Talk:Swabian Jura

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I’ve moved this to Swabian Alps per WP:UE.
The English name for this place is the Swabian Alps, the German is Schwäbische Alb; the title "Swabian Alb" is a nonsense.
And an alb is something a priest would wear. Moonraker12 (talk) 08:28, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Note regarding the term 'Alps'[edit]

And I’ve deleted this;
“Note that the translation "Swabian Alps" is incorrect, since these mountains are not part of the Alps, though the words "Alb" and "Alps" are of the same etymological origin. The Alps (die Alpen) is plural, whereas the Alb (die Alb) is singular”
This is not a translation, so it is not “incorrect” at all; this is the name in English for this place. Like “The Alps” is the English name for die Alpen: And Danube is the English for Donau. Moonraker12 (talk) 08:59, 23 July 2010 (UTC)


Both of the above two comments are nonsense. The deleted sentence "Note that...." was perfectly correct and should be restored. The title of the article should also be changed accordingly. "Swabian Alps" is quite absurd. No one in the region makes any connection between this and the Alps. "Schwäbische" is "Swabian" in English, and "Alb" has no English equivalent: the usual procedure in such a case is to translate what's translatable and leave what isn't. All the locally produced publicity in English calls it the Swabian Alb. Escoville (talk) 10:23, 17 September 2010 (UTC) Hence I've restored the term "Swabian Alb" throughout. Escoville (talk) 10:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

You’re saying WP:UE is nonsense?
The name "Swabian Alps" may be absurd to “anyone in the region” but it’s still the common English name for the place. Check an atlas; or a dictionary; or try a Google search. (And have some sympathy with the people who live in Cologne; or Munich!).
Also, saying a note which claims “Alb in English is the singular” is correct, while also saying Alb doesn’t occur in English; that’s the nonsense.
The usual practice is not to “translate what is translateable” at all, it is to "use the name which is most common in the English language"; which is not what “locally produced publicity” thinks it ought to be, but what, in English, it actually is.
This is what I have done. Moonraker12 (talk) 08:35, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
As it happens I live in Cologne. You will note that the external links you have included, produced in the region, both refer to "Swabian Alb", which gets app. 23,000 google hits, as opposed to app. 3,000 for "Swabian Alps". I am a professional translator who does a lot of work for German tourist boards and the like (though I should make it clear that the links do not link to my work) and so of course I have researched this thoroughly. I have never heard anyone refer to the "Swabian Alps" and I would regard it as a serious error. Escoville (talk) 10:18, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
Well if you want to regard it as "a serious error", that's up to you, of course; but as a translator you are surely aware that the word "alb" doesn’t hold that meaning in English; so “the swabian alb” would be an item of clothing (or a holy relic!) and the use of it you are advocating is a malapropism. And your research may not have come across the phrase; did you look in a encyclopaedia (Britannia, for example)? Or a travel guide (try Lonely Planet) or a geography textbook? Or an atlas? Or a newspaper archive? Also, I didn't include the external links, they were already here; and,as you may notice they are the english translation pages of German websites (which is sort of my point). As for google hits, I don't know what you did, there; I got 49,000 for "Swabian Alps", and 25,000 for your version, as well as 18,000 for "Swabian Jura", which is the other English term. Anyway, google hits by themselves aren't conclusive; what is more significant is that the hits for your phrase are generally on German websites, which indicates, (again) the phrase is what Germans think it ought to be, not what (in English) it actually is. Moonraker12 (talk) 13:49, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I have dealings with folks responsible for the Geopark located in this area - they refer to the place as the 'Swabian Alb' when writing in English and the agreed English name of the Geopark within the European Geoparks Network is the 'Swabian Alb Geopark' or sometimes 'Geopark Swabian Alb' see,1,0.asp?mu=1&cmu=6&thID=0 for example. (Note by the way - if you think it relevant - that the word order for one of the UK geoparks is officially 'Geopark Shetland' but is also often referred to as 'Shetland Geopark'). cheers Geopersona (talk) 05:52, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I totally agree with Geopersona! The correct name should be 'Swabian Alb'. Alb does not conform to the word 'alps' and cannot be translated as such. Cheers KMJagger (talk) 15:30, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Well I can only refer you to what’s gone before.
The current name, "Swabian Alps", follows the reliable sources in English, and any number of WP guidelines; as far as Geoparks is concerned, they seem to use whatever name is favoured locally, which is sort of begging the question.
And the English name isn’t a translation (a point regularly missed, here) it’s the way the German name is rendered in English. The name Neustadt (for example) translates as "New Town" (or "Newton"), but it is rendered as "Neustadt" in English (and it would be pronounced "New-Stat", the way it is spelt, as opposed to "Noy-Shtad"); that’s the way it goes.
On the subject of pronunciation, the German word Alb is pronounced "alp" anyway, AFAIK, so I find myself at a bit of a loss to see what the problem is here.
But if you aren’t happy with this, it can always be referred it for comment...Moonraker12 (talk) 12:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I have requested a move in line with the argument from Escoville. I have lived in Swabia and am also a translator.Jonathan Mays (talk) 00:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
You mean Escoville (a user), or really Escoville (a commune in the Calvados department)? See User_talk:Escoville --Schwab7000 (talk) 17:15, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Etymology of "Alp(en)" and "Alb"[edit]

