn't), and standard English name. What more do you want? Absolutely no question where this page should be ... BERN! Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:11, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
    • Not, and never has been, our criterion for making such decisions. Any move on this basis will be manifestly improper. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:20, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
      • Oh give us a break. That's exactly how names are determined on wikipedia. Even if there is doubt that Bern is the main English name in UK, which it probably is now, WP:PLACE is clear:
        If a native name is more often used in English sources than a corresponding traditional English name, then use the native name. An example is Livorno, which is now known more widely under its native name than under the traditional English name "Leghorn".If no name can be shown to be widely accepted in English, use the local name.
      • What's to argue? This is a no brainer. The article should be moved to Bern whatever the numbers are here. I mean, it's not like Berne is most common in English and fighting a battle against the native name, like Kiev versus Kyiv. The native name and the most common English name are the same ... Bern. --Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 17:56, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
        • Prove that, and prove that most commmon does not = the American dialect, and I will agree. But your original post made no mention of English usage - and suggested that you had gone over to advocating Firenze and İstanbul. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
          • My original post said standard English name. You must have missed it. Anyway, a quick google search within the UK shows what any literate denizen of the country could tell you, searching <Bern Swizerland>
          • It's not beyond shadow of doubt proof by any means, but it's tough to behold if your argument is that it should be at Berne because it the good UK English form. Clearly it's not. Clearly in the UK, just like everywhere else in the English-speaking world, it is more often than not spelled the same way the natives spell it. This whole convo is farcical. This is about the most one-sided "debate" I've ever seen on wikipedia. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:25, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
          • At least have some consistency in your arguments Septentrionalis. Firstly you opposed on the grounds that we should be using the English form rather than the German form. When evidence was produced that Bern was the English form you then opposed on the grounds that we should be using the British English version rather than the American English version. When evidence was then produced that Bern was also used in British English as well as in Australian English, Swedish English, Indian English, Indonesian English, Swiss English, Dutch English and South African English you dismissed that as "cherry picking". To remind you of your comment at 21:55 on 25 May 2009, "Solid evidence that Bern is English usage, in general, would persuade me." It has been. Now stop pushing your personal preference and accept reality. Bern is the version used overwhelmingly internationally in English, and is even widely used in the United Kingdom. Berne is probably the version used overwhelmingly in French English and is still widely used in the United Kingdom. On that basis, the article should go back to its original title of Bern. Skinsmoke (talk) 04:14, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
            • I stand by the conclusion, which I was neither the first nor the last to reach, that Bern is normal usage in the United States, Berne in the Commonwealth (there are exceptions, both ways; Canada, as often, divides. In both cases, so what?) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:31, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
  • You don't mean Support? The most common UK form is the same as the most common US and the same as the native form: Bern. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:27, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. If one makes a Google search without including Wikipedia in the results, Bern is far more common. (Bern vs. Berne) Hayden120 (talk) 23:42, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - Bern seems to be far more frequent in English usage. "Traditional English" naming is irrelevant. --skew-t (talk) 12:15, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose as the first spelling in the article was Berne Revision as of 15:43, 25 February 2002 and the reason for change seems to violate WP:NC#National varieties of English as there are no strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation. --PBS (talk) 13:12, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. It the sources show one thing about English usage, it is that there is no established usage for “Berne”. So WP:USEENGLISH#No established usage applies. — 3247 (talk) 13:35, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. Both Berne and Bern are used officially in English but the latter is more common. I would prefer Bern because it is also the native name. This does not apply to the Canton of Berne which is also French-speaking. MadGeographer (talk) 14:38, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
    • By what rationale does this "not apply to the Canton of Berne"? According to Wikipedia, the city is 81% German speaking and the canton is 84% German speaking. (Both the city and the canton are about 4% French speaking.) And what does that have to do with the English name of the city? — AjaxSmack 02:38, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
      • Bern is the most common English name, as PMA himself admitted. It's borderline WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT to continue to portray this debate as UE versus nativist. This is almost as bizarre as citing WP:NC#National varieties of English to argue based on a few cherry-picked sources that "Berne" is most common in English usage in UK, despite google and other such surveys clearly showing Bern is too. Re the canton, "Bern" is both the native (majority) and English name for the canton; the only significant difference is that French-speakers in Bern city are immigrants, whereas there is a small part of the canton where French is indigenous. Thus the nativist argument, which like it or not is an important part of the thinking of most wikipedians, doesn't have the same strength; though this shouldn't matter as the most common English name is still Bern. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 03:06, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
        • Er, just for the record, I am a native and a longtime resident of Berne (hence also my username), and it has never been particularly important to me (or anyone I know here) how the name is spelled in English. As a matter of Wikipedia usage, it should be the version most familiar to English speakers. I do have a feeling that this may increasingly be "Bern", but all I have to back this up is anecdotal evidence, i.e., my experience in reading English-language texts relating to Switzerland.  Sandstein  05:22, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
        • Just a few precisions: The canton is officially French and German speaking while the city is in the German speaking area. But it is normal that many french-speaking people live the capital city, that doesn't make it a bilingual city like Biel/Bienne. It seems also that Canton of Berne is more common than Canton of Bern on the web. MadGeographer (talk) 10:11, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


