Talk:Canton of Bern

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Peer reviewers: Rlp99.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 16:41, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I suggest the spelling of Berne rather than Bern. This so as we've got the Berne Conventions and the articles on Switzerland generally use Berne. Kokiri 22:39, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I agree [1]. -- User:Docu

BBC World hast just used Berne when reporting about the Pope's visit to the city. --Akkolon 11:29, 6 Jun 2004 (UTC)

The city calls itself Berne on its webpage (in English). The canton does not have an english page, but anyway I like Berne better than Bern. In French it is also Berne so it can't be totaly wrong.

As a Bernese, I suggest we retain "Bern", as it is the locally used (German) variant of the name. "Berne" is the traditional English and French name, in the way that e.g. Beijing used to be called Peking in English and German. Nowadays, I believe it is usual to generally use the local instead of the traditional variant of a foreign place's name. -- Sandstein 19:57, 28 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree entirely. I am sure that Bern should be the article title and Berne should be a redirect, which will pick up references e.g. to the convention. The city (and presumakly the canton) is really called Bern and I feel that we shouldn't impose our anglophone view on that.

I cannot agree with this. Rome is also called Rome and not Roma on this English Wikipedia, and the Italian capital is not any more English than Berne. As for Beijing, it's called Beijing in the English article, and not 北京 as it "ought to be" in the local language -- and the French Wikipedia entry on London says Londres and not London. Let's use translated forms where they are available. JREL 09:12, 20 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Berne" is the older British English spelling of the German language "Bern". It would seem both are used today, but "Bern" seems to be somewhat more prevalent in English language texts. TGC55 18:39, 20 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both are indicated in the English dictionary I just looked, indeed. How did you measure the prevalence of the two terms in English ? With regards to the argument above, I agree with JREL over Sandstein; however, if both terms are accepted, the point is moot. The fact that the city's website chooses the Berne spelling is the tie-breaker for me. Schutz 10:29, 21 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I must say that, while Berne is accepted, it is far from the standard. In every atlas I have checked it has been spelled Bern- in both the American National Geographic World Atlas and the British Dorling-Kindersley World Atlas. The CIA World Factbook uses Bern as the spelling, and BBC actually does not use the French spelling, as can be seen in their official country profile of Switzerland in the following link:

Furthermore, the Bern Tourism website also uses the German spelling, seen in the following link:

The UNESCO World Heritage Profile uses the French spelling, however its links all redirect to websites using the German spelling. As the governmental entities of English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and the Unites States, the majority of Swiss websites, and by far the majority of the people in the region itself use the Bern spelling, I think it should be apparent that that particular spelling is the appropriate spelling for the article. Schnabeltier_Angriff 18:30, June 16 2006 (UTC)

BBC in its reporting generally seems to use "Berne". This isn't meant to be French spelling, but English. The specific page you quoted also uses "Rappen" which is rather German. City and canton of Berne use the same spelling in English: city "Berne" and canton "Berne". Maps often use the spelling in the local language, which would be "Bern". -- User:Docu

Why is "Rappan" rather German? It is the correct term used for 1/100 of a Swiss franc, it is not cents nor pence.

RickH86 (talk) 15:09, 31 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The new web site of the canton has some English content. Like the web page of the city of Berne, it uses the French spelling: [2]. ― j. 'mach' wust | 06:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Bern is certainly more common than Berne in the English usage I've seen. Gene Nygaard 02:27, 22 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, pretty much every single map, globe, or atlas spells it as "Bern". -The Gonz 03:52, 18 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is Wrong, Wrong and Wrong. It's so annoying that Swiss german people, often being employed on some jobs, do complete wrong translation into their own language or habits that suddenly are reported as being the "only right" name. They do it for French too, it's what we call "Français Fédéral" (i.e. transforming other names or nouns into their own appreciation of another foreign language.) These people might work for Berne Tourism or even might edit the official and administrative web-servers of Switzerland, and then, as they are "supposed" to translate and take care of English content, they just write "Bern" in English as they would do in their own language. The Website of the Canton uses in English "Berne". The city of the canton uses in English "Berne". Even the Embassy of the UK in Switzerland uses "Berne". To what it may be, England still "owns" the "invention" of English. And if it's a matter of the number of speakers and then that in the US, they use "Bern", well then the Indian Embassy also uses "Berne" with an -e. We have to respect the original spelling of how it was intended to be and historically too. Diplomacy often used French for a long time, and you can look around Europe, where you have a French translation of a city, you might find some pretty similar translations into English when it doesnt vary radically: examples: Roma (DE), is "Rome" (FR/EN), Prag (DE) is "Prague" (FR/EN), München is "Munich" (FR/EN), Lisbon (EN) is closer to Lisbonne (FR) than Lissabon (DE), Copenhagen (EN) is closer to Copenhague (FR) than to Kopenhagen (DE) with a K-. I could keep on longer. We have the same problem, now we can read "Canton of Zürich" with umlaut, when the umlaut doesn't even exist in English and the Airport of Zurich (probably the most exposed use for English speakers and foreigners) uses the English form without Umlaut neither. Even the only English-speaking Airline (Flybe) that goes to Berne Airport writes "Berne" on its website in English. I keep on saying that Wikipedia should refer to "what it is in reality, officially" and not "what the majority of people think it is". As for example, my village is found on GoogleMaps only in its German version. And 99% of the people there do speak French as a mothertongue. And GoogleMaps keeps on using the german name once introduced and not even "official" because the people who gave the maps of Switzerland have been german-speaking people who were having old facts about my village. Is it supposed to say that my village should be in English "Illfingen" instead of "Orvin"? The answer is definitely "no". The Canton itself names itself "Berne". It's the exact same terminology problem with the City of Bienne in English, introduced as the "City of Biel" in English. Enough of this Germanisation of Swiss names, even here on Wikipedia. -User:Ngagnebin 23:37, 15 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Spelling request for comment[edit]