See Alps#Etymology --Schwab7000 (talk) 16:04, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Extraneous matter[edit]

Quite a lot of this article (e.g. on the dialect) appears to be about Swabia, and not the Swabian Alb, which is only a part of the region. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Escoville (talkcontribs) 10:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)


It says that Stetten am kalten Markt is known to be the coldest spot in Germany. I'm originally from the region and I heard of no such thing. When I thoroughly searched the internet for that particular information I didn't find the slightest evidence to support this fact. There might be a microclimate that is responsible for a slight temperature difference between Stetten and other nearby regions, but this is certainly by far not the coldest spot in Germany. The temperature record for Stetten is -32.6°C on March 1st 2005. A the same time the station in Albstadt-Degerfeld (which is about 6 miles away) had -36.1°C. And also on that very day the station at Funtensee (Bavaria) had -43,6°C. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:20, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Fair comment; you didn't request a citation, so I've asked for one. If nothing is forthcoming it should be deleted.
And theres nothing about it on the Stellen page; Though, doesn’t the name mean "cold market"? Moonraker12 (talk) 18:23, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it means cold market, but this name giving is based on a legend, that in the middle of June a goat froze to death on its marketplace. KMJagger (talk) 14:27, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Character of the people[edit]

There seems to be a certain amount of unsubstantiated nonsense about the character of the people of the region on this page. Can these 'character traits' be substantiated? It largely amounts to stereotypes - some of which might be considered positive, some derogatory eg tightfistedness. Geopersona (talk) 08:12, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[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 Swabian Jura Mike Cline (talk) 17:40, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Swabian AlpsSwabian Alb/Jura –This region cannot correctly be called the "Swabian Alps" in English. Firstly, geographically, the region is not part of the Alps, despite its proximity. Secondly, linguistically, "die Alb" in German is a singular proper noun; it is not the singular of "Alpen", which is a different word, and should not be translated as "Alps" in English. The best we can do is to translate it as "Swabian Alb" or "Jura" or "Swabian Mountains"; in fact, ANYTHING but "Alps"! If the region is referred to as "the Swabian Alps" in English then this is erroneous, no matter how common it may be.