Solid evidence that Bern is English usage, in general, would persuade me. Some comments on this page suggest this is another Anglo-American divergence, in which case we should not move. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:55, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Agree with User:Pmanderson above that United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) usage conflicts with Wikipedias's own naming conventions for geographic names and is not much of a basis for a move. Also, since the nomimator is claiming a change in consensus, ideally participants in the previous RM should also be notified. — AjaxSmack 03:21, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Let's see, then. Some sources:
As requested, there's proof that "Bern" is used in English, and is pretty much the only usage in the United States. "Berne" may be more common in the UK, however. Jafeluv (talk) 12:19, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
A straight Anglo-American division, except for one BBC outlier. (The Britannica has been published in Chicago for years.) More British sources welcome. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:28, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
A search in Google News also gives far more hits for Bern than Berne. Närking (talk) 17:32, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
That is what I would expect if this is an Anglo-American divergence. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:07, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the Britannica is published in the US, but they still use British spelling. Anyway, some british sources:
Anyone can add more by consulting this site. In my opinion, this is clearly a US ("Bern") versus UK ("Berne") spelling issue. Therefore, no move needed. Jafeluv (talk) 17:58, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
I fail to see the clear US/UK divide. If anything it seems like US usage strongly favors Bern, and UK usage is a bit more mixed. It's hard to tell from a random selection of articles from few newspapers a clear preference. Some Google searching of "pages in the UK" shows some preference for dropping the e with ~200k for Bern and ~72k for Berne. Australia has a similar results with smaller magnitude of 6k to 3k, and Canada is 25k to 6k.
It looks like one can specify the country of the news source on Google News too. Not a lot of news about Bern at the moment, but there are 28 hits for Bern and 14 for Berne from UK news sources. Canadian sources are 25 to 3 for Bern. --skew-t (talk) 14:57, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment in Canada, both spellings are used... so... WP:ENGVAR - leave it well enough alone? (talk) 04:05, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Berne is particularly inappropriate when the city is specifically mentioned in Wikipedia:WikiProject Swiss municipalities/Article title conventions. That clearly states that Bern should be used. The convention goes on to quote two instances where the traditional English names of cities should be used : Lucerne rather than Luzern and Geneva rather than Genève. The present title goes directly against the agreed policy.
This is much more complicated than a simple divergeance between British and American forms of English. Both variations are used in the United Kingdom, as has already been demonstrated above. The Swiss themselves even use both versions in their English language texts. There is no doubt that in the past Berne was more common in English. These days, Bern hs become as commonplace. Consider the following examples :- : Hotels in Bern : Bern
University of Bern : All About Switzerland
Intellicast : Weather Report Bern, Switzerland
Encyclopaedia Britannica : Bern
Time and Date : Local Time in Bern
Council of Europe : Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats : Bern
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bern
Nicola from Bern
Swissworld : Bern
Einsteinhaus Bern
Activities of the European Union : Bern Convention
Skyscanner : Cheap Flights to Bern
A-Z World Airports : Bern Airport
Rhino Car Hire : Bern Airport
Argus Car Hire : Bern Airport
Fodor's Travel : Bern
Royal Netherlands Embassy in Bern
Joint Nature Conservation Committee (United Kingdom) : The Bern Convention
International Jazzfestival : About Bern
Kunsthalle Bern : Portrait
Kunstmuseum Bern : The Museum of Fine Arts Bern
Hotel Novotel Bern Expo : Directions
Bern by Europe Cities
International Space Science Institute : History
Historic Cities : Bern
European Geography Association for Students and Young Geographers : Bern News
Regiringskansliet : Government Offices of Sweden : Embassy of Sweden, Bern
Swissinfo : Bern Sinks Youth Visa Agreement with Australia
Embassy of India, Bern, Switzerland
South African Embassy Bern
Lonely Planet : Introducing Bern
British Broadcasting Corporation : Bern Bears Get Chance of Liberty
Guardian News and Media : Instant Weekend Bern
The New York Times : Immigration, Black Sheep and Swiss Rage
The Daily Telgraph (Australia) : Sydney Among Best Cities to Live
Daily Mirror : UN Expert Concerned About Displaced in Sri Lanka
Holiday Autos : Car Hire : Bern Airport
Expedia : Durban, South Africa to Bern, Switzerland
Expedia (United Kingdom) : Bern Hotels
Skinsmoke (talk) 15:02, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
  • How nice; a few of this cherry-picked selection are even in British English, and do show that English usage does sometimes vary. We knew that. As clear an example of the abuse of google as I have ever seen.
  • If Skinsmoke's real motive here is the non-existent authority of a project subpage (this one is the product of a single editor in a single edit in 2005, has never been discussed, and has been linked to exactly once, outside of the project itself and the present discussion), then he has serious misunderstandings of how we work.
  • If there is some other motive, he will get more sympathy by admitting whatever it is, at which point we can discuss it. I cannot guarantee he will change my mind. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:16, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
And where was the page linked from? Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names)! The main place any editor is going to look for advice on naming conventions! Skinsmoke (talk) 04:17, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Possibly WP:NCGN should not have. These are see alsos, accumulated over a long period of time (at a different page), intended to show what discussions have happened, whether consensus or not. Several of the pages linked to are inactive or historic. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:28, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Bern related articles[edit]

