Talk:Zürich/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

This is an archive of Talk:Zürich as the page was on 6 April 2005 before it was refactored. It also includes the edits from 2003 and early 2004 which were refactored out of the page latter in 2004.

edits from 2003 and early 2004

Spelling

"Zurich" is nothing more than "Zürich" without the umlaut. It is not a separate "English" name. Otherwise we could do the same for every place name with diacritics - strip the diacritics off, and call it an "English" name, e.g. "São Tomé and Príncipe (English: Sao Tome and Principe)", but that's obviously nonsense. --Wik 19:06, Sep 6, 2003 (UTC)

It just usually spelled that way in English .. whatever solution you pick, please fix the redirects. -- User:Docu
The practice of ignoring foreign diacritics is widespread in English (Zürich is in no way special in this regard), but it is not Wikipedia practice. I don't see what your problem with redirects is. Zurich redirects to Zürich, so any link to Zurich will arrive at Zürich. --Wik 19:42, Sep 6, 2003 (UTC)
I don't think it's just a diacritics question, but I don't really care. As for the "my" problem with double-redirects, please check Wikipedia:Redirect#Double_redirects -- User:Docu

Tricky case. The umlaut-free variant is common, but academic publications seem to prefer the correct one. Both Britannica and Columbia Encyc. refer to it as Zürich. Whatever is used, the spelling should be consistent throughout the article, which it presently is not. Take Munich and Lübeck as examples for non-native / native name articles.—Eloquence

Previous discussion

Following the lengthy discussion at Talk:Switzerland (see page history), I moved it back to Zurich. -- User:Docu

I don't see any consensus for Zurich on Talk:Switzerland, so I reverted it. --Wik 17:49, Jan 25, 2004 (UTC)

The discussion is archived. See: Talk:Switzerland/Archive_2 for arguments and Google- tests.

Who uses what

  • Zurich is used by the governments of Switzerland, the Canton of Zurich and the city of Zurich. The airport and the two universities also use this spelling.
  • Zürich is used by the tourist board of the city. Britannica uses this spelling, and this is the correct version in the local language.

Votes

To simplifiy things and stop moving it back and forth, let's place it where it's to go according to the votes below. I take the liberty to fill in the one of Wik. -- User:Docu

  • Zurich - preferred by Google and the Swiss government
    1. User:Docu - If it's to be in German, use Zürich, if it's to be in English, use Zurich.
    2. Lupo
    3. PatriceNeff - The official English Web site uses Zurich. I also contacted the presidial departement (Präsidialdepartement, see [1]) and the lady there told me that the official way of writing it is Zurich. So I think we should go with this.
    4. Seth Ilys - Titles in the English Wikipedia should use only English characters (i.e. no diacritics). Use of the diacritic in the body should follow standard scholarly usage.
    5. Ruhrjung 13:30, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC) - The titles of wikipedia pages should, as far as possible, be in ASCII. In the wikipedia article, correct use of non-ASCII characters should be encouraged but not required. For an example in another language, see for instance: Motlawa
    6. Irmgard 17:51, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC) Being myself from Zurich, I don't think I ever used Zürich in English.
  • Zürich - the spelling in the local language
    1. User:Wik
    2. User:Maximus Rex
    3. User:Zundark (for reasons, see my comment in Talk:Switzerland/Archive_2)
    4. Guillermo3, but with a redirect from Zurich
    5. User:Nico
    6. Mikez 21:28, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC) agrees with Guillermo, use the native form afap, there will always be redirects.
    7. user:Zanimum http://www.zh.ch/, the official site for the canton, uses this spelling, we should too
      • (Do the English versions really? See [2] -- User:Docu)
      • The site of the city is in German only. Kokiri 20:19, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)
    8. with a redirect from the non-umlaut version. Secretlondon 19:04, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)
    9. me too, says Stw
    10. Optim
    11. Ryan_Cable
  • Zurich or Zürich: Any spelling, as long as it is consistent throughout Wikipedia.
    1. —Eloquence (added by Kokiri, see contribution above)
    2. UtherSRG - I suppose this is a hedge bet. Zürich is what I think is what is correct, but what is 'wiki-best' is what should be used.
    3. Kokiri 15:31, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC) - because this is realistic.

Comments

I thought Zurich was the English spelling. Here on Wikipedia, however, many seem to prefer the local name of a place. The publications I get from my government use Zurich, both from the federal government and the canton (the city doesn't send stuff in English). However, is the spelling up to the government? Kokiri 20:19, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Seems to me that any government has a lot to say about the name they would like to have for their city. The job of an cyclopedia is to note the facts and not to discuss whether this is a good or bad solution. If the city of Zurich officially uses the name without umlauts it seems that we should just use that notation. Additionally you note that the federal government and the canton use Zurich. So does the city on the Web sites. This seems to be pretty consistent. Of course we could add a paragraph stating that the Swiss people don't actually like this solution (or so it seems). Hope this helps -- Patrice Neff 13:12, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Seems to me there's actually two different things here:

  1. Where to place the page on Zurich, and
  2. how to spell the name "Zurich" in other articles.

As to (1): I don't care whether it's Zurich or Zürich, as long both exist and one redirects to the other. One should be able to find it either way. As to (2), I prefer "Zurich" (no Umlaut). With the Umlaut, it looks awfully strange, and "Zürich" is pronounced differently. I doubt any English-speaking person would pronounce it in German. Also: what about Milan/Milano? Results dropping the final "o" in a proper English name? If so, why doesn't dropping the Umlaut? Whatever solution is adopted, the articles Canton of Zurich, ETH Zurich, University of Zurich, and Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich) should follow suit. Maybe we should settle on the Swiss German "Tsüri"... (just kidding :-) Lupo 11:21, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, and Zurich International Airport spell it that way, so they should remain that way. Canton of Zurich and Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich) should obviously follow. -- User:Docu
It ain't that simple. The article is located at ETH Zurich and originally used the spelling Zurich consistently. However, sombody changed all occurrences of "Zurich" in the text to "Zürich", with the result that the article is now inconsistent: it sometimes uses "ETH Zurich", but also "ETH Zürich". And the same mess is in Zurich International Airport: its first sentence reads Zurich International Airport, also called Kloten International Airport, is located in Zürich, Switzerland. I'd say these cases argue for using the spelling Zurich. Lupo 08:38, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I referred to the institutions themselves, not the articles about them. -- User:Docu
English-language references generally give Zürich with an umlaut and Milan without an o. Ours not to reason why. (By the way, if you read Docu's comment above the vote, it's clear that the vote is about where the article should go. Kokiri's vote is essentially an abstention, as it doesn't address the issue being voted on.) --Zundark 13:52, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Agreed, we don't have to reason about why other encyclopedias chose a particular spelling. But I think it is valid to argue about what this encyclopedia shall use. Lupo 08:38, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Lupo, I don't think many can pronounce Zürich or Zurich properly, regardless the umlauts. BTW, if we settle fot the local word, then we might spell it like the locals: Züri (no votes so far). Kokiri 17:03, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Zundark, what are we voting on? (the correct spelling?) Whatever we decide, we can't stop people from using the two different spellings that are already used. Maybe because of whom I am I should care about it... but I don't. I only thought it'd be nice to have a consistent spelling throughout WP. Kokiri 10:20, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
We are voting on the title of this article. You are right that we can't stop people from using both spellings (neither of which is really wrong) - so trying to force a consistent spelling throughout Wikipedia would be a waste of time and would risk pointless edit wars. --Zundark 12:56, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Did the discussion stall? I can't see any consensus (yet). Kokiri 18:18, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

