Talk:Swiss people

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Deletion review discussion[edit]

Please see the deletion review discussion here. Badagnani 18:39, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I could not find anything related to this article on the page you link to ??? Schutz (talk) 00:19, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

What is going on here?[edit]

So... this article basically says that the Swiss are mostly of four different ethnic groups - German, French, Italian and Romansh. Yet, the articles specific to Germanophone Swiss, Francophone Swiss as well as Italian and Romansh-speaking Swiss have been deleted. Why? They've also been marked as "misspellings" when it is clear that they are not. Or is Switzerland the only country in the world without ethnicity? Saimdusan Talk|Contribs 08:32, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Switzerland isn't "the only country in the world without ethnicity". There are lots of countries that aren't nation states. In such countries, some people will have an "ethnic" identity, while others will just have a nationality. Most US citizens don't have an ethnicity, they self-identify by nationality and race. --dab (𒁳) 14:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
And yet, they still are part of a very clear ethnic group. In Australia, 37% of the population identify as "Australian". These are however part of a clear ethnic group the "Anglo" or "Anglo-Celtic" majority, which is defined by its majority status and the politics of "whiteness". To say that this ethnic group does not exist and that they are all just "Australians" is ridiculous. Likewise, removing clear ethnic groups that exist just because they are steadily disappearing (which may or may not be true), or because they have a clear Swiss identity ridiculous! You also have not justified your marking of the page as a misspelling. All countries that are not nation-states have ethnic groups, in fact, they have often have more than nation-states (compare India to Albania).
Swiss-Germans exist, Swiss-French exist, Swiss-Italians exist and Romansh exist - so why can't they get their own articles? Saimdusan Talk|Contribs

well, if "white Australian" is an ethnic group, then I suppose "white Swiss" is also an ethnic group. That's just a matter of terminology. It isn't disputed that these sub-groups exist. They aren't called "Swiss-Germans" or "Swiss-French" however, they are called "German-speaking Swiss" and "French-speaking Swiss". In terms of "ethnicity" there are five basic possibilities:

  • the German-speaking Swiss are ethnic Germans (this is what the CIA states, but most of the people concerned would be apalled at the suggestion)
  • the German-speaking Swiss are ethnic Alamanni
  • the German-speaking Swiss are an ethnicity unto themselves
  • the German-speaking Swiss are "ethnic Swiss", i.e. you take "Swiss" as an ethnic identity with several sub-ethnic groups
  • the German-speaking Swiss have a linguistic and a national but no ethnic identity.

There is no "correct" choice here, all five are arguable. The important thing is that you WP:CITE your authority for any possibility you want to argue. Just claiming that this or that is "ridiculous" or a "clear ethnic group" isn't helpful. The fact is that Switzerland is a special case: "Switzerland is regarded as the prototype of the so-called 'multinational state'" (as opposed to multi-ethnic state), C. Pan and B. S. Pfeil, National Minorities in Europe(2004), p. 165. Note that de:Deutschschweizer is a redirect, to de:Deutschschweiz. Deutschschweiz at en-wiki is a {{R to section}} but may of course in principle become a standalone article within WP:SS. Also, do not underestimate Swiss federalism. There is a "Swiss" national identity, but the next sub-level to that likely isn't "German-speaking" or "French-speaking" as much as cantonal identity. In theory, the Swiss cantons remain independent states within a confederation. Also linguistic identity isn't "German", the various dialects are far too diverse for that. A person from Hasli will have an "ethnic identity" that is neither "Swiss" or "Bernese" but decidedly Hasli, with their own history, their own language and their own flag (it would be a mistake to suppose this was a merely administrative coat of arms, this flag has been carried into battle over several centuries). This is an extreme case, people from most other parts of the canton of Berne will have a strong Bernese "ethnic identity". --dab (𒁳) 10:18, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree! My only point is that each of these specific "groups" should get their own pages! Yes, it's totally controversial and there are many different interpretations of ethnicity in Switzerland. However, I also think that Swiss Germans (Germanophone, Alammanic, etc.), French (Francophone, Romand, etc.), Italians (Italian-speaking, Ticinese, etc.) and Romansh should get their own articles that outline the different linguistic, ethnic, cultural and regional interpretations of their identity. Saimdusan Talk|Contribs 09:41, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Wow, you're all making such a fuss for nothing. There's not nearly enough material for four articles yet, we should worry about "fattening" this one first. What would be the point in creating four stubs now?--Piccolo Modificatore Laborioso (talk) 12:37, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
precisely what I'm saying. There may be a debate in this, but we're nowhere near the point where the debate even begins. You will also note that the "speific groups" do not even have standalone articles on de-wiki, nor on fr-wiki, nor on it-wiki. The reason being, they aren't considered "ethnic groups" of any sort, they are just regional populations, to be treated under "population" in the article on the respective regions (in fact, just the de:Rätoromanen do have a stub entry, also for good reason). Saimdusan, if you feel up to the task of "outlining the different linguistic, ethnic, cultural and regional interpretations of their identity" (which I warn you will involve some work), be my guest and begin covering these "interpretations" right here. --dab (𒁳) 13:09, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
Heh. Yes. I can't help but be amused at the idea, cropping up here from time to time, that of course the Swiss should have somewhat arbitrarily delineated ethnic groups because every other decent nation-state has them.  Sandstein  22:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