All articles related to Bern, such as the Canton of Berne, should be renamed for consistency. It is confusing for the reader when there are variations in each article; it should be standardised as either Bern or Berne, not both. Hayden120 (talk) 10:22, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Have you tried discussing it with Aervanath, the admin who closed the discussion and performed the move?  Sandstein  17:27, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
    • It seems a bit old for that; I left this when it seemed clear that no reasonable admin would move it, so this is behind the curve; but no harm in asking. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:31, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, the discussion above could probably have been called either "no consensus" or "consensus for a move", depending on one's conception of consensus, but Aervanath was within his discretion to close it as he did. Even though I have expressed an opinion above, I have no strong personal preference about how we should spell the name. But now that the page has been moved and any number of pages and categories etc. have been adapted to this spelling, I do suggest that we stick with it. Otherwise, we'll generate a lot of undesirable inconsistencies all over the place.  Sandstein  20:47, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
  • And I'd be interested to know what you mean by a "Germanist POV". (Which Germanism?)  Sandstein  20:56, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Of the four on that dab page, the adoption of German loan words (Germanicism might have been better). No, I do not think that a compound error should be let slide; the perpetual pushing of native speakers for their comfort zone, instead of leaving English usage alone, is what produced the Gdanzig disaster and the Bolzano-Bozen-Botzen-Bauzanum farce.
    • If I were Jimbo, we would use both forms, distributed roughly evenly, but any given article picking one; that's what English literature as whole does, after all. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:17, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
In principle, I agree, but consensus (or at least a substantial majority) above believes that "Bern" is English usage. But can't we discuss this without that ugly POV tag? The discussion is about which spelling variant is prevailing usage, which isn't a POV question by any stretch of the imagination. Nobody here claims that we should use "Bern" because Germanic names sound better, or because "Berne" is offensive to some ethnic group, or some such nonsense.  Sandstein  21:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Deacon came close: Native name (having it at "Berne" gives the wrong impression that the city is French, when it isn't), (one reason I reacted strongly); and I'm very tired of the steady creep of the German Wikipedia's decisions here. Let me go away from this for a few days and see what Aervanath says. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:41, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
All right. In the meantime, I'll request a third opinion about whether it makes sense to apply a POV tag to the article under these circumstances.  Sandstein  21:46, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Encarta use Bern as a title, Britannica use Bern as a title, Columbia uses Bern as a title, but when we use it it's "Germanist POV"? No, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to have a POV tag on the article - or is this "Germanist POV" now a worldwide conspiracy amongst encyclopaedia writers? Has "the steady creep of the German Wikipedia's decisions" got to them too? Knepflerle (talk) 22:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Germanicist. This is also a WP:ENGVAR violation; it should be restored to its stable location, where it was for years. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:15, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
"Germanist" was the form in your edit summary, but you suggest "Germanicist" above - as you wish then:
Encarta use Bern as a title, Britannica use Bern as a title, Columbia uses Bern as a title, but when we use it it's "Germanicist POV"? No, it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to have a POV tag on the article - or is this "Germanicist POV" now a worldwide conspiracy amongst encyclopaedia writers? Has "the steady creep of the German Wikipedia's decisions" got to them too? Knepflerle (talk) 15:54, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Pmanderson, you might not like the title, but why is it not "neutral"? I can't see any benefit coming from this tag. The article was moved fairly by process through "consensus". If you want it to be at Berne again, you need to convince other editors through another RM request. "creep of the German Wikipedia's decisions"? Bern is the most common English name. Is it "creep of the German Wikipedia's decisions" that Aachen is not located at Aix-la-Chapelle? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:22, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see the consensus to move it; I've checked the discussion and I see no change of mind. What should happen is a move back, followed by a relisting. Otherwise any time an admin has a brainstorm, that becomes consensus, even if that is a falsehood.
On the merits, I think switching to the German name here, on your grounds that the local name should prevail, is a point of view, as deleterious here as it is in the South Tyrol or Silesia. Because Germany is populous and well-connected to the web, Germanicisms tend to prevail, even when they are not English. Here, it would be best, as I said above, to have a patchwork, which is what will naturally happen if nobody charges ahead and "reforms" Wikipedia. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:16, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
But nobody here believes the local name should prevail because it is the local name. Rather, the article was moved because an uninvolved administrator found a consensus that "Bern" is prevailing English usage. If nobody else but you continues to support the POV tag, Pmanderson, I will remove it. You are then free to make either another move request from Bern to Berne and we can discuss that on its merits, or you can contest Aervanath's determination that there was consensus for the move in whatever community forum you believe is appropriate. If consensus agrees with you in either case, we will move the article back. OK?  Sandstein  07:07, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I deny consensus. The reasonable thing is to move it back, and start over without Skinsmoke's insistence, on the issues:
  • Is Bern prevalent English usage, and
  • is that a result of Anglo-American divergence?
There is plainly no consensus to move back; there was no consensus either way. Offering that is to treat me like Tantalus.
If there is consensus against me on both, fine. In the meantime, I have no confidence in Aervanath, who appears to be one of these admins who lets his whim determine these questions; there is a lengthy complaint on his handling of the South Ossetia war naming. I don't particularly see any need to involve ANI; let him handle other matters, if others will put up with it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:59, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I really dislike the attempts to intimidate Aervanath with attack criticisms. As I know myself, admins closing WP:RM discussions get this sort of thing either way. You're experienced enough to know this too Pma. This close was pretty solid I think, and 9 out of 10 admins would have done the same close. Please remember that you, PBS and the other hardline advocates of UE do actually win most of these discussions (let alone the ones that are never launched because of your existence), but the case for "traditional" English usage against modern usage and other considerations was just too weak here. Just let this one go, please. All the best, Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:43, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Intimidate? I do not threaten him or his adminship in any way. What I have asked Aervanath to do is to reconsider; I do not intend to go to ANI unless the language-reformers leave no other resolution possible - I think he blundered, not that he acted out of malice. We can resolve this without him. The concession that this is not traditional English usage condemns it as POV. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:39, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
And what are Deacon's "other considerations"? That some hypothetical user will recognize Berne as French, and yet not know that the name (in either spelling) has a German etymology, and that the city itself is as German as Cologne? To violate ENGVAR in order to prevent an unlikely error, only possible at one particular level of ignorance, is to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:53, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I remain with my original position. We should, whether this is moved back or not, have a patchwork, as English does, across the whole of Wikipedia. Therefore, no, we should not uniformatize, in either direction. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:56, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I think this discussion has been had already, just a month ago. I really don't understand why this bothers you so much. I'd have thought you'd be more bothered by spellings like Kraków, Kharkiv and Plzeň. Btw, it is no Germanophone conspiracy. They don't normally give a toss how English spells their names, and in any case the same trend happens in German: Edinburg is "traditional German", but it's now almost always spelled Edinburgh per English usage. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:08, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
In fact, I supported retention of Plzeň, and was overruled by genuine consensus for Pilsen. (It was marginal; the last move back, although it probably reached the right conclusion, is a disgrace, based on unsound arguments and closed by an involved admin.) I am also prepared to let sleeping dogs lie, although I will encourage anyone else encouraging actual use of English.
What annoys me is POV-pushing enthusiasts getting away with it. WP:ENGVAR is our only defense against self-righteous ignorant fools (by which I do not, of course, mean Deacon, who knows what he's saying, even when I disagree with it - nor anyone else in this section; they participated marginally or not at all in the misclosed discussion) getting their variety of English put into this or that article because nothing else is "real" English. This defense only works if it is applied immediately, and I therefore am objecting; I hope before it's too late. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:21, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
This is not the case with Bern. As far as I see it, Bern is the most common (or at worst joint most common) version in all working varieties of modern English, and most people in the discussion above saw this too. It also has the advantage of being the untendentious native name, which is very important in the modern world, and carries weight with many people in itself (like me!). I'd agree though that the closure of that Pilsen move was definitely dodgy ... not sure how he got away with that. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 19:53, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Not signing the move close probably helped... I had to go to the move log to see who it was.
  • As for the substance, four names are native, and I gather the actual locals use Bärn. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:58, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind me removing the tag. This is a well-visited article, and I'm not sure what readers would think of us for plastering a big "neutrality disputed" tag at the top because there is division about whether the location of the article should be Bern or Berne. This isn't eastern Europe after all, and I'm sure you don't seriously envision it remaining there. Your dispute is about usage, naming and a wikipedia bureaucratic process, not really about Neutral point of view. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:04, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, yes, I do. I think the pressure to close as it was was POV (although that's not the only problem), and if the tag is not restored, I will consider simply moving back and relisting at WP:RM. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:12, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
What part of WP:NPOV do you think is violated by the article's location at Bern [as opposed to Berne]? And how is Wikipedia's purpose advanced by sticking a big ugly tag at the top that will distract and confuse thousands of readers? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:26, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
It enshrines one opinion on what English is. (And this is one of the smallest and least colorful of article dispute tags.) Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:29, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
And Berne wouldn't? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:34, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
No; actually, it wouldn't. It is both the French name and the established English name; since it could be either of two agendas, it declares neither. Three, actually; my agenda is EnGVAR. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:09, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Pmanderson, as you are aware, Aervanath has requested an evaluation of his closing of the move request at WP:AN. At User talk:Aervanath#Berne, all users who have commented - JohnnyMrNinja, Gwen Gale, Born2cycle and Chris Cunningham - agree that he closed the move request in agreement with consensus. I am sure you are acting in good faith, but you have been around as long as I have, and probably longer: it is seldom productive to try and oppose what now appears to overwhelming agreement about this issue all by your own. By now, I am sorry to say that I would consider a move of this article (or any other article with "Bern" in the title) to "Berne", or a re-adding of the POV tag, to constitute disruption.
As to your argument that we should use a patchwork of both spellings in various articles (as we do with varieties of English), this would not work because unlike with normal English words such as "colo(u)r", proper names are not principally subject to WP:ENGVAR (and it is dubious that this is even a US/UK issue), but to WP:NC, which say that "Generally, article naming should prefer what the greatest number of English speakers would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature." Using both varieties haphazardly would complicate linking due to the number of redirects required and might confuse non-European readers who might not know that "Bern" and "Berne" are the same city. It stands to reason that, having decided to use one spelling variant for the name of the city, we should use this variant for all titles, etc. derived from it (such as Canton of Berne); this was accepted as self-evident at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2009 June 9#Category:Berne. Please do not disrupt this, either.  Sandstein  20:48, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Then you leave me two options: to restore the tag, and come back to this after a reasonable interval, or to open suit against Aervanath, and everybody who supports him (of whom Born2Cycle is the same crank who disrupted WT:NC (settlements) for years - he's right about 40% of the time, and this is one of the 60%; Gwen Gale has demonstrated ignorance of our naming conventions and of the facts; and so on...). This might not work, and would be unfair to Aervanath, who simply blundered.
I do not regard this as settled, and I encourage anybody who wishes to defend WP:ENGVAR to speak up. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:06, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Can we leave out the labelling other editors as cranks please? Knepflerle (talk) 22:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Read the archives at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (settlements)/Archive and then say that; if you can keep a straight face. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm aware of the matter. Justified or otherwise, there's no need. Knepflerle (talk) 22:39, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Your third option would be to just let it drop. Even if you believe you are right with respect to this being principally an ENGVAR issue (which I believe you are not), as a practical matter, if it is your opinion against everyone else's including several administrators, you're not going to accomplish much except perhaps some drama which uses time we all could spend more productively.  Sandstein  21:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
No, I will restore the tag and let it drop; if it goes away, I will decide who is worth the drama, if anybody. Thank you for pointing out that this was the result of WP:AN; no wonder people are saying it doesn't work. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:23, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I support WP:ENGVAR if and where it is relevant; I am utterly unconvinced by the evidence for a UK/US usage split in this case, however, and I am far from the only one given the comments in the discussion above.
On the other hand, I doubt anyone here would contest or doubt that WP:NCGN isn't relevant here - and what is the first test it suggests for establishing a widely accepted English name?
"Consult English-language encyclopedias (we recommend Encyclopedia Britannica, Columbia Encyclopedia, Encarta, each as published after 1993). If the articles in these agree on using a single name in discussing the period, it is the widely accepted English name."
Encarta use Bern as a title, Britannica use Bern as a title, Columbia uses Bern as a title. Knepflerle (talk) 22:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Having drafted that section, I know that this is not in order of reliability Is it worth saying so? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
  • WP:NCGN is not intended to overrule ENGVAR. Indeed, it says so: Where, as with Lyon, different national varieties of the English language spell a foreign name differently, we should also consider our guidance on national varieties of English, which would have articles in British English call the city Lyons, articles in American English Lyon, and the article itself use either, consistently. Articles should not be moved from one national variety to the other without good reasons; our principle of most common name does not mean "use American, because there are more Americans in the English speaking world." Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
You repeatedly bring up ENGVAR as if there's even a hint of agreement that it's relevant here. I support WP:ENGVAR if and where it is relevant; I am utterly unconvinced by the evidence for a UK/US usage split in this case, however, and I am far from the only one given the comments in the discussion above. Knepflerle (talk) 23:05, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
On third thought, this edit persuades me that letting this pass is permitting unthinking majoritarianism, which will in time become unthinking usage of American, to triumph, as it has here. I have offered Aervanath his choice of dispute resolution; especially if he chooses MEDCOM, that should keep the dispute away from this article. Carry on, in the spirit of Wikipedia. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 02:31, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Your reply in that thread exactly pinpoints the problem. You say:
"As a matter of fact, Berne is still clearly predominant British usage..."
No - this is precisely what is not "clear" to several readers above, and what has not been demonstrated with evidence. If you can demonstrate the truth of this statement, then this would be a matter where ENGVAR is relevant. But that burden of proof lies on you. Until then, it's not clear that using Bern is any more a usage of American English than it is also use of British English. Knepflerle (talk) 08:51, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
EngVar is not contravened by this page name. Arguments to that effect are quite thoroughly unconvincing, especially to me who lives in the state which allegedly clings on to this spelling (but doesn't actually). Even if it did, EngVar is just a guideline and is supposed to be shaped by actual practice, not by the decisions of the minuscule number of editors who edit that page. When it doesn't accord with community practice or prevents users making the encyclopedia better, it can be ignored. I am personally quite fed up with users who write guidelines and then run around enforcing them citing them as if they were policy (not necessarily including PMA here, mostly the users who make up poorly thought out rules and try to enforce the resultant "fringe" absurdities on the rest of us). Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 13:27, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
As it happens, I agree with Deacon's general position. I believe ENGVAR is an exception (I certainly didn't write it, and it is quite widely cited), which represents a behavioral constraint, which chiefly works to prevent people from making up rules. It failed in this case, but that is why I think Aervanath blundered. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
PMA, this smacks a little of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. You are the only one atm who believes Bern-Berne is a EngVar issue. Everyone else thinks it is irrelevant. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:51, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Javeluv pointed out the problem originally (as he adds, it's not a clean break, but if he had disavowed the position entirely, he would have supported the move - he doesn't); and AjaxSmack agreed with us. Neither has been back, but then neither had I; we may all have assumed it would be closed as no consensus. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:03, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Holy cow, you're going on and on about this here too? To repeat what I said on Aervanath's talk page, and what Deacon said above, you're the only one here (or there) who believes Bern-Berne is an EngVar issue. The only one! I call WP:DISRUPT. Enough already! --Born2cycle (talk) 21:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I found Knepferle's points original, and worth responding to. Your claim, Serge, was false the last time; it is now hot air, especially in reply to a comment listing the editors who said this was ENGVAR. Next time, it will be a lie. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 00:29, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