I agree with Escoville in the Translation discussion above. I think most Germans would laugh at the "Alps" translation. After this change ALL references to Swabian Alps should be changed to "Alb" or "Jura". It is possible to state in the article that the term Alps is erroneous and say why. A re-direct link from "Swabian Alps" to "Swabian Alb/Jura" should satisfy anyone who may have heard this region wrongly called Alps by Anglo-Saxon tourist boards. See also Mays (talk) 00:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC) Jonathan Mays (talk) 00:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Postscript: the proposal was refined on 24 February as a result of the discussion thus far. The amendment, rationale and responses are here. Moonraker12 (talk) 10:30, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Support - (to Swabian Alb) Swabian Alb seems to be most common in English sources, with Swabian Jura a close second, and Swabian Alps third (though Alps was more common in the 19th century). Dicklyon (talk) 06:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - to Swabian Alb It is a distinct name - my contacts in the area translate 'Schwaebische Alb' into English as 'Swabian Alb' and choose not to use the term 'Alp/s'. Geopersona (talk) 06:35, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - per WP:COMMONNAME as stated by Dicklyon (whereas we should be careful with arguments like "my contacts in the area" or "most Germans would laugh" - this is the English-language Wikipedia!) --RJFF (talk) 06:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. I get 683 post-2000 English-language Google Book hits for "Swabian Alb," 520 for "Swabian Jura", and 313 for "Swabian Alps." Britannica says "Swabian Alp", which gets only 43 hits. Kauffner (talk) 16:21, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, in spite of nom. I agree with Dicklyon and Kauffner's analyses - and with RJFF's observations. Dohn joe (talk) 18:17, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, (obviously) for the reasons given above. The name "Swabian Alb" may be commonplace among German translators but therein lies the problem; just because that is how Germans render the term into English doesn’t make it correct in English. The term Swabian Alb is an exercise in Denglish, in fact, and is even less correct than "Swabian Alb" where the second word (being non-english) is italicized.
And the nominater is also wrong in assuming the term "Swabian Alps" is used in English because we are under the impression it is part of the Alps (we might be stupid, but we aren’t that stupid!) the word "Alps" doesn’t have a singular in English, so it is used to render both Alpen and Alb.
Per WP:COMMONNAME the problem with a google search (in this case) is that German text translated into English by German translators will use the term; but that still doesn’t make it correct in English.
Also, the reference to "anyone who may have heard this region wrongly called Alps by Anglo-Saxon tourist boards" pretty much makes the point. "Swabian Alps" is how it is in English and German editors here think it is wrong, so we are being required to change to accommodate them.
I suggest the page should stay where it is, per WP:UE ("On the English Wikipedia, article titles are written using the English language") and WP:CRITERIA ("titles have the following characteristics: Recognizability... (and)... Naturalness). Moonraker12 (talk) 19:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
So you're not going to give any evidence for your opinion? Maybe a comment on the n-gram link that I provided? Dicklyon (talk) 21:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
What evidence were you wanting, exactly? The nominator (who tells us he is a translator from Swabia) is of the opinion that the place "cannot correctly be called the 'Swabian Alps' in English" and that (harking back to another editor; also a translator from Germany) the name Schwabische Alb should be rendered into English by translating Schwabische to "Swabian" and leaving the word Alb in German.
I am saying that is incorrect in English (and I had presumed that would be apparent). If the term uses the German Alb that word should be italicized (that's an English language convention, not just a WP one): If it uses the English "Alb" that word doesn’t carry the desired meaning, so what you end up with is a malapropism.
And I'm also saying "Swabian Alps" is the common name in English, as used by English speakers; if the term "Swabian Alb" is found in English it is generally in a translation from German. (As for that I can only go by what I know. "Swabian Alps" (or "Swabian Jura") was the name when I was at school (which was some time after the end of the 19th century!); that was the format in the copy of the Britannica I checked last time, and in the books I could find that mentioned the place; and of the three atlases I have to hand one (Collins 1965) uses "Swabian Alps", the other two (RD 1990, AA 2005) simply use Schwabische Alb)
As for the ngram, the only conclusion I could safely draw is that use of all three terms has declined over the past thirty years (and, I concur, "Swabian Alps" was the more common term in the 19th century). But if you are suggesting it shows "Swabian Alb" is becoming the standard English form I would certainly dispute that; is that what you are saying?
A sken though the google links for "Swabian Alb" (above) suggest the majority are translated from German websites; English websites don't use it anywhere near as much.
A search of the Times digital archive produced 7 references to "Swabian Alps" (in 200 years, which gives a clue to the amount of interest in the place outside Germany!); all were news items (ie written by British journalists). There were 5 refs to "Swabian Alb"; one was an advert from the German tourist board, and two were programmes listed from a Stuttgart radio station (the other two were travel articles, which could go either way)
A glance through Kauffners google book links shows that a large percentage of books are by German authors, so it depends on who prepared the English text for them; I’d find it hard to believe a native English speaker would make that mistake.
So I don't think the numbers by themselves demonstrate much about the common name; I do think an analysis bears out what I am saying. Moonraker12 (talk) 18:35, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
By the way, the singular word 'alp' does exist in English; an 'alp' is defined (amongst other things) as a high mountain - see or Geopersona (talk) 06:59, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
That’s a new one on me; but the OED says the same (though some of the usages are a bit esoteric; Milton, Ruskin, some guy called von Tautphoeus). OTOH, an Alb is still something a priest wears. Moonraker12 (talk) 18:39, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
In response to User:Moonraker12, I was not "assuming ... [he was] under the impression it is part of the Alps", but I do think it will lead others, especially newcomers to this topic, to assume that it is part of the region, because of its geographical proximity. This is exactly why I think it should be changed. However, I agree that "Swabian Alb" is a mixture of English and German, and that here "Alb" should be rendered in Italics, and has no sense in English. In hindsight, "Swabian Jura" alone would have been better proposal for the main title, cf: However, this does not make "Swabian Alps" any more correct.
"Jura" is the correct translation, geologically and linguistically. I do not believe that there is an accepted anglicised equivalent of "Schwaebische Alb" in English, in the way that "Danube" equates to "Donau" etc, although "Swabian Alps" may have been used by some sources, as it is more tourist-friendly than the technical "Jura". I think this must be at best a common error perpetuated by the tourist industry and some Victorian romantics. Moreover, with respect to the assumption, " "Swabian Alps" is how it is in English and German editors here think it is wrong, so we are being required to change to accommodate them": I am an English translator. Jonathan Mays (talk) 22:39, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, we could probably argue at length over what is and isn’t correct, and where the terms came from.
However, “Swabian Jura” is a common enough alternative term for the region in English; if you feel “Swabian Jura” is the appropriate title for the article, because it is “technically more correct” and “less confusing for newcomers to the subject”, I wouldn’t see a reason to oppose it. It’s the "Swabian Alb" format I specifically object to, not the move per se.
What does everyone else think about that? Moonraker12 (talk) 21:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
My original proposal was for a move to "Swabian Alb/Jura", so I would be quite happy to amend this to "Swabian Jura" in the light of the above. Presumably, "Swabian Alps/Alb" could both re-direct there. References in the article would then all be defaulted to "Jura" as opposed to Alps or Alb, with scope for a brief discussion on the name in English in the article. Jonathan Mays (talk) 13:42, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
OK; I've posted it as a sub-section (below) for clarity. Moonraker12 (talk) 21:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)