For consistency I moved Canton of Zurich to Canton of Zürich. As the vote is currently (4):(7+3), I'd support Zürich. When more vote or some change their minds, we could move it to Zurich. Anyways .. if there is no consensus should it be where it was initially (Zurich) or here where it is "now" (Zürich)? -- User:Docu
Maybe it helped if everyone stated their reasons. I think there is now quite some information on this (talk) page to help make up minds. Kokiri 17:00, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Impact on naming convention of places

If the votes continue this way, we will decide in favour of the local language, against the most common use (Google; governments). This is fine with me (I couldn't care that much about two dots), but how does this affect the naming convention (Milan rather than Milano)? Kokiri 21:32, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It doesn't. Most common use doesn't include ignorance of diacritics. --Wik 21:37, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)
What about the governments? What about that many people from Switzerland also use Zurich, depite most definitely not being ignorant of umlauts. --Kokiri 22:27, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
For the same reason the city of Braunschweig has an English webpage that uses the archaic "Brunswick" - written by Germans who are obviously unaware that English speakers themselves hardly use that any more. It's a misguided attempt to accommodate English speakers. --Wik 23:09, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)
Doesn't this call for an update in the MoS (naming conventions)? What's the difference between Zurich and Milan? Also, is it our job on Wikipedia to decide who is misguided? I thought we reflect what is used... --Kokiri 23:41, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The difference is that Milan is obviously a different, specifically English name of Milano, while Zurich is just Zürich without the umlaut, and we do use diacritics, otherwise we would have to move a lot of other articles besides Zürich ("Sao Tome" is also more common on Google than "São Tomé", still it's not an "English name"). --Wik 23:55, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)
I follow your argument about the umlauts. I'm more concerned about a misguided attempt to accommodate English speakers, since the governments of Zurich explicitly use the version without the umlauts, and so seem quite a few other well-known institutions (ETH, university, airport). The version with umlauts is used by the tourist board [3]. Are all the other institutions misguided? --Kokiri 09:20, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yes. It can be assumed that the people of Zürich would rather have their local name used internationally, why would they want to drop the umlaut themselves? They just do it because they try to be accommodating to what they believe is "the English name". If they continue doing this, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy of course, and in the end it becomes the English name as even more and more of those English speakers who are prepared to use umlauts drop them just because the city itself is not using them. It's like one of those situations where two people do something that neither of them really wants, each believing the other wants it and trying to please the other. But we are not quite at that point yet. The Britannica for example makes no mention of "Zurich". --Wik 14:39, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
There is a tendency to use local language names even in English, after all for many you are more likely to find those on maps (e.g. use Kiental rather than "Kien Valley" as [4]), but an article on Munich, would be at Munich.
BTW "São Tomé and Príncipe" would that be in English "Saint Thomas and Prince"? -- User:Docu
That would be the literal translation, but it's not used. --Wik 14:39, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
Wik, I've been thinking a bit about what you wrote (two sides believing to accomodate one another)... and I changed my vote. I'm not sure, however, if we can know the reasons of people using one or the other version. I think we should decide on one spelling, mention the alternative (as an equal), and then use the one spelling consequently. I don't think we should change the actual name of any institution, but I don't see anything wrong with ETH Zurich is a university in Zürich or vice versa. My Britannica has the article under Zurich, but spells the town Zürich in the article; I see the online version differs in that it uses Zürich for the title, too.
Coming back to the MoS, shouldn't this be adapted to be more flexible towards the use of local spellings? But then, heck, we've got redirects. --Kokiri 15:31, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)

{{move|Zurich}}


Previous discussion

Following the lengthy discussion at Talk:Switzerland (see page history), I moved it back to Zurich. -- User:Docu

I don't see any consensus for Zurich on Talk:Switzerland, so I reverted it. --Wik 17:49, Jan 25, 2004 (UTC)

The discussion is archived. See: Talk:Switzerland/Archive_2 for arguments and Google- tests.

Who uses what

  • Zurich is used by the governments of Switzerland, the Canton of Zurich and the city of Zurich. The airport and the two universities also use this spelling. Others: Swiss Federal Office of Topography?, Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names, Google.ch  ;-)
  • Zürich is used by the tourist board of the city. Britannica uses this spelling, and this is the correct version in the local language.
  • The screens in the Swiss Stock Exchange use the "Locale" variable in the user settings to display in English, Italian, French or German. There was a big debate about how to write Zurich. In German if no umlaut is used them it should be written Zuerich. In the English documentation the word Zurich was accepted as the English Standard.


Straw poll on name of the article

Please do not vote any longer — this poll has been a dead horse for a long time. Rather, go to Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Proposal to discuss policy. dab 08:54, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This poll is not a dead horse. If you prefer the English spelling of Zurich then please disregard the above plea and your vote to the Zurich list. But please add any comments to the Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions (use_English) page. Philip Baird Shearer 11:50, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
So I can still vote in the poll, but only if I prefer the spelling without the diacritical? BlankVerse

see:Wikipedia:Dispute resolution#Conduct a survey "Note that informal straw polls can be held at any time if there are enough participants in the discussion, but publicizing the survey can get more of the community involved and increase the weight given to the results."

To simplifiy things and stop moving it back and forth, let's place it where it's to go according to the votes below. I take the liberty to fill in the one of Wik. -- User:Docu

Please sign with #~~~~
Feel free to add more naming proposals
Please add comments in the comments section not in the Votes section.

  • Zurich - preferred by Google and the Swiss government, the city of Zurich.
    1. User:Docu - If it's to be in German, use Zürich, if it's to be in English, use Zurich.
    2. Lupo
    3. PatriceNeff - The official English Web site uses Zurich. I also contacted the presidial departement (Präsidialdepartement, see [5]) and the lady there told me that the official way of writing it is Zurich. So I think we should go with this.
    4. Seth Ilys - Titles in the English Wikipedia should use only English characters (i.e. no diacritics). Use of the diacritic in the body should follow standard scholarly usage.
    5. Ruhrjung 13:30, 23 Feb 2004 (UTC) - The titles of wikipedia pages should, as far as possible, be in ASCII. In the wikipedia article, correct use of non-ASCII characters should be encouraged but not required. For an example in another language, see for instance: Motlawa
    6. Irmgard 17:51, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC) Being myself from Zurich, I don't think I ever used Zürich in English.
    7. webkid 22:29, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC) If we use Zürich instead of Zurich, this would mean that we have to rename all the titles of articles about geography into their native language. For example, Russia would become ??????, Romania - România, etc.
    8. Dmn 22:16, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC) If its good enough for the swiss government, its good enough for me
    9. pne 08:15, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC) - what Docu said. I consider "Zurich" to be the English name of the city, much like "Munich" for "München", or "Lisbon" for "Lisboa".
    10. Corti - I prefer Zurich and I would use Zürich on the German page. I agree with webkid we should keep the English version in English.
    11. Philip Baird Shearer
    12. Gady 19:33, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    13. Proteus (Talk) 21:55, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    14. Noel This is a) the usual English spelling (and this is the English Wikipedia), and b) it's what the Zurich government recommends. Ye deities, why are we even having this debate? Yes, absolutely the article ought to give the original (with umlaut) in the opening sentence, so we do educate people. However, thereafter use the English spelling.
    15. Tobias Conradi 10:15, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC) This is english wikipedia. english alphabet has no diacritics. Local spelling would mean to write article names of chinese cities in chinese language. Have a look at vietnamese cities :-) How will you vote than? Of course show the local version in the first line.
    16. Nobbie 16:17, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC) - If there's an English name, use it.