photo selection[edit]

I was thinking about creating a photo-mosaic of famous Swiss to use in the infobox, but after I saw the amount of discussion for the French article I thought it'd be much wiser to talk about it first. I say we should choose 6-8 individual photos (rather than 27) to use in the top-right corner. Any suggestions?--Piccolo Modificatore Laborioso (talk) 16:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

these "mosaics" are a terrible idea. just use individual thumbnails and combine these. --dab (𒁳) 17:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I cannot agree, it just doesn't look as neat and using a mosaic seems to be standard in this kind of articles.--Piccolo Modificatore Laborioso (talk) 20:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to a mosaic if it looks better than the present concatenation of images and if we can avoid the drama of Talk:French people/Vote...  Sandstein  22:07, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

it will look every bit as "neat" if you scale the image thumbnails properly. Infoboxes attract cruft and bad practice like dead meat attracts flies, this is a well-known problem on Wikipedia, and the presence of infobox drama elsewhere on Wikipedia is no excuse for introducing it here as well. --dab (𒁳) 16:44, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I tried to line the portraits. We should find another image of Nestlé or another personality if we can't find any appropriate image for him, all the other portraits have regular edges so that one kinda looks out of place. For the considerations about infoboxes in general, I read the link you provided, and that user is right, but the fact that infoboxes continue to populate the Wiki servers in hundreds of thousands proves that we have yet to find a suitable replacement for them.--Piccolo Modificatore Laborioso (talk) 16:29, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
You did well, but as you suggested a photo-mosaic would be better and I think there should be more people than just 9 (but less than the 27) and also at least one italian-speaking person. MadGeographer (talk) 17:25, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

population figures[edit]

you want to update the numbers with more recent data? Then please be my guest and do it (remember to update demographics of Switzerland while you're at it), but don't demolish the data we have without replacing it. --dab (𒁳) 17:37, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I assume you're talking about me and my recent edit, and I do only because it was the sole recent activity on the page, but from reading your message it's kind of hard to tell. If that's the case, I wasn't trying to update the census figures, in fact I added the "citation needed" template because I couldn't find any in the first place. Even if you did not understand my intentions I can't see how requesting sources can be considered "demolishing".--Piccolo Modificatore Laborioso (talk) 20:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I was referring to this edit of yours, where on top of plastering the article with a flurry of citation requests, you remove the figures for Asia, Africa and Oceania. --dab (𒁳) 16:42, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Which were and remain unsourced, and thus worthless. We need citations for pretty much everything here, but when we are talking about detailed and questionable figures (177,000 Swiss in France? 48,000 in Italy?) we must either find sources, request them, or delete what still remains unsourced. For the "plastering": that's the only way I know to place inline citations requests. A banner at the top of the page would have been much too generic.--Piccolo Modificatore Laborioso (talk) 16:01, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

