Switzerland Tourism has shared its top five cities that many Australian and New Zealand travellers consistently mispronounce; and how they should be pronounced.
Director of Switzerland Tourism ANZ, Mark Wettstein, says with a country that has four official languages including Swiss German, French, Italian and Romansch, travellers, especially first-timers to Switzerland, can be forgiven for mispronouncing Swiss names.
Top of the list is ZURICH, where travellers have known to call it ‘Zuu-Rich’. Correctly pronounced as ‘Zuu-Rihk’, the city is located in north-central Switzerland and is the country’s financial capital. With a vibrant nightlife and shopping scene, the city is also home to the country’s largest and busiest airport and railway station.
Next is BASEL. Often pronounced as the herb basil or even ‘Bay-zel’, the correct pronunciation is ‘Baa-zel’. Strategically located on the River Rhine bordering France and Germany, Basel is an important European river cruise hub. Home to the world famous Art Basel and modern architecture, the city is also Switzerland’s contemporary art hub.
Then, there is LUZERN or LUCERNE, which many travellers call ‘Loosen’ or Loo-Sern. The correct pronunciation is ‘Loot-Sern’. This historic city is home to the iconic Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered bridge in Europe; The Lion Monument, a commemoration of the hundreds of Swiss guards who were massacred during the 1792French revolution; and the highly interactive Swiss Museum of Transport, the most visited museum in the country.
Often confused with Luzern is the city of LAUSANNE. Referred to by many as ‘Loss-Anne’, the correct pronunciation is ‘Loh-Zahn’. The fourth largest city in Switzerland and situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, Lausanne is an important university town and an international sports centre.
Finally, JUNGFRAU has shared its fair share of mispronunciations as well, often referred to ‘Joong-frau’. ‘Yoong-frau’, as it is correctly pronounced, is a World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular and highly visited summits in the Bernese Alps. It is also home to Europe’s highest mountain railway stations at 3,454m.