  • Zürich - the spelling in the local language
    1. User:Wik
    2. User:Maximus Rex
    3. User:Zundark (for reasons, see my comment in Talk:Switzerland/Archive_2)
    4. Guillermo3, but with a redirect from Zurich
    5. User:Nico
    6. Mikez 21:28, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC) agrees with Guillermo, use the native form afap, there will always be redirects.
    7. user:Zanimum http://www.zh.ch/, the official site for the canton, uses this spelling, we should too
      • (Do the English versions really? See [6] -- User:Docu)
      • The site of the city is in German only. Kokiri 20:19, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)
        • The link above was moved (it was in English). Now (March 2005), there is [7] using mainly "Zurich". -- User:Docu
    8. with a redirect from the non-umlaut version. Secretlondon 19:04, Feb 28, 2004 (UTC)
    9. me too, says Stw
    10. Optim
    11. Ryan_Cable
    12. Lirath Q. Pynnor
    13. Denni 05:00, 2004 May 4 (UTC) Zürich without umlaut just looks weird.
      • To some people, it looks wierd with. Noel (talk) 17:59, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    14. ✏ Sverdrup 01:52, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
    15. Improv 04:46, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    16. BlankVerse Zürich is more accurate, which should be the primary consideration for an encyclopedia. Redirects are cheap, so whether someone types in Zürich, Zurich, Zuerich, or Züri, they still end up at the same article.

  • Zurich or Zürich: Any spelling, as long as it is consistent throughout Wikipedia.
    1. —Eloquence (added by Kokiri, see contribution above)
    2. UtherSRG - I suppose this is a hedge bet. Zürich is what I think is what is correct, but what is 'wiki-best' is what should be used.
    3. Kokiri 15:31, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC) - because this is realistic.
    4. chris_73 09:54, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC) Although being native German, Zurich is fine for me in english.




Comments on straw poll

I thought Zurich was the English spelling. Here on Wikipedia, however, many seem to prefer the local name of a place. The publications I get from my government use Zurich, both from the federal government and the canton (the city doesn't send stuff in English). However, is the spelling up to the government? Kokiri 20:19, 7 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Seems to me that any government has a lot to say about the name they would like to have for their city. The job of an cyclopedia is to note the facts and not to discuss whether this is a good or bad solution. If the city of Zurich officially uses the name without umlauts it seems that we should just use that notation. Additionally you note that the federal government and the canton use Zurich. So does the city on the Web sites. This seems to be pretty consistent. Of course we could add a paragraph stating that the Swiss people don't actually like this solution (or so it seems). Hope this helps -- Patrice Neff 13:12, 8 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Seems to me there's actually two different things here:

  1. Where to place the page on Zurich, and
  2. how to spell the name "Zurich" in other articles.

As to (1): I don't care whether it's Zurich or Zürich, as long both exist and one redirects to the other. One should be able to find it either way. As to (2), I prefer "Zurich" (no Umlaut). With the Umlaut, it looks awfully strange, and "Zürich" is pronounced differently. I doubt any English-speaking person would pronounce it in German. Also: what about Milan/Milano? Results dropping the final "o" in a proper English name? If so, why doesn't dropping the Umlaut? Whatever solution is adopted, the articles Canton of Zurich, ETH Zurich, University of Zurich, and Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich) should follow suit. Maybe we should settle on the Swiss German "Tsüri"... (just kidding :-) Lupo 11:21, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)

University of Zurich, ETH Zurich, and Zurich International Airport spell it that way, so they should remain that way. Canton of Zurich and Cabaret Voltaire (Zurich) should obviously follow. -- User:Docu
It ain't that simple. The article is located at ETH Zurich and originally used the spelling Zurich consistently. However, sombody changed all occurrences of "Zurich" in the text to "Zürich", with the result that the article is now inconsistent: it sometimes uses "ETH Zurich", but also "ETH Zürich". And the same mess is in Zurich International Airport: its first sentence reads Zurich International Airport, also called Kloten International Airport, is located in Zürich, Switzerland. I'd say these cases argue for using the spelling Zurich. Lupo 08:38, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Actually, I referred to the institutions themselves, not the articles about them. -- User:Docu
English-language references generally give Zürich with an umlaut and Milan without an o. Ours not to reason why. (By the way, if you read Docu's comment above the vote, it's clear that the vote is about where the article should go. Kokiri's vote is essentially an abstention, as it doesn't address the issue being voted on.) --Zundark 13:52, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Agreed, we don't have to reason about why other encyclopedias chose a particular spelling. But I think it is valid to argue about what this encyclopedia shall use. Lupo 08:38, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Lupo, I don't think many can pronounce Zürich or Zurich properly, regardless the umlauts. BTW, if we settle fot the local word, then we might spell it like the locals: Züri (no votes so far). Kokiri 17:03, 26 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Zundark, what are we voting on? (the correct spelling?) Whatever we decide, we can't stop people from using the two different spellings that are already used. Maybe because of whom I am I should care about it... but I don't. I only thought it'd be nice to have a consistent spelling throughout WP. Kokiri 10:20, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)
We are voting on the title of this article. You are right that we can't stop people from using both spellings (neither of which is really wrong) - so trying to force a consistent spelling throughout Wikipedia would be a waste of time and would risk pointless edit wars. --Zundark 12:56, 27 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Did the discussion stall? I can't see any consensus (yet). Kokiri 18:18, 17 Feb 2004 (UTC)

For consistency I moved Canton of Zurich to Canton of Zürich. As the vote is currently (4):(7+3), I'd support Zürich. When more vote or some change their minds, we could move it to Zurich. Anyways .. if there is no consensus should it be where it was initially (Zurich) or here where it is "now" (Zürich)? -- User:Docu
Maybe it helped if everyone stated their reasons. I think there is now quite some information on this (talk) page to help make up minds. Kokiri 17:00, 18 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Impact on naming convention of places

If the votes continue this way, we will decide in favour of the local language, against the most common use (Google; governments). This is fine with me (I couldn't care that much about two dots), but how does this affect the naming convention (Milan rather than Milano)? Kokiri 21:32, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