So, are Sandstein and I the only ones prepared to remove this tag? It's absolutely pointless. The reader doesn't gain anything from it except distraction and perhaps some confusion. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 14:10, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I would remove the tag the next few days if there is still only one editor who disputes the neutrality of the article (i see no neutrality issue). Anybody who doesn't agree with the title can always request a move. mgeo talk 16:37, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
hello everybody, just for comic relief: "A Swiss delegation visited Bern from Berne, Switzerland representing Loeb Department Store in Berne planning their 100th anniversary of the store, and wished to honor all the cities in the U.S. named in honor of their city. They purchased one square yard in the Bern Park which they sold by the inch to interested Swiss - the money given to Bern, Kansas. This money was used to remodel the Bern City Hall in 1981. A large bronze plaque was received by the city which list the donors displayed in the City Hall." Website of Bern, Kansas, USA: in other words, remove the tag please. my suggestion would be to explicitly mention the fact, that there are two spellings in english (in the UK as well as in the US) in the article (see also Bern (disambiguation) and New Bern).--Ajnem (talk) 16:31, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
But it already does that. The article opens with "The city of Bern or Berne...". Mind you, I suspect the article quoted above uses Berne specifically to distinguish from Bern, Kansas given where you found it. Skinsmoke (talk) 23:27, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
If it were merely for disambiguation, they would have used "Bern, Switzerland", and avoided the implication that the Kansans garbled it. This is another genuine American use of Berne, under circumstances where Bern would be the easier reading, and confirms that this move was wrong. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:22, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

