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The five most mispronounced Swiss cities



Switzerland Tourism has shared the correct articulation to five of the most mispronounced Swiss cities to help travellers avoid confused faces when referring to these destinations. 


The entry and exit port for most flights, the country’s finance capital of Zurich is sometimes called ‘Zoo-Rich’. Correctly pronounced as ‘Zoo-Rihk’, the city is located on the northern point of Lake Zurich in north-central Switzerland. Once perceived a grey and dull banking city, today, its vibrant nightlife and revitalized food scene is the place to be for trendy bars, cafes and boutique shops.




Next is Switzerland’s art and architecture capital of Basel. Often pronounced as ‘Bay-zel’, it is pronounced ‘Baa-zel’. Strategically located on the River Rhine bordering France and Germany, Basel is an important river cruise hub and home to the world famous Art Basel.


Then, there is Luzern or Lucerne, which many travellers call ‘Loosen’ or ‘Loo-Sern’. Pronounced ‘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 1792 French revolution; and the highly interactive Swiss Museum of Transport, the most visited museum in the country. It is also the gateway to Mount Titlis and the end/starting point of the panoramic Lucerne – Interlaken Express which links to the GoldenPass Line.




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. It’s also about half an hour’s train ride to Geneva and 17mins to Montreux. 


Not a city, but worth a mention, Jungfraujoch has had its fair share of being called ‘Joong-frau-jock’. 'Yoong-frau-yock’, as it is correctly pronounced, is a World Heritage Site and 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 asl.


Do you have any to add to this list, from Switzerland or elsewhere? 




Images Supplied


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Published: 8 October 2018

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