In the discussion above, we don't seem to have consensus on what variant to use for either the city or the canton: Bern or Berne. I'm somewhat indifferent, personally, but as someone who edits many Bern(e)-related articles, I'd appreciate some consistency. So I'm opening this as a proper style RfC. Please bring this to the attention of users who might be interested in it. I suggest we first assemble links and sources below, and then discuss the issue. Sandstein 21:43, 23 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In English, Traditionally we write Berne.

Relevant policies, precedents or projects[edit]

Usage in reliable English language sources[edit]


Comment: Bern is the canton and city's name in Standard German, the prevalent language in the canton and the dominant language in the city (apart from the Bärndütsch dialect). German is an official language of the canton.

Official websites:


Comment: Berne is the canton and city's traditional name in French and English. The canton has some 20% native French speakers, the city probably a lot fewer. French is an official language of the canton.

Official websites:

Other variants[edit]

  • Bärn is the canton and city's name in the local Bärndütsch dialect, which is not widely used in written documents.


I think the convention of going with the common English name is meant to only apply in situations where English-speaking people would recognize the English name but not the foreign-language name. As an ignorant US-ian, I honestly don't recognize one more than the other, and in that case, I think the Swiss municipalities titling convention should prevail - Bern. - AdelaMae (talk - contribs) 21:54, 4 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think the principle you're proposing (i.e., considering whether a geographic name in the local language would be recognizable to an average English-speaking person) is robust. It seems to me that it would lead us to have an article named Italia rather than Italy, for example. The question is part of the larger topic of whether to use common English names. Some people appear to think that using a name from the locally-spoken language is inherently more "respectful" towards the inhabitants than using a common English name. Others disagree and might say that not using the common English name sounds like an implicit indication that the place is too unimportant for its name to have a specifically English form. In any case, the question is not really worth the amount of heated controversy it can in some cases evolve to, and my impression is that the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) is meant to prevent pointless controversy by minimizing the number of cases where we have to finely weigh the cultural merits of different name forms in a particular case, and as such it should be followed unless there are overwhelming reasons not to. This appears to be a case where there are reasons pulling in both reasons, but none of them particularly strong, in which case the general convention ought to prevail. Henning Makholm 18:03, 9 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As an American English speaker who's lived in Bern, I can say that both Bern and Berne are correct English forms. My impression is that Bern (which I use) is relatively more common in American English and Berne likewise in British English. (This is also consistent with the British use of French spellings of words like metre versus American usage of German spellings like meter.) It's not a case of the English and French Berne versus the German Bern. Rather both Bern and Berne are accepted spellings in English. I prefer Bern because it's also the version used in the local written language. 22:02, 18 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was surprised to see the entry at "Berne"; I've always thought of it as Bern. I see that Googling the phrase "in Bern Switzerland" turns up many more hits than "in Berne Switzerland," and that though the British Embassy web page uses "Berne," the American Embassy web page uses "Bern." I'd vote for "Bern" as it seems to be a fully naturalized English name for the city, as well as the name most of the city's residents actually use. (talk) 14:22, 12 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Being Bernese myself, I may be somewhat biased; and I also agree that both "Berne" and "Bern" co-exist in English. Nevertheless, I feel there is a tendency to use "Bern" more frequently now, not least due to Bern Tourism's policy always to use "Bern" (see ( (talk) 14:53, 17 December 2007 (UTC))Reply[reply]

I agree that Bern would be the most correct way of spelling it. I was very suprised to find out that it is called Berne in English by some. I find this term archaic and think that the page should be moved to Canton of Bern.

I was also suprised. I've always seen "Bern" on maps. I checked Merriam-Webster; it showed Bern as:

Main Entry: Bern
Pronunciation: \ˈbərn, ˈbern\
Function: geographical name
1 canton NW & W central Switzerland area 2327 square miles (6027 square kilometers), population 947,100
2 city, its capital & capital of Switzerland on the Aare population 122,469
Ber·nese \(ˌ)bər-ˈnēz, -ˈnēs\ adjective or noun

"Berne" only came up lowercassed in "" -- (talk) 01:25, 23 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Classic vs. light effect coat of arms[edit]

Bern.png vs. Berne-coat of arms.svg
Bern.png vs. Berne-coat of arms.svg
Which one do you prefer? Personally I like the classic better as the colors are brighter and the image is not disturbed by that light effect. Please comment! --Goonies 14:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The one on the right has a better image with a more vivid tongue. If this is real, and not just an effect of contrast, I would be willing to combine this with the brighter colors. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:07, 25 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Latin Europe[edit]

Hello Canton of Bern! There is a vote going on at Latin Europe that might interest you. Please everyone, do come and give your opinion and votes. Thank you. The Ogre (talk) 21:20, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Change Berndeutsch to Bärndütsch?[edit]

Was this done before ? Why not do this ? (talk) 18:44, 8 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

bernese jura[edit]

just did some editing. please please be careful when you refer to the "bernese jura", that is a highly political issue, best keep away from it, if you are not sure. thanks so much --Ajnem (talk) 15:35, 30 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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