quality of living or quality of life[edit]

question for the native speakers: which one is correct "quality of living" or "quality of life", or both? mercer calls it "quality of living", but they may be wrong. --Ajnem (talk) 16:11, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Personally I would use "quality of life", but as Mercer compile the list and call it "quality of living" then I would use that description in the article. Skinsmoke (talk) 18:34, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

"quality of life" Lyphatma (talk) 12:42, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Errors with most articles on Swiss cities[edit]

At the moment, all Swiss articles seem to suffer from the same problem. To begin with, would someone please how to edit the population figure in the infobox? The line with population that comes up when clicking on edit is not the one actually displayed in the infobox, the latter is not possible to access in any way I've discovered. For most cities, the population figure shown come with a reference (not found anywhere in the editable version) that does not contain any data to support the population. Quite often there's a different population figure given in the text. In other words, most articles in Swiss cities suffer from three problems:

- A population figure that it is not possible to edit.
- This population figure is usually unsourced (the source provided does not support the claim)
- A different population figure is often found in the main body of the article.

Jeppiz (talk) 15:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

The population information found in the infoboxes is found as follows:
  • It goes for the parameter "populuation" of the infobox as
|population                 = {{Swiss populations NC|CH-BE|0351}} |populationof = {{Swiss populations YM|CH-BE}}

The swiss population templates can be found at Category:Swiss_populations_data_templates and more info on the infobox can be found at {{Infobox_Swiss_town}}. Hope this helps.Smallman12q (talk) 03:12, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Bern as Brenodor?[edit]

Take a look at this Wiki article about the god Gobannus. The name of a possible town called Brenodor appears. Also "Nantaror"-a possible connection with Aar river valley("Nant" means "lower-delta-valley" regarding rivers and Aar is ismilar with my romanian word for river-"rau"). Now, call me crazy, but Brenodor might be the ancient name of Bern. I'm not trying to teach you guys a lesson, but the coincidence is huge! Or maybe is Brenedor(f)! The germanic "dorf" is the same with my thracian "dava" or obviously english "town". Maybe the simplest explanation is the correct one: if the Bern zinc tablet was discovered in Bern, then the name "Brenodor" is about Bern. Bigshotnews 17:27, 11 October 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bigshotnews (talkcontribs)

