Aa: old German word for flowing water,
name of many small brooks, hence Aare (Switzerland's
third largest river) and Aargau
in northern Switzerland)
Architecture: Switzerland has not only a rich heritage of historical archtitecture,
there are also a couple of
outstanding 20th century and contemporary Swiss archtitects
Bern: Switzerland's capital. Like Washington D.C.
or Quito (Ecuador), Bern is not the country's most important
spot for business
Basel: home of the pharmaceutical industry
What does CH stand for?
No, it's neither Swiss cheese nor Swiss chocolate, but rather
Confoederatio Helvetica (CH),
Switzerland's official latin name
Switzerland's federal states
Direct Democracy: Unique Swiss form of
giving citizens a high degree of participation in law-making.
Results in political stability, which proves to be a key factor
for economic success.
Emmental: Valley east of Bern, home of Emmentaler
cheese (the typically Swiss cheese with big holes)
spoken in the western part of the country
Roger Federer, world's leading male tennis player
Geneva: most important French speaking city, one of the
European seats of the United Nations Organization and home
of countless international organizations.
spoken in the northern and central parts of the country
short form of latin name.
most popular female Swiss person abroad, though ficticious.
spoken in the southern part of the country
Interlaken: touristic center for the Bernese Oberland
Jura: mountain chain in western Switzerland, hence
Jurassic period in geology, the time when dinosaurs dominated
Carl Gustav Jung: Swiss psychologist
Gottfried Keller: Most important Swiss writer
in the 19th century, famous for his short stories.
Swiss Army Knife: a famous multipurpose pocket tool
Lucerne: major city in central Switzerland
Matterhorn: best known
mountain peak of the Alps
(though not the highest one)
A broad diversity of quality
and freedom of press have a long tradition
Olten: railway hub between Basel, Bern, Lucerne and Zurich
Perfectionism: probably the most typical vice of the Swiss
High quality and precision are still attributes of many
spoken in the southeastern part of the country
Schwyz, one of the three cantons founding the Swiss
confederacy back in 1291 gave its name and
(both with slight variation) to the confederation as a whole.
William Tell: national hero.
Unemployment: is regarded as the major problem by the
population, though unemployment rates are far below the European average.
Vevey: home of Swiss chocolate
Swiss Watches: one of the classical Swiss products
Winterthur: sixth largest city, always a little
bit in the shadow of mighty Zurich. For quite some Swiss, the regions
east of Winterthur seem to be somewhat "terra incognita".
the most important public holiday. Public
live - except for public transport allowing people to visit their
relatives - comes almost to a standstill
Yodeling: a singing technique characterized by rapidly switching
from the normal chest voice to the head voice (falsetto).
Typical, but not unique, to
traditional Swiss folklore music.
Most Swiss people are not used to singing in this way, however.
Dr. Alexandre Yersin, 1863 - 1943, Swiss physician,
discovered the pestilence bacillus in 1894, developped a serum against it in 1896
Zurich: Largest city, financial and industrial