Swabian Alps to Swabian Jura
Following on from the discussion above, it is suggested this RM is refined to this option,as it is technically more correct and is less confusing for newcomers to the subject. It is also a common name in English, and avoids the complications of the term "Swabian Alb" in English. Comments on this are invited. Moonraker12 (talk) 21:29, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. Consistent with our Jura Mountains article. ("In Germany, the Jura is lower in altitude, stretching into Bavaria in the Swabian and Franconian plateaus.") Readers should be made aware that geologically this is a subdivision of the same range that extends into France and Switzerland. "Jura" can be considered the common name in the sense that "Jura" is more common than "Alb" overall. Those new to the topic will think "Alb" is some kind or variant or misspelling of "Alp." Kauffner (talk) 23:20, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support – the Jura mountains have been known to me for decades, while the Alb and Alps terms for these have not, so to me it seems like a natural choice, even if it's not the most common in sources. Dicklyon (talk) 23:51, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Appropriate redirects and explanations of the diverse names in use ought to be able to cater to all interests. cheers Geopersona (talk) 05:45, 25 February 2012 (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.

Additional comment[edit]

I can only marvel at how a perfectly straightforward consultation yielded that "Swabian Alb" is the most common name, only to be diverted by a completely misguided argument on "correctness" and "Denglish". Seriously? Where to begin.