It doesn't. Most common use doesn't include ignorance of diacritics. --Wik 21:37, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)
What about the governments? What about that many people from Switzerland also use Zurich, depite most definitely not being ignorant of umlauts. --Kokiri 22:27, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
For the same reason the city of Braunschweig has an English webpage that uses the archaic "Brunswick" - written by Germans who are obviously unaware that English speakers themselves hardly use that any more. It's a misguided attempt to accommodate English speakers. --Wik 23:09, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)
Doesn't this call for an update in the MoS (naming conventions)? What's the difference between Zurich and Milan? Also, is it our job on Wikipedia to decide who is misguided? I thought we reflect what is used... --Kokiri 23:41, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The difference is that Milan is obviously a different, specifically English name of Milano, while Zurich is just Zürich without the umlaut, and we do use diacritics, otherwise we would have to move a lot of other articles besides Zürich ("Sao Tome" is also more common on Google than "São Tomé", still it's not an "English name"). --Wik 23:55, Mar 7, 2004 (UTC)
I follow your argument about the umlauts. I'm more concerned about a misguided attempt to accommodate English speakers, since the governments of Zurich explicitly use the version without the umlauts, and so seem quite a few other well-known institutions (ETH, university, airport). The version with umlauts is used by the tourist board [8]. Are all the other institutions misguided? --Kokiri 09:20, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yes. It can be assumed that the people of Zürich would rather have their local name used internationally, why would they want to drop the umlaut themselves? They just do it because they try to be accommodating to what they believe is "the English name". If they continue doing this, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy of course, and in the end it becomes the English name as even more and more of those English speakers who are prepared to use umlauts drop them just because the city itself is not using them. It's like one of those situations where two people do something that neither of them really wants, each believing the other wants it and trying to please the other. But we are not quite at that point yet. The Britannica for example makes no mention of "Zurich". --Wik 14:39, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
There is a tendency to use local language names even in English, after all for many you are more likely to find those on maps (e.g. use Kiental rather than "Kien Valley" as [9]), but an article on Munich, would be at Munich.
BTW "São Tomé and Príncipe" would that be in English "Saint Thomas and Prince"? -- User:Docu
That would be the literal translation, but it's not used. --Wik 14:39, Mar 8, 2004 (UTC)
Wik, I've been thinking a bit about what you wrote (two sides believing to accomodate one another)... and I changed my vote. I'm not sure, however, if we can know the reasons of people using one or the other version. I think we should decide on one spelling, mention the alternative (as an equal), and then use the one spelling consequently. I don't think we should change the actual name of any institution, but I don't see anything wrong with ETH Zurich is a university in Zürich or vice versa. My Britannica has the article under Zurich, but spells the town Zürich in the article; I see the online version differs in that it uses Zürich for the title, too.
Coming back to the MoS, shouldn't this be adapted to be more flexible towards the use of local spellings? But then, heck, we've got redirects. --Kokiri 15:31, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)

In General

"Zurich" is nothing more than "Zürich" without the umlaut. It is not a separate "English" name. Otherwise we could do the same for every place name with diacritics - strip the diacritics off, and call it an "English" name, e.g. "São Tomé and Príncipe (English: Sao Tome and Principe)", but that's obviously nonsense. --Wik 19:06, Sep 6, 2003 (UTC)

I disagree one simple rule; "Strip of the diacritics unless commonly used in English."
Sao Tome Principe (Portuguese:São Tomé and Príncipe) ...some where in the text "São Tomé and Príncipe" literally translated into English is "Saint Thomas and Prince" but this is never used. Philip Baird Shearer 11:59, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It just usually spelled that way in English .. whatever solution you pick, please fix the redirects. -- User:Docu
The practice of ignoring foreign diacritics is widespread in English (Zürich is in no way special in this regard), but it is not Wikipedia practice. I don't see what your problem with redirects is. Zurich redirects to Zürich, so any link to Zurich will arrive at Zürich. --Wik 19:42, Sep 6, 2003 (UTC)
I don't think it's just a diacritics question, but I don't really care. As for the "my" problem with double-redirects, please check Wikipedia:Redirect#Double_redirects -- User:Docu

Tricky case. The umlaut-free variant is common, but academic publications seem to prefer the correct one. Both Britannica and Columbia Encyc. refer to it as Zürich. Whatever is used, the spelling should be consistent throughout the article, which it presently is not. Take Munich and Lübeck as examples for non-native / native name articles.—Eloquence

The standard spelling of Zürich in English is Zurich. It is not a literal translation of Zürich, if it was then the spelling would be Zuerich. Any article should be under Zurich and not Zürich just as Cologne should be in the English Wikipedia and not Köln. To place the page at its common name is standard Wiki. In this case there is a an additional major reason for doing so which is practicality. English keyboards do not have umlaut keys. If an English typing person uses a search engine searching for Zurich then the chances are they would not know how to find an "ü" if the word is Zürich. This is not just about searching on redirects it is also about searching on content. It is also a pain when writing articles for example, I have had to cut and past the "ü" in this text, and unmodified English spelling checkers will flag Zürich as an error. Now I know that there are work arounds for all these points, but if Zurich is used then the work arounds are not needed Philip Baird Shearer 15:19, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)
true... wait, true in 1911 maybe, or in 1950. The spelling Zurich was mainly due to typographical restrictions, and of course laziness. See also Heavy metal umlaut. Now it seems that more precise transliterations are gaining ground in English usage. It seems Qur'an is now preferred over Quran or even Koran. We see more instances of Muslim (vs. Moslem) etc. Of course some names are more entrenched than others (Milan, Cologne), and we have to argue on a case by case basis. It is well possible, however, that while

the spelling Zürich was virtually unheard of in English 20 years ago, it is now on its way to become standard. This is also reflected by the fact that the search engine collapses "ü" and "ue" now. dab 15:46, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I think you are "confused". The default behaviour of Google.co.uk is not to do what you say. So which search engines are you refering to?
  • Google.co.uk:Zurich returns 4,370,000; in English only it returns 2,290,000; site:uk returns 254,000
  • Google.co.uk Zeurich returns 756,000; English sites only and the number drops to 108,000; site:uk "did not match any documents"
  • Google Zürich returns 6,510,000 But it returns German language sites first; ask it to return English only sites and the number drops to 1,380,000; For Zürich site:uk 22,800
So the best way to get English pages on "Zurich" is to search Google with "Zurich" and not Zuerich or Zürich. As for it becomming a standard there are 10 times a many sites in the UK with Zurich than Zürich. For Oz and Kiwi lands it is even less of a standard: site:au 33,000:1,950 site:nz 3,340:467. -- Philip Baird Shearer 18:11, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
very strange. Your very links for me return 2,400,000, 2,600,000 and 2,440,000 hits respectively. Can it be that Google collapses the "ue" for me because it decides I am located in Switzerland? Anyway, I'm not saying the umlauted variant is more widespread in English. I'm just saying it went from zero to some use, mostly in more educated contexts, and is perfectly admissible in an encyclopedia (my favorite example: on WP, the quran is called Qur'an. Also because it is more correct, not more widespread). dab 12:54, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Google probably does "know" that you are in Switzerland. The point of the Google search is that most English speaking people would put in Zurich and the pages returned are a mixture of English and German even without screening by language, but Zürich returns with lots of German pages so most English speaking people who do not speak German would not use it. I think that English version of Wikipedia should follow the convention of what is most common for English speakers and that is Zurich. The page name is not important but the text on the page is. This is an on-line Encyclopaedia and to be of most use to English speaking people, using English keyboards, using the most common search engine, the Wikipedia pages will not show up in the standard search. Even if they do use the German spelling, (which is tricky to do without a German keyboard so is unlikely, the Wikipedia pages would be buried in amongst German ones unless they apply another filter for English only. Why make users use two procedures just to "educate" them into the oddities of German spellings? It is not so bad for the main Zurich page because that has "Zurich" at the top. But what about subsidiary pages like the Second Battle of Zurich which has recently been converted to Zürich for all cases of Zurich in the text? It would not show up on a search of "Zurich". Most English speaking people do not even know that Umlauts exist let alone "ß" (ss)?, So they would not know to do an initial search using them.