I wholeheartedly agree. How can it be said that Bern(e) is "certainly not a direct derivation" of Brennodurum? On the balance of probablities it would seem that it more likely than not is. I would like to see either a change to a more neutral stance or some basis for the assertion. Lyphatma (talk) 15:48, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

"The etymology of the name Bern is uncertain. It is not a direct derivation of Brenodor" was added only after my intervention about the Bern Zinc Tablet. So it's obvious that the author of the quoted text is just upset that i've partially cracked this mistery. Bigshotnews 19:10, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Named after Verona by its founders? If you are thinking of Dietrich of Bern from the Nibelungenlied, note that he is Theodoric of Verona. This is blind speculation - on what basis can that be said? The 'Brenodor' hypothesis is far less complicated and far more persuasive, in the absence of any other evidence. Lyphatma (talk) 15:53, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Are there any reliable sources for this theory or is it just WP:OR? Tobyc75 (talk) 02:46, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Note also the number of Celtic leaders called (perhaps titled?) 'Brennus' who led Celtic migrations over the Alps. How could Bern be anything other than Brennodurum/Brennodunum (Brenodor) - the hillfort of Brennus? That surely must be the default position. Other hypotheses will have to bring out some good evidence to supplant such a parsimonious explanation.

File:Berncollage.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Swiss German is not a real language only a German dialect[edit]

The article states "German is the official language but people speak German Swiss instead". That is ridiculous! The dialect is *called* Swiss German, but it is nothing more than a German dialect, not a real language. If you want to compare the Swiss situation with the USA, you could say: "The official language in Texas is English but the Texans speak Texan English" - see? It's only a dialect. 06:51, 14 August 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I would suggest, first of anything else, you start to read some background information before you continue to complain, such as: Swiss German, Swiss Standard German, Diglossia, German, Standard German (preferably in the German space, where you get much more information) ... and then you ask a German linguist about this issue, if you still have an open issue. Have fun! ZH8000 (talk) 09:10, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
And by the way, it would definitely be more helpful for your arguments, if you would citate correctly, instead of complaining wrong, or non-written things. Nowhere is written that it is called "German Swiss". You just read it the wrong way! And finally, if you do not know how to behave and to write in a decent and respectful way, we cannot really assume you are a grown-up person. ZH8000 (talk) 09:23, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Bern as "de facto" capital - needs sourcing[edit]

Are there any reliable sources outside Wikipedia that describe Bern as the “de facto capital” of Switzerland rather than just the capital?

There are plenty of sources stating that Bern is the capital (in English) or Hauptstadt (in German):

  • (“Switzerland's official information portal”)[4][5]
  • EFTA [6]
  • United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database [7] (note that UNTERM says "Capital City: Bern" without any qualifications, whereas UNTERM provides certain explanatory notes for the capital cities of countries like Israel[8], Bolivia[9], and Sri Lanka[10])
  • BBC [11]
  • US Department of State [12]
  • The World Factbook [13]

None of the above reliable sources uses the term “de facto capital” in reference to Bern, but simply “capital”. Wikipedia ought to do the same. Mathew5000 (talk) 07:13, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done since a while (c.f. Holenstein (2012)). Please restrain from changing this statement and respect the definition by the Swiss Confederation, thanks! -- ZH8000 (talk) 11:20, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
@ZH8000 and Mathew5000: I don't think it is a question of respect, it is a question of reliable sources. Wikipedia relies on sources not on respect. The majority of the available and reliable sources are clear: this is called the "capital", the "de facto" definition seems to be only a "localism". I think it would be a good idea to indicate this peculiarity in the article but not in the incipit. --Lucas (talk) 07:42, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Just because others are ignorant of a given fact, does not make the wrong statement more real. You can list as many wrong/ignorant citations as you like, how important or even official they may look like, but it does not change the fact. The only valid authority here is the Swiss government, nothing else! Just because most do not know better, or it does not suit into their pre-defined schema, or they were just too lazy and too ignorant to take care of, and may it even be the misleadingly called "Factbook", does not change the fact neither. – BTW, this issue very precisely exemplifies the main ceveat of WP: the "majority" can indeed be very wrong. It is not an excyclopedia's goal to state wrong statements, just because a "majority" thinks so. -- ZH8000 (talk) 09:27, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
@ZH8000:, you say "the only valid authority is the Swiss government", but where does the Swiss government use the specific term "de facto capital" in reference to Bern? Here are some Swiss government web pages that refer to Bern as the capital without qualification:
  • Federal Department of Foreign Affairs: "Bern, capital of the canton of Bern, capital of Switzerland and seat of the federal government"
  • Federal Department of Foreign Affairs: "1848. Creation of the federal state by the Federal Constitution; Bern becomes the capital of Switzerland"
  • SwissInfo: "Albert Einstein came to the Swiss capital more than a century ago."
  • SwissInfo: "Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is to visit the Swiss capital Bern as part of the city's efforts to promote inter-religious cooperation."
I understand that in its English-language publications the Swiss government (as well as the City of Bern [14]) tries to avoid the term "capital city", instead using terms like "federal city", "political centre", and "seat of government". However, what is the source for the specific term "de facto capital"? Is it original research? I agree with @Lucas: that based on the overwhelming weight of reliable English-language sources, the opening paragraph of this article should describe Bern as the capital of Switzerland. I would suggest that the text deleted in edit 65088750 be restored. Mathew5000 (talk) 08:18, 1 August 2015 (UTC)
The examples mentioned above actually express inherently the de facto status. It is to be understood as a simplification in linguistic/conversational use, otherwise an explanation would always have to be added for the unenlightened reader regarding the unusual specific Swiss condition. In order to avoid such unneccessary disturbance the simple use of the term capital is usually applied in non-national languages, such as English, or even in local, non-official texts – inherently expressing the de-facto status, so to speak, since this is not an explicit, or even an official, but inherent rule.
In October 2002 there was a 'motion' by a member of the parliament regarding the lawful status of Berne as the Federal City. – In short, as a result of this 'motion', one aspect to be clarified was: "Ein Bundesgesetz, das den Status der Stadt Bern als Bundesstadt verankert und das Verhältnis des Bundes zur Stadt Bern regelt, gibt es hingegen bisher nicht." Long story short answer: "Am 27. Oktober 2004 hat der Bundesrat beschlossen, die Arbeiten für ein Bundesgesetz über die Stadt Bern als Bundesstadt einzustellen.". In other words the status did not change: Berne is still a (inherently) de-facto capital based on the Swiss constitution, which does not explicitly define Berne as a capital, nor even as 'Bundesstadt' (Federal City). This is just the usual parlance! -- ZH8000 (talk)
@ZH8000: I am finding it hard to follow your argument when it's partly in German. But you seem to concede the issue when you say "the simple use of the term capital is usually applied in non-national languages, such as English". This is the English Wikipedia, so we ought to follow the practise of reliable English-language sources in referring to Bern as the capital of Switzerland. (With an explanation deeper in the article of why Bern is often referred to as "federal city" rather than capital.) Your argument based on the Swiss constitution is not compelling. Many countries have constitutions that do not mention the "capital". (For example, the Constitution of Canada refers to Ottawa as the seat of government, not the capital city of Canada. By your reasoning, this means that the Wikipedia article on Ottawa should describe it as the "de facto capital of Canada".) In any event, we still do not have any reliable sources describing Bern specifically as "de facto capital", while we have many reliable sources describing Bern as "capital". According to the Verifiability policy on English Wikipedia, we should avoid the original-research term "de facto capital". Mathew5000 (talk) 00:06, 3 August 2015 (UTC)
I definitely agree with Mathew5000, I could not express it any better. Furthermore, you say: "it is to be understood as a simplification in linguistic/conversational use", but the de facto definition is not common, nor conversational, nor official, it sounds rather more like an original research. --Lucas (talk) 17:11, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