what the hell are you talking about? These figures are, of course, sourced. The source was right there, in the aritcle. It was the authoritative source for such data, --dab (𒁳) 17:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

jesus christ you're flaming someone who left a message five months ago!!!--Soap9000 (talk) 23:11, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
jesus christ, I just noticed that this user continued edit-warring after I turned my attention elsewhere. jesus christ, are you just here to voice your exasperation at me or what? If you have an opinion on the matter let's hear a coherent rationale for whatever it is you are trying to do here. So you merged Swiss diaspora into this article. That isn't exactly a heroic feat, but it is certainly arguable based on article length, so, fine. Anything else? --dab (𒁳) 08:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
that's impossible, because that user hasn't edited a page since early april. that's three months ago. he couldn't have edit-warred with anyone. that's my coherent opinion on the matter. oh and heroic feat? you've been here for five years and made over 100,000 edits. what could ever impress you?--Soap9000 (talk) 09:29, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Moving the page[edit]

I'm moving the article to Swiss people. The current article isn't exclusively about holders of the red-crossed passport, nor does "Swiss people" imply that they form a single ethnicity (and neither do British people, Colombian people, etc…), but rather, that they form a populace.--Soap9000 (talk) 10:04, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

ahem, this article is indeed about " holders of the red-crossed passport". I don't know of any other definition of "the Swiss". "Colombian people" is also a rather dubious title, but WP:OTHERCRAP says you shouldn't take the lowest common denominator as a gauge. Unthinking standardisation is never a good idea, including in the case of article titles. --dab (𒁳) 17:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The lead clearly states otherwise, and this kind of articles are usually called fooish people, so at least in this case I didn't "unthink" anything, as I'm actually following procedure.--Soap9000 (talk) 22:53, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, this one will take a while apparently. You seem to just proclaim things as they are, you speak the truth and need no discussion
no, the count does not include "ancestry"
they aren't known as "Swiss people", they are known as "the Swiss"
without providing any kind of evidence, or an argument even. is it really so obivious?--Soap9000 (talk) 23:18, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
um, you are the one overturning the long-standing revision, so the burden of presenting sources for your claims would probably lie with you, no?
the "descendants" claim is highly dubious. So you are "Swiss" if there is at least one person holding a Swiss passport among your ancestors? WP:REDFLAG. In common parlance, that would make you a "USian/Argentinian/whatver with Swiss roots", not "a Swiss". Note that the "Swiss" in Swiss American is an adjective, not a noun. Swiss Americans are Americans with Swiss roots, not Swiss with American passports. It is true that MW besides 1 a: a native or inhabitant of Switzerland also has 1 b: one that is of Swiss descent. So? It also has 2 any of various fine sheer fabrics of cotton originally made in Switzerland and 3: swiss cheese. This is a matter for disambiguation. This is the article about dictionary meaning 1a. You don't cite dictionaries to change the lead section to "natives of Switzerland, their descendants as well as textiles and a certain type of cheese of Swiss origin". "Swiss" is not an ethnicity. Being Swiss is being a member of a confederation, these days expressed in the ownership of a Swiss passport. Ethnicity is an entirely different affair, discussed in the section "Ethno-linguistic composition".
Re "following procedure", what procedure would that be? Our proper procedure is WP:NAME, especially WP:UE saying that any article should be titled according to most common English usage. This means that titles need to be looked at strictly case by case and there is no "template" procedure for "all fooish people articles". --dab (𒁳) 07:50, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I will not revert you for know, as I hope to solve this in a WP:CIVIL (as you seem to enjoy linking policies) manner. Now, back to your claims: I did provide a reference, a proper one, which you assimilated to a different dictionary (without reading the original I suppose, because the arguments you made don't hold for the NO entry). But following your argument, in the case of Swiss fabric and cheese, you certainly wouldn't oppose the creation of separate articles on those topics, so does that mean that you don't oppose the creation of an article about Swiss people as I intended this one? I read a similar proposition above, and it was dismissed because of a lack of content. That's not an issue for me, I can provide plenty, I'm reading an article about Swiss Italians gold-diggin in California just now. And the "fooish people" title, if not a procedure is a custom, given that 80% of all pages within the WPEG have that name. I don't know about you, but I don't feel that special ;)--Soap9000 (talk) 09:14, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