Most Brits struggle to pass French at school, (and many other English speaking countries do not learn French) so using French names with the full set of the French language characters (cedillas "(ç)" and circumflexs) would be beyond them. Being in Switzerland you are probably familiar with the French ones so a better example for you would be Irish. In Irish there are lots of symbols which you will not have easy access to, if an Irish Gaelic place name uses one and is the same name as the English name, should that town be referenced using those symbols (eg "(ċ)") in Wikipedia [10]? What about the Spanish Language? Just how many languages does one have to know the grammar, so that one can search with the correct accent on the word if it has one in the local language when traditionally they are ignored in English? If Zurich is to be referenced as Zürich then presumably the rule would be all of them. What about all those people who use the English Wikipedia who's first language is not a European one? I do not think that including foreign accents on characters is a sensible way to go and so I do not think that Zürich should be used in the English Wikipedia Philip Baird Shearer 15:31, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I do not think that including foreign accents on characters is a sensible way to go — here's quite a radical position! This is of course an issue of WP policy and not restricted to this page, so at this point we really should continue this on VP. Let me just say that I don't agree with you at all. There is lots of Unicode material on WP already, and en: is one of the last remaining that cling to the "entity" encoding rather than true unicode. The search arguments are technicalities and should enter a discussion of the search algorithm, not of the article text. (Gaelic overdots were used in medieval manuscripts to indicate palatalisation, btw, but they are not common in modern gaelic spelling). I agree that we need not give full diacritics in every case, see my comments on arabic transliteration on Talk:Islam#transliteration.2C_capitalisation.2C_diacritics. I do not oppose redirects with dropped diacritics at all, and this is how people searching for the term would find it. Nor do I support the native spelling in cases where there are well known English forms, eg Cologne to Köln (and I agree that Zürich is a borderline case in this respect). But as a source of knowledge, WP should strive to give the correct spelling, not a dumbed down one for people who are scared by diacritics. regards, dab 15:48, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I put the question on Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive A#Transliteration now. dab 17:06, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  1. The correct spelling of Zurich in Engish is Zurich.
  2. Why is "I do not think that including foreign accents on [English] characters is a sensible way to go" -- Note the word foreign -- "a radical position"? On the contrary forcing English people to lean about funny foreign lines, dots and squiggles above and below letters is radical.
  3. It is not a matter of Unicode, it is that most English people do not use funny foreign lines, dots, squiggles over letters, or use German grammar rules to turn a ü into ue.
  4. You stated earlier that search engines will do the work. When I point out that they do not you then say "search arguments are technicalities". Why do you use a fall back position instead of saying "Yes that is a vaild point which I had not considered"?
  5. I was exagerating the use of Galic to make the point, but the "fatha" are used in Galic and most people, Irish (let alone English) would not expect to use them in English texts. Having to learn the grammar of a language just to be able to guess what foreign lines, dots, squiggles a word may have when a simple rule of strip them off works is overkill.
  6. Apart from the fact that you like an umlaut in the word Zurich, you have not come up with one reason to use them other than using them is "not a dumbed down one for people who are scared by diacritics". Speaking as a native English speaker, I don't think that it is dumb to use "Zurich" to describe the city and I have given several rasons for doing so:
    • English speakers do not know about all the strange grammar rules used on foreign names in lots of foreign languages, so the traditional way around it, is to strip them off. I do not consider it dumb to do this because it is a simple rule which works for any Latin based alphabet. After all no native English speaker, who has not learnt German knows, or cares if Germans would pronounce zÜrich and zUrich diffrently because of two funny forign double dots.
    • A considerable number of people using the English version of this Encyclopaedia will not have a European Language and the Latin alphabet as their first language. Why inflict an unnecessary level of complication on them by insisting that they know all about all extra European dots lines squiggles on letters which do not exist in English?
    • The more popular search engines do not handle funny foreign double dots squiggles and dashes well. Even if they do, then without extra filters they throw up lots of double-Dutch in a foreign languages which is not what English speakers need or want most of the time Philip Baird Shearer 18:12, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)
    • If a native English speaker wishes to find out about Zurich they do not expect to have to have a German grammar lesson before they can find the informaiton on the city.
hello? redirects? please cut down on the sarcasm a little bit. And kindly check [11] dab

Apart from the fact that you would like to force dumb down[ed] native English speakers to learn about German grammar and umlouts on words, please state one good reason for using Zürich instead of Zurich. I have stated four of good reasons for not doing so. Philip Baird Shearer 18:12, 7 Nov 2004 (UTC)