I suspect it is just a misunderstanding of the term de-facto? It should express that the situation of Berne as a captital is simply not declared. Even not ad negativum. And as my previous post proves, the Swiss government has no interest to change this situation!

You cannot expect that something, that is not defined/declared, to be declared not to be existant; that would be illogical. So in other words: you cannot find an official statement that declares Berne not to be the capital! But of course, there are other sources, such as the academic paper by Holenstein (2012) which already make it clear in its title ("Die Hauptstadt existiert nicht")!

@Mathew5000: The Santa Clause does not exist, neither. But you find millions of references, and many really think so, that he is real, and even adults speak about him. Nevertheless, it is only a de-facto Santa Clause, even though he is not real, not de-jure, so to speak. It's somehow the same with the Swiss capital: we let some (children?) believe that it (de-facto) exists ;-) -- ZH8000 (talk) 07:13, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

I posted on the no-original-research noticeboard seeking comments from other editors, since we don't seem to be approaching consensus with just three of us participating in this already lengthy discussion. Mathew5000 (talk) 19:41, 4 August 2015 (UTC)
I think it would come as a great surprise to Swiss people to hear that Bern is not the de iure capital of Switzerland. Parliament decided in 1848 ( that Bern would be "Bundesstadt", which to any Swiss person means the capital. If that is "undeclared" then all other laws including the various Constitutions decided since then would be only "de facto" and not "de iure", too. The discussion documented under concerns the attempt to replace various agreements between the City of Bern and the Confederation about security and cultural and financial aspects of the status of Bern as the "Bundesstadt" with a more up-to-date single law and is the expression of a very Swiss urge to over-regulate. Testing98 (talk) 16:44, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
  • (First of all, please apply the indentations (and the intentions;-) correctly)
  • Secondly, the meaning of anybody has never been a good, neither a valid police for an encyclopaedic work. It's even frowned upon, also for WP. (WP:YESPOV)
  • Thirdly, to speak in anybody else's name, is extremly bad style and frowned upon in any encyclopaedic work, again. (WP:YESPOV)
  • Forth, you make a claim (""Bundesstadt", which [...] means the capital""), you don't provide any evidence for (WP:VER). Au contraire! The opposite has been referenced for a long time, now.
  • Fifth, you claim that "The discussion documented under concerns the attempt to replace various agreements between the City of Bern and the Confederation about security and cultural and financial aspects of the status of Bern as the "Bundesstadt" with a more up-to-date single law", yes, BUT you did not follow the discussion to its end, neither did you nearly read all given references and notes here, especially not my two last given references above (also to be found in the article itself (sic!)).
  • And finally, "and is the expression of a very Swiss urge to over-regulate." could not be of less interests in this context.
I would thoroughly advice you to read more carefully, before making any further futile comments on this issue, thx. -- ZH8000 (talk) 10:59, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
ZH8000, there's no need for snarkiness here. Let's try to keep things civil please. You've written a lot on this talk page, but I still have a hard time following your argument. You criticize @Testing98: for not having read "all given references and notes here" but in all those references, is there one describing Bern as the "de facto capital"? In one of your posts above, you talk about Bern being "undeclared", so then is it your opinion that the article's lede should be edited to describe Bern as the "undeclared capital of Switzerland" (rather than "de facto capital of Switzerland")? I just have a hard time understanding your position on what the article's lede should be. My position is this: we have reliable third-party sources, including the BBC, the UN, and many others, which describe Bern as the capital of Switzerland without qualification. Such independent sources are generally preferred in Wikipedia articles. For example, in the article on Microsoft Corp., Wikipedia would prefer a fact sourced in the Wall Street Journal or some other independent reliable newspaper, over information found on Microsoft's own web page, if there is any discrepancy. So in this case, if the Swiss government takes the view that as a matter of domestic constitutional law Bern is not technically a "capital" but only a "seat of government", that should be included in the article but not necessarily in the lede. Mathew5000 (talk) 20:34, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Timeline of Bern[edit]

What is missing from the recently created city timeline article? Please add relevant content! Contributions welcome. Thank you. -- M2545 (talk) 12:34, 2 October 2015 (UTC)