The term Swabian Alb is an exercise in Denglish, in fact, and is even less correct than "Swabian Alb" where the second word (being non-english) is italicized. And the nominater is also wrong in assuming the term "Swabian Alps" is used in English because we are under the impression it is part of the Alps (we might be stupid, but we aren’t that stupid!) the word "Alps" doesn’t have a singular in English, so it is used to render both Alpen and Alb.

"Denglish" doesn't enter into it, if anything it is about German loanwords in English. I am sure the perfectly educated authors using "Alp" for 150 years[1] will be glad to corrected by a random guy from the 21st century that their usage has been "incorrect" all the time. We should also urgently tell Oxford Dictionaries that they are wrong, never mind their evidence going back to Middle English, as "Moonraker12" has decreed that "the word 'Alps' doesn’t have a singular in English". "Swabian Jura" does seem to get some use (unsurprisingly, mostly in geological contexts), but what we have here is another illustration of random prescriptionism trumping toponomastic evidence, showing how our "renaming" process is broken. --dab (𒁳) 09:14, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

For myself I can only marvel at the ire this has produced; It just goes to show it is never easy telling people when they are wrong.
Having dismissed the notion of “correctness”, (which is ironic, considering) or whether this term is just an un-harmonious blend of English and German, if the “straightforward consultation” referred to is a google search (above), then it is hardly straightforward at all. Which is why we are warned not to rely on raw number counts but to analyse what has been found (which was done, here)
And “if anything this is about german loanwords”: Well, that does rather beg the question, doesn't it? The analysis given shows that “Swabian Alb” is not in any sense a loanword (ie. A term borrowed from one language and incorporated into another), merely the term German speakers choose to use when translating into English: It has no currency amongst English speakers at all.
If by “random prescriptionism” we mean preferring the use of English to that of any other language on the English WP then there is nothing random about it; we say so on the main page, and we will find the same prescriptionism on the German, and every other, WP out there.
Also, “toponomastic evidence” (evidence from the place name?)? We are back to “begging the question” now, aren't we?
I also notice that I am cast here as “some random guy”: Having heard, spoken, written and read English for the last 50 years or so I might have expected to be seen as knowing a bit about the subject, but no; apparently any Tom Dirk or Heinrich with an internet connection is now the expert on the subject. What could I possibly know about my own native language?
If I am to be raked over the coals for opining that Alps doesn't have a singular, it is worth pointing out that in the aforementioned 50 years I've be never come across it, except perhaps as a piece of whimsy, the Oxford Dictionary notwithstanding. (The definitive source is the Oxford English Dictionary, by the way; the Oxford Dictionary is something else again) We wouldn't normally call this an “Ande”, or one of these a “Ural”, so why would this be any different? It is about as legitimate a term as “underwhelm”, or “irregardless” (both of which are also in the Oxford Dictionary [2][3]).
Oh: and the "Swabian Alb"? The OED thinks an Alb is something that a priest wears. Moonraker12 (talk) 22:35, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Swabian Alb dialect vs. Swabian dialect in general[edit]

The section on the dialect of the area quite rightly states that the Swabian of the Alb is different to lowland Swabian. However, it then goes on to detail some linguistic characteristics that are general to all varieties of Swabian. Shouldn't these be removed, and replaced by features that are unique to the Alb?Jonathan Mays (talk) 23:26, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Have moved the linguistic references mentioned above to the main article on Swabian German, pending some specific examples of the Alb varieties of Swabian that contrast with lowland Swabian.Jonathan Mays (talk) 23:21, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Amount of Erosion[edit]

Each year, it loses approximately 5 cm (2.0 in).

This value seems way too high. Is there a reference supporting this value?

[4] (local newspaper article) gives 2 millimetres per year: "Pro Jahr weicht dieses Mittelgebirge deshalb durchschnittlich um knapp zwei Millimeter zurück." I am changing the passage accordingly. -- KlausFoehl (talk) 14:52, 24 July 2013 (UTC)