This is silly. We had an enormous discussion and vote on this general issue a couple of months ago, and the "local/official name should be used" camp was in a definite minority, and so lost the vote. Zurich is the English name for what is called Zürich by the locals, has exactly the same status as Rome, Kiev and Cologne, and so is the form to be used in Wikipedia. Proteus (Talk) 17:40, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No it doesn't. How is Cologne equal to Köln minus the Umlaut? I agree that Zurich is well known enough to pass as an English name, so I am not in opposition to a move to Zurich. But I maintain that this is a bordeline case, and in cases where the name is more obscure, the mere diacritica-stripped name does not qualify as "English". Why is everyone so heated about this? I am not trying to force anyone into learning anything. Distinguish between the reader and the editor. The reader doesn't need to learn anything he doesn't want to. The editor, of course, should have enough knowledge about the subject matter to at least get the spelling right. Please also distinguish the article title from the article text. Since we only have 8-bit titles, but full unicode article texts, it may make good sense to move the title to Zurich (because we cannot give full diacritics in every case anyway). But consider Template:wrongtitle (I didn't make it): It is there precisely for the purpose of moving article titles to their correct unicode form once this becomes technically feasible. Please, I am not trying to be elitist, here. An encyclopedia needs to have this information for people who want to know. If you do not want to know, you can always ignore the information. dab 10:41, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
What on Earth are you on about? How is Cologne equal to Köln minus the Umlaut? Why is it even remotely relevant how great the difference is between the English and local name? Is "Rome" less of an English name for "Roma" than "Cologne" is for "Köln" simply because Rome is Roma with the "a" changed to an "e"? Simply because the English name is the local name without diacritics does not make the English name any less of an English name. Proteus (Talk) 12:46, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Please note that I agree that both variants are arguable, and I do not oppose a move to Zurich. But are you even making a bona-fide effort to get my point? Let me provide some examples. Firstly, we obviously have Chechnya and not Noxçiyn Respublika. Then we have Kurgan Oblast rather than Kurganskaya Oblast, but also rather than Kurgan Province. Which of the three variants is most common in English? Exactly, they are all equally uncommon, because this oblast is hardly ever in the news. We have Ramesses II, but Ramses III. Why? This is an inconsistency. Ramses is the traditionally common English spelling, but Ramesses is now considered egyptologically more correct. If you know what you're doing, you may go over there and edit for consistency one way or the other. We also have Psammetichus I but not Rhampsinitus_I. inconsistent! why? because one is common in English and the other isn't. My point is: There is no simple rule. It will always be a case-by-case desicion of whether or not a spelling is 'common' in English. Lastly, there is Panini (scholar). See the wrongtitle-Template? This was added by User:Marnen, because, like me, he thinks that it's silly to spell the grammarian like the sandwich when we could spell him unambiguously, Pāṇini. dab 13:11, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
1) Google: 63,200 English pages for "kurgan oblast", 159 English pages for "kurgan province". I think it's quite clear which is more common in English. 2) There's currently a WikiProject for sorting out the Pharaoh names: Wikipedia:WikiProject Ancient Egypt. They won't stay inconsistent for ever. 3) The "wrongtitle" template shouldn't be there. In English he's called "Panini", and so the article's at the right place. 4) As there doesn't seem to be anyone actually objecting at the moment to moving this page back to where it should be, I'll move it back. Proteus (Talk) 14:22, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Google rules (pun intended). But I was trying to get my point across, so throwing hit counts at me does not help very much. Do you suggest we use whichever spelling has the most "lr=lang_en"-googlehits? anyway, move to Zurich, the poll was inconclusive anyway. I disagree on Panini, but that hardly belongs here. dab 14:33, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
And note the happy umlauts, unafraid of the English language, on http://www.zuerich.com/ (Zürich Tourism). dab 14:39, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
obviously, some people do object. sigh, I've made my points. I maintain that both variants may be argued, and that the search-engine related arguments are invalid because of the redirects, so I'll just leave the issue alone now, because that's simply something not worth starting a reversion-war over. dab 14:43, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)


That the moment English artcle reads:

  • Zürich [ˈtsyːrɪç] (in English often spelled Zurich, and spelled Zuerich in accordance with conversion of umlauts)

Why does it no read:

  • Zurich (German:Zürich (or Zuerich in accordance with the German conversion of umlauts)).

Is this an English encyclopaedia or a German one?

BTW what is the #712 tsy #720 r #618 cedilla, placed after the first word Zürich, supposed to be becuase on my screen it comes out as ?tsy?r?ç

The rule can be a simple one "strip the diacritics on forign name unless they are very well known on that word in English." The articles can then start with an Anglo version followed by the local version eg:

I think that it would be nice if the second word linked to the WikipediA version of the word in the sister language encyclopaedias. I only know how to do this as an external link if someone knows a better way please edit the text. --Philip Baird Shearer 11:59, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

happy now? you can click on "German" to find out about the scary umlaut, and you can click on "IPA" to find out what the cedilla is supposed to be. If you see question marks where letters should be, your browser is unable to render Unicode, the de-facto Internet standard for non-ascii characters. You may choose to upgrade. "Simple rules" are not always the best choice, an encyclopedia is a complicated animal... Everybody agrees on Cologne and Rome. In my book, the rule should be, use the diacritica-stripped version if really common in English, otherwise the word is not English anyway. It's an article in an English encyclopedia about a word that happens to be not English. As I say, Zurich may be common enough to be considered an English word. Whether or not this is the case is what this whole discussion is all about. dab 12:51, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)
The Encyclopædia Britannica uses Zürich.[12] The Columbia Encyclopedia uses Zürich.[13] But Encarta uses Zurich. [14] The unabriged Merriam-Webster gives Zurich with the variant form Zürich.[15] The Merriam-Webster Online gives Zurich along with variant and German Zürich.[16] The American Heritage Dictionary has only Zurich. [17] The CIA Fact Book has Zürich on the map and Zurich in the text. Yahoo! Travel has both spellings on the same page.[18].

The form Zürich rather than Zurich in two encyclopedias shows that the difference between Zurich and Zürich does not have the exactly the same status as the difference between Rome and Roma and Cologne and Köln. Merriam-Webster recognizes Zürich as a valid variant English form as well as being the German form. Accordingly it seems incorrect to say that Zürich is the correct spelling English. If both spellings are used in such reputable English publications, then either form is a correct spelling in English. Debate on that account is as futile as debating about the spelling of façade in English.

What should be established is how many others use Zürich in English publications in preference to Zurich and who they are. Which English language atlases and gazeteers prefer Zurich and which prefer Zürich? What forms mostly appear in recent books mentioning Switzerland? Which academic or newspaper style sheets recommend Zürich and which ones recommend Zurich? Is the usage in Britannica and Columbia unusual or now very normal? When did practice generally change, if it has changed? If it has not generally changed, then Wikipedia should probably go with Zurich, though I personally prefer Zürich. Though a native born English speaker, I prefer to see non-English names with full spellings, diacritics included, despite Philip Baird Shearer's unsupported assertion that no such native-born English speakers exist. Diacritics do give you more information on pronunciation and some of us like that extra information.

Jallan 03:46, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)
thank you! good research. as I said, both forms are current, Zurich is more frequently used, but Zürich is more 'educated'/academic/correct. As an encyclopedia we should therefore use the latter. And no, as you say, this is not like using Köln in an ENglish text at all. dab 06:59, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Jallan I have qualified English speakers in many cases with the word "most". Please read all above and anything else I write in this section as "most English speakers" even if I write "English speakers". As the native English speaking community is may hundreds of millions to say or imply anything else would be silly. Just as to say that I have asserted the "no such native-born English speakers exist" is silly. You should read what I have written above as a conversational piece so as I have not qualified the phrase with "most" in every case please except my apologies. BTW do you speak German or have you learn about umlauts as an independent exercise?

Jallan do you have any thoughts on the pratical problems of electronically searching on a word in secondary articles which use Zürich. As I mentioned previously now that Second Battle of Zürich has had the link changed to Zürich and for consistency all other occurences Zürich in the article, it will no longer show up in text searches on the word Zurich, which as dab says is the "most frequent" (English language) usage. What happens if there is only one occurance of Zurich in a page should one use the name to the current link or the most common usage? If I use Google and restrict the search to [Zurich site:www.britannica.com] 732 hits are returned, but for [Zürich site:www.britannica.com] 5,370 hists are returned. I do not think that this is a pratical way to go in an on line world.