@ZH8000:: what, in your view, is the advantage of the more awkward phrasing "(the Swiss variety of Standard) German" over the shorter "Swiss Standard German"? And where was the consensus you write exists arrived at?  Sandstein  15:47, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

It is not an advantage, but correct, beause the other is simply wrong. But let's go with the facts:
  1. In all (I think so) German-speaking Swiss communities (one of) the official language is German. Full stop. Not Standard German, nor Swiss German, nor Swiss Standard German, or whatever. That's the official wording.
  2. Indeed, in this context, German means de facto both, the written variety, as well as the spoken variety. In other words: Swiss Standard German and Swiss German. But since the official conversation with the authorities usually takes place in written form, here, German mainly means Swiss Standard German.
  3. BUT Swiss Standard German is not officially defined as such. It does not exist by definition. No official body defines it. But it is de facto existing and reflected as such in Duden, for example. However, especially among linguistic experts, the Swiss variant of Standard German is called the Swiss variety of standard German. Yes, since it is only a variety of the standard, and not a separate entity.
  4. Therefore the official langauge in German-speking Swiss communities is German. But, since it impicitly refers to the Swiss variety, I prefer to link it to the Swiss Standard German while only showing German: [[Swiss Standard German|German]]. To say it is [[Swiss Standard German]] or even [[Standard German]] would be simply wrong. That would not be the official wording.
  5. And finally, in order to make clear that in this very Swiss context German means the Swiss variety, I also say it accordingly: (the Swiss variety of Standard) German. And this specifying part should not be linked, nor written without parentheses, neither, since it would not be the official wording, again.
More clear now? -- ZH8000 (talk) 16:26, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
No. I think the difference you are trying to find does not exist. The language spoken is Standard German, and specifically its Swiss variety. That can be summarized either as "German" or "Swiss Standard German", but there's no need for a clumsy parenthesis. This is an article about the city, not its language, and the lead should be a concise summary. Any superfluous elaborations are to be avoided. Also: which consensus do you refer to?  Sandstein  17:48, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
Well, that seems to be part of the source of your fundamental misunderstanding: It is not the question of what language is spoken (Swiss German, and definitely not Standard German), but what the official language is. And this is – there is no doubt about it, not the slightest – German. Full stop. Every serious adept about Swiss issues will easily tell you this. And so far as I remember, WP has still the intention to be an encyclopedia, and not just a summary of abitral assumptions by anybody, whether educated or not, I hopefully assume.
You pretend to speak Swiss German, but either I doubt that you live (or have lived) in Switzerland at all, or then I must question your (political) education about Switzerland.
The consensus is that it is used for many Swiss towns exactly that way, for years, and nobody – at least the educated ones – seriously complained so far. -- ZH8000 (talk) 22:55, 19 May 2016 (UTC)
As it happens, I am a Swiss lawyer, and quite familiar with Swiss politics and law. But, if you say that the official language in Bern is simply German - which I agree is the case - why can't we leave it just at "The official language of Bern is German"? I just want to avoid awkward phrasing.  Sandstein  17:08, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
I am sure you are. – But your intention is nothing else than to step back the progress made so far. Please check the history! When it said exactly this your proposal ("The official language of Bern is German"), many complained this is not "true", or is not telling the real thing, since the spoken language actually is Swiss German, and the written language, or the language used in conversation with the authorities, is Swiss Standard German. The conclusion to both requests, firstly, to be compatible with the official wording, and secondly, but also to inform about the Swiss particularity at the same time, was and still is: "(the Swiss variety of Standard) German". Therefore, again, your request is ignoring these non-negligible circumstances and is nothing else than eliminating the so far made progress. And as long as you do not have a better solution while fulfiling both requests, I do not see any reason to change it. -- ZH8000 (talk) 20:38, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
By the way, how can you explain the following awkward situation:
  • In your first post you propose to use "the shorter Swiss Standard German" instead.
  • In your second post you write: "The language spoken is Standard German" (which is obviously wrong).
  • In your third post you write: "...that the official language in Bern is simply German - which I agree is the case...".
Swiss Standard German, Standard German, or German – in three posts you made three different, mutually exclusive statements. This obviously is the opposite of a coherent argumentation. Tell me, how should we assume that you have real knowledge about the subject?
And finally, you make the claim that "I think the difference you are trying to find does not exist", but you fail to provide any evidence. This is just an insubstantial claim. I suspect that any judge will hardly take you seriously if you fail to support your claims without the slightest, coherent argumentation, aside from missing any evidences.
Really, I am always willing to discuss open questions, but please stay cohrent in your argumentation and please abstain from making insubstantial claims for its own sake. This is nothing else than futile and hardly motivating. -- ZH8000 (talk) 21:09, 20 May 2016 (UTC)
My two cents

I was doing due diligence from getting this message: My Usertalk#Conduct of another user:

  1. Regarding German variety... Don't see a need to mention the language in the lede/lead at all. There are more important points that belong. It detracts from the article, and unless you speak one or both dialects, is of zero value to those of us in the 20+ countries using English as a native language. Perhaps, the distinctions might best be kept on the Swiss or German Wikipedia.
  2. Can say the same about the population figures, but for its relationships to other Swiss cities is of interest. Otherwise it is boring and detracts from a good lede.
  3. Suggest 'rewrite: "The official language of Bern is (the Swiss variety of Standard) German, but the most spoken language is a Alemannic Swiss German dialect, Bernese German." to just ""
  4. and instead put in some historical context for the city (which certainly dates back to the time of the kingdoms of the Franks and Charlemange!), which is totally missing in the lead as it stands.
  5. Overall, the lead is way too short, and while the language discussion is appropriate, it is in the wrong place given it's relative lack of value.

Hope these evaluations by a totally disinterested party help. I did enjoy a train trip through there years ago. Other than that, the city is on my bucket list to visit on my next grand tour of Europe. Best regards, FrankB 16:21, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

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Merger proposal[edit]

User:JosVan has doubts he can create an article about Bern Expo. See here.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 15:30, 4 January 2017 (UTC)