So "the Swiss" include "people of Swiss descent". Now, the Swiss Confederacy has existed for 700 years, but a Swiss passport has been in circulation for some 200 years (since 1815), so we can only meaningfully speak of "Swiss citizenship" since the 19th century. That amounts to about 8 generations. If the argument is that you are "Swiss" if you have one bearer of a Swiss passport among your 2^8=256 possible ancestors eight generations back this would mean that every person alive today might claim membership in up to several hundred ethnic groups. There would probably be several hundred million Swiss according to this definition. This makes any sort of population estimates completely futile. This holds for proper ethnic groups, and it certainly holds for the case of the Swiss, which, as the article points out in very clear terms, are a nationality, not an ethnic group. I also refer you to de:Schweizer which naturally also states that

Jeder Schweizer ist Staatsbürger der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft. Er besitzt das Schweizer Bürgerrecht ... Ende Dezember 2007 lebten etwa 6,66 Mio. Menschen mit Schweizer Staatsangehörigkeit;

--dab (𒁳) 08:12, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

That's just meaningless, you could make the same argument for dozens of countries, including the two with the longest tradition of emigration (Germany and Italy). The same is true for you argument on ethnic origins, I mean if you are right the US census department has been wasting billions asking useless questions over the last two hundred years... somebody should tell them!--Soap9000 (talk) 09:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

The US census department is asking people about their ancestry, not their nationality. This article is about the Swiss nationality. US citizens with Swiss forebears are the subject of our Swiss American article.

I hope the well-referenced additions I have made to the article establish once and for all that the Swiss are a nationality, composed from a multiethnic populace, formed since the later part of the 19th century. The previous patriotic or national identity on the cantonal level has not been superseded by this and depending on the canton remains rather stronger than the "Swiss" identity at the federal level. Being Swiss is a synonym of being a member of the Swiss Confederation, or more accurately, a citizen of a member canton of the federation. The term, as a noun, has no other meaning than this. To be distinguished from this is the adjective "Swiss" which means "related to or originating in Switzerland in some way". --dab (𒁳) 11:28, 9 July 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion 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 proposal was move per request.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 11:25, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Swiss (people)Swiss people

  • Standard for all articles of this sort (nationality and ethnic ones), and the Swiss people article is already present as a redirect to Swiss (people). Needs to be deleted first apparently. Vrinan (talk) 03:36, 2 July 2010 (UTC) Vrinan (talk) 03:36, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. 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.

move back[edit]

This was an ill-advised move. It has not been shown that this is a recommended standard, and the support votes, such as they are, are a pure example of WP:OTHERCRAP.

Each article is named on a case-by-case basis. The only valid way to move this away from "Swiss (people)" within WP:NAME would be to show that "the Swiss people" is more common in English usage than "the Swiss". If you argue that "the Dutch" is also more commonly used than "the Dutch people", that's a point for moving the Dutch people article, not this one. --dab (𒁳) 15:39, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Which people group is more commonly referred to as "x people?" I always say the English, the Americans, etc. Yet they all use the same format. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Paul Dirac[edit]

Is he really a representative Swiss?

Sorry I can't articulate more. Bye — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:24, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

I've done a second version (File:People from Switzerland 2.png) with Alfred Escher and Alberto Giacometti instead. Both are listed among the 100 most notable Swiss on the SonntagsZeitung article (Louis Agassiz and Paul Dirac weren't). I've also blurred the distractive background on the Ursula Andress picture. I hope you like it. mgeo talk 18:36, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Swiss Argentine[edit]

There's 300.000 Swiss in Argentina, not 140.000 is there a particular reason to why it is so? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mariano Menéndez (talkcontribs) 22:39, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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