BTW road maps have to use the local spellings, one would be driving for a long time before finding a sign post to Cologne! But one of the advantages of using a UK road map on the continent of Europe is that it tends to have both words on the map so that a "dumb down[ed] native English speaker can realise that the locals call the town by a diffrent name from the English one. For this reason I do not think that using maps is very useful to this argument.


dab you are at it again your argument for using Zürish is "you would like to force dumb down[ed] native English speakers to learn about German grammar and umlouts on words". Yet Wiki policy is to go with the most common usage, and you state " Zurich is more frequently used". using:

covers both our arguments. The Wiki policy of common usage is covered and you get to educate the "dumb down[ed]" native English speakers which clearly excludes Jallan who is not "dumb down[ed]". Philip Baird Shearer 10:36, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Philip, I apologize if you felt insulted by my use of the phrase 'dumbed down forms'. I did not want to imply you or anyone was dumb. I appreciate your point about unnecessary and confusing spellings when simpler ones would do. But you show no sign of understanding our point that the Cologne case is of a different quality than the Zurich case. Also, can we please drop the "search engine" argument? It is a technical problem, and we are discussing a quesitoin of language, here. It is also an easily solved problem (with redirects). As for use of Zurich in other articles, it is not a problem either. It will depend on the scope and style of that article. In a case like Old Swiss Confederacy, which is teeming with names like Schwyz, Greifensee, reichsfrei etc., Zürich is not out of place. If we have a paragraph about modern politics or economics, that includes names like Paris, New York, Geneva, Tokyo, Zurich may be more appropriate. Such different uses in different contexts are the whole (or one) point of redirects. dab 14:48, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No you have not insulted me but you have made a valid point about the level of understanding of most English speaking people. One night in the observatory restaurant in central Zurich, when I was working on the computerisation of the SWX (where the question of the spelling of Zurich was pertinent in many documents) and living opposite the restaurant on Oetenbachgasse [19], about a dozen of us ordered a meal in English and the waiter got flustered, as some of us had heavy English accents which he could not understand, although he spoke much better English than most of us spoke high German. A Dutch colleague who was there with us started to laugh. When I enquired why he said "I was here last week with my wife and when I did not understand all of his Schweitzer German, I got flustered (and he spoke very good high German). But when you lot come here he gets flustered! Dutchmen would not sit here and expect the waiter to speak Dutch and the waiter certainly would not get flustered if he did not understand us!" We were living in Zurich, can you imagen the level of knowledge of umlauts on the fringes of the English speaking world! Why make it more difficult than it needs to be for them to use this Encyclopaedia? Philip Baird Shearer 16:31, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

In general: length break

The map on the CIA website is not a road map. And I have many thoughts on the problems of searching on names with different spellings, especially having recently worked on a number of articles in Norse mytholgy where proper names sometimes have as many as eight or nine different variants in different English texts and on the web. See for example Halfdan the Old. The Zürich/Zurich difficulty in that area is scarcely worth the mentioning in comparison.
Generally dropping diacritics in Wikipedia would help nothing when they are in common use in English texts. If a few publications drop them, most leave them on, at least for the largest and most influential European languages. For example, from The Economist Style Guide: Accents:

Put the accents and cedillas on French names and words, umlauts on German ones, accents and tildes on Spanish ones, and accents, cedillas and tildes on Portuguese ones: Françoise de Panafieu, Wolfgang Schäuble, Federico Peña. Leave the accents off other foreign names.

That is about as weak a rule as you will find. Since diacritics are normally retained on such names in English contexts, web searches must take such spellings into account. Diacritics are normally kept in English, not stripped. From a search in Google set to English only:
Search pattern                          Count
Düsseldorf -Duesseldorf -Dusseldorf     2,190,000
Dusseldorf -Düsseldorf -Duesseldorf     1,130,000
Duesseldorf -Düsseldorf -Dusseldorf     1,110,000
North American families originally bearing the surname mostly now spelled in Germany as Müller now sometimes bear the name Mueller, sometimes Muller, and sometimes even Müller. Obviously the diacritic should not be dropped on this last form.
A suggestion that these diacritics cause any particular trouble to most English readers is absurd. They occur too often. Many English readers do not know exactly what some of them mean. So they quite reasonably ignore them without any difficulty. They cause no problems. No-one is being forced to learn anything about German or French or Spanish or Portuguese if they do not wish to. A lot of people seem to have quite enjoyed a book called The Lord of the Rings which is full of names with diacrtics, apparently not at all hindered by their lack of knowledge of proper Elvish and Old English pronunciation and exact meaning of those diacritics.
But in the case of Zürich/Zurich, we are dealing with a name which has in the past in English been mostly spelled without the umlaut marker, either because it was simply dropped or because the form taken into English from the French form (as with Cologne). See List of English exonyms for German toponyms where it is stated:

Zurich is the established English spelling of Zürich and therefore no exception to the typographical rule that umlauts occurring in German proper names are kept in English texts.

The Economist follows this rule. See The Economist Style Guide: Places. (But note their use of Côte d'Ivoire and Württemberg.) And it seems that the Encyclopædia Britannica did still follow this rule not too long ago, in a strange fashion. A note at WordWizard: Zurich/Zürich states:

Increasingly, I am giving cities and countries their proper native spelling in English texts (Nürnberg/Nuremberg, Düsseldorf/Dusseldorf, etc.). Zurich, however, I would generally still write without the umlaut in an English text. I have, however, today found that the Britannica makes a peculiar distinction. They refer to the town "Zurich" as being the capital of the canton "Zürich" on the northwestern end of "Lake Zürich". Can anyone find any substantiation for this distinction in spelling?

Presumably someone was mindlessly combining the rule about Zurich the city with some other rule by which geographical features and cantons should be spelled in native fashion.

However, that the Encyclopædia Britannica has changed to Zürich and that the Columbia Encyclopedia uses Zürich suggests something has changed somewhere in style guides. That one has to use three different forms of the name to cover all websites in Google with all names containing ü is a fact, regardless of

what form appears most commonly in Wikipedia (though Google sometimes does inconsistantly match up forms). Using the spelling Zürich in Wikipedia would better indicate the necessity for multiple forms in searches than would using only Zurich in phrases like the battle of Zurich. A Google search using English only on "battle of Zurich" -Wikipedia -encyclopedia" gets 126 hits and "battle of Zürich -Wikipedia -encyclopedia -Zurich" gets only 14 hits. But one still has to use both forms to find all the pages in Google. There is no escaping that for any search involving Zürich/Zurich.
A check in a local bookstore found five travel guides to Switzerland using Zürich throughout and only one using Zurich. Two atlases had Zürich and one had Zurich. But three modern historical books all had Zurich.
Without knowing why these differences are occurring it is hard to decide on a choice. It is between a traditional English (and official French) spelling which is currently more common on the web and the official German spelling which is used in at two very prestigeous and careful sources of the exact kind that Wikpedia ought to be looking at and also found in other modern sources.

Jallan 03:51, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Since this has ceased to be about Zürich only a long time ago, I really think this should be discussed on VP. If we can agree that there is a "Cologne" case and a "Württemberg" case (i.e. recognizing that umlauts should not be stripped always, mechanically), we can then return here to argue whether Z*rich is a "Cologne" or a "Württemberg" case (which I agree is indeed open to contention:) dab 12:18, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Agreed GOTO: Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive A#Transliteration --Philip Baird Shearer 14:45, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)



I've discovered that Microsoft Encarta varies the spelling of Zurich/Zürich in different versions by language and nationality as follows:

Zürich (German form):
German: [20]
Dutch: [21]
English: United States [22], Canada [23]
Japanese: [24]
Zurich (French form):
French: France [25], Canada [26]
Spanish: Spain [27], Mexico [28]
English: United Kingdom [29], Australia [30]
Zurigo (Italian form):
Italian: [31]

This suggests a preference for Zürich in North America and for Zurich elsewhere, but is as likely to just indicate different style sheets used by editors which made somewhat arbitrary choices that were not especially linked to any supposed national style.

The London Times uses Zurich as does the Manchester Guardian. But so does the New York Times. However the Chicago Tribune uses Zürich. Google News always has far, far more hits for Zurich then Zürich, currently, 5,950 for Zurich and only 20 for Zürich, looking at English sites only.

The Canadian Encyclopedia: Zurich shows an interesting case. Searching for Zürich finds nothing while Zurich gets 35 hits. But if you check the text in articles found, some of them spell the name as Zurich and some as Zürich. This suggests that the indexer at least chose Zurich. But that conflicts with Encarta's choice of Zürich for Canada. Medcyclopædia has four hits for Zurich [32], all in articles, and 3 hits for Zürich. [33], but all in the introductory material.

I feel that this is a case like Cologne and Köln, as are English Mexico against native México, English Montreal against native Montréal, English Quebec City against native la ville de Québec, English Orleans against native Orléans, English San Jose against native San José. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica used both Orleans and Zurich as spellings. The current Encyclopædia Britannica uses both Orléans and Zürich. But here Encarta uses Orléans throughout. The Canadian Style, a style guide used in some Canadian Government ministries, rules that Montréal and Québec are the forms that should be used even in English text. This is mostly ignored. Tradition is too strong. And the spellings represent different pronunciations. San José has been made the offical name of the Californian city, but purportedly San Jose is still the more common U.S. spelling for that city.

Anglicized names and native names exist in tension with one another, and the triumph of one of them over the other in a particular case has no necessary effect on any other case. And one may be preferred in academic circles and a another by the popular press. I don't care one way or the other in the case of Zürich over Zurich. Both are obviously acceptable in English and either will do. But we still need more evidence on usage, not avodicacy for a unique policy of dropping all diacritics which is not supported by usage.

Jallan 01:53, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I completely agree with Jallan. I am in this discussion bot because I cannot live with a move to Zurich, but because I emphatically oppose making the stripping of diacritics a general policy. dab 07:37, 15 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The discussion of WP policy on diacritics is now at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(use_English)#Proposal (including a "Zürich case"). dab 08:57, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

History

We'll need a History of Zürich main article soon, Lupo... dab 09:31, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I don't think so :-) That whole article could do with some re-shuffling (the "History" section should be moved up, before "Transportation") and expansion, both in the "History" and the "Geography" section, which is abysmally poor—it doesn't even have full sentences. Lupo 09:44, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
well, I have a tendency of "history first" myself. But this article is supposed to be about present-day Zurich first and foremost, so placing two pages of history before information about the present city may seem weird to non-historians. That's not to contradict you on the present below-par quality of the other sections though:
The biggest railway station, Zürich Main Station (German: Zürich Hauptbahnhof) is one of Zurich's several stations, with others situated at Zürich Oerlikon, Zürich Stadelhofen, and Zürich Altstetten (to name a few). Zurich Main Station has trains from foreign countries such as Italy, France, Germany and Austria come into the station.
That's really silly, if not outright provincial (Zurich has many trains! They go to foreign countries!) dab 10:10, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Move (Zürich -> Zurich)

Zurich is used by the governments of Switzerland, the Canton of Zurich and the city of Zurich (which is, by the way, the city this article is about!)
Zurich is the most common spelling used in English, and since en.wikipedia.org is the English Wikipedia and not the German one, the most common English spelling should be used.
Both Zürich and Zurich are correct in English, but Zurich is much more common. That's a fact.
A native speaker is much more likely to search for Zurich with the spelling Zurich. In Wikipedia, there are redirects, but what about a Google search...?
Before you cast your vote, think about the following (especially the non-native speakers):
The English Wikipedia is for everyone, not just English native speakers. However, English usage on the English Wikipedia should follow English native speaker practices. Imagine German non-native speakers insisting on uncommon foreign spellings in articles on the German wikipedia, just because they prefer them... like Japanese editors insisting on Tokyo in the German article about Tokio. Natürlich ist es verständlich, dass die meisten deutschsprachigen Nutzer Zürich als die einzig richtige Schreibweise ansehen. Aber ist es angemessen, angesichts der im Englischen bevorzugten Schreibung "Zurich" auf die Schreibung "Zürich" zu bestehen? Nobbie 14:57, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one sentence explanation and sign your vote with ~~~~

  • Support - Nobbie 09:46, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • weak oppose, see comments dab () 10:05, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Comments & Discussion

I don't think it is the native speakers who voted for Zürich above. The question boils down to, is Zurich an English variant of the name (like Lucerne for Luzern), or is it just a lazy spelling of the native name. In the former case, we would move to Zurich. In the latter case, we would applaud the effort to get the diacritics right. As it turns out, historically English took over the French spelling of Zürich, and surely, if we're to choose between the French and the local spelling, we choose the local one? I wouldn't compare the situation to a move from de:Tokio to de:東京, but from de:Tokio to de:Tokyo, because the English spelling gained currency in German. It remains a borderline case. I will not revert any moving to and fro, but I suggest to avoid edit wars over this. dab () 15:07, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think it's much more than a 'lazy spelling'. By the way, I didn't have the Kanji version of Tokyo in mind, but rather Tokyo -> Tokio, just as you pointed out.
so how is this comparable? we would be looking at two different transliteration schemes, not a German vs. a native spelling. dab () 15:35, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Both Tokio and Tokyo are acceptable in German, but Tokio is more common. Japanese editors would prefer Tokyo, no doubt about that. But just as the majority of Germans would write Tokio when asked to spell the word, English speakers would generally write Zurich and rarely Zürich. Nobbie 08:59, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • comment I'm sorry, but have you even noted the poll above? It was never closed, and you may technically still vote there. Since it's at 16:16, we may as well start over here (but why should we?). dab () 15:08, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The poll above is a straw poll. The poll down here is a poll concerning a move. Nobbie 15:33, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
 ? . The result above for the move is currently 16:16 -- User:Docu
Correct. But it's quite old and just a straw poll. According to Wikipedia:Requested moves, the new poll (yes, I do suggest that we start over here) might lead to a page move. I doubt that the straw poll will achieve anything. Nobbie 08:53, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
ok, so we should probably archive the old poll. Also you may want to put a deadline on the new one, or it will peter out like the old one did. I don't feel strongly about it, but I may idly vote oppose just to make the point that there are titles that legitimately have diacritics, and that Z(ü)rich may or may not be one of them. dab () 10:04, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • "note: it's really a poll about moving it back to "Zurich" (were it initially was). I didn't want to restore the previous situation without. A person listed under "Zürich" went to great lenghts to move it to "Zürich". -- User:Docu