With apologies to the company in question – whose lovely, natural, Swiss-made cosmetic and body care products The Swinglisher often uses, often gifts to others, and just generally greatly appreciates – one doesn’t really want to have to give 2 pshits in order to fill one’s home with the magnificent scent of figs. At least not in English.
Switzerland, Sweden, and Swaziland: the Swinglisher’s inaugural post made reference to all three of these countries – or, rather, to Zwitserland, Zweden, and Zwasiland. (You’ll have to check out the post to see why.)
Confusion between Switzerland and Sweden, the countries, is legendary. To wit:
- “I’m from Switzerland.” “Ah, so you speak Swedish?”
- “Did you hear that Sweden beat Switzerland in the world ice hockey championships?” “Wait, what, how can the same country play itself?”
- “The Swedish company Spotify is entering the New York Stock Exchange? Let’s hoist the Swiss flag!”
And so it goes. I mean, just Google “switzerland sweden confusion” and you get two and a half million results in a demi-second.
Here are some principal reasons why: both are located in Europe and have mountains and colder climates. And, of course, both begin with Sw-. Reasonable, right?
In the Swinglisher’s opinion, confusion between Switzerland and Swaziland, the countries, is not as marked as that between Switzerland and Sweden. Google backs this up, showing less than half the quantity of results for “switzerland sweden confusion.”
Although the names of this pair of countries also begin with Sw-, and sound more similar than do Switzerland and Sweden, the countries can be more easily distinguished by geographic location (Europe vs. Africa) and climate (colder vs. hot). Granted, Swaziland – like Switzerland – is mountainous, although one may doubt that Swaziland’s mountains are as well-known as Switzerland’s, despite the Swinglisher’s belief that the Lubombos look beautiful.
Personally, the only time that the Swinglisher has confused these two – Switzerland and Swaziland – is when selecting country of residence from a drop-down list. (This is not to say that the Swinglisher has ever confused the other pair.) Although the alphabetical order of the three countries in English is Swaziland, Sweden, and Switzerland, in French it is Suède, Suisse, and Swaziland, hence the slip of the cursor in selecting the latter. The Swinglisher, and others in a similar predicament, will be much aided by the alphabetical distance between eSwatini and Switzerland – although the risk of a slip of the cursor still remains between la Suède and la Suisse. (And it would be just a slip of the cursor, right?)
According to the King of Swaziland – ahem, of the Kingdom of eSwatini – the country’s previous name had caused confusion. “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” he stated. Can you understand why …?
Given this name change, then, there should be no further mistaking Switzerland and Swaziland, or Switzerland and eSwatini, and thus let the next global priority be for the masses to finally recognize that the Swiss don’t speak Swedish, and the Swedish don’t speak Swiss.
And nor do the Swiss speak Swiss – although happily for the Swinglisher, the Swinglish Language abounds in this fine country. Come on, let’s lift our Ikea glasses – or our Swazi spears – in a toast to that!
The Swinglisher is trying to decide if this sign outside a flower shop is some type of command or merely wishful thinking along the lines of Harvey Weinstein’s pathetic pleas to young Hollywood actresses. (“Come on, you love it, you know you do ….”)
You decide. Just don’t forget the roses!
… SALE! WE LOVE SALE!
Sale? A sale? Sales? Whatever. With or without an article, in the singular or in the plural, we love them! Especially here in la Suisse, where generously extended Black Friday(s) sales are the exception to the rule that everything should be full-price, and then some.
To this not-quite-English, thus Swinglish, declaration, the Swinglisher has a rather enthusiastic response, if she may borrow from the recent advertising campaign of a fitness chain, which in turn borrowed from another kind of campaign …
YES WE SALE!
The Swinglisher has already admitted to being culpable of using her own form of Swinglish. In the previous case, the type of Swinglisher’s Swinglish was described as “using those English words that are used by the Swiss with a different meaning and which creep into a native English speaker’s vocabulary until one is no longer sure whether one is speaking a proper English or a Swissified form.” Like a fitness.
There’s another kind of Swinglisher’s Swinglish, though, this one involving the literal translation of a common Swiss-language* phrase into English without stopping to realize that such a translation would not lead to the word or phrase actually used by English speakers – and worse, being unable to recall what the phrase would actually be in English.
Take, for example, une carte de fidelité. You go frequently to a café, you get a little card, and the café stamps it every time you buy a café. And then, in English, you start calling this little card a fidelity card. Finally you and your friend stop and look at each other, and the following ensues:
No, wait. Do we say that in English? Fidelity is a word, so surely it’s a fidelity card, right? And what about “fidel”? Is that the adjective form of fidelity? Are we fidel to this café? Or is “fidel” just a way to refer colloquially to Señor Castro?
The Swinglisher actually had this conversation with another English-speaking friend. Two coffees and ten minutes later, yours truly and her friend realized that the object is actually a … loyalty card. (Extra points for those who had already figured that out.)
Please keep in mind that the Swinglisher is, by training, a teacher of the English language. Thus please also note that the Swinglisher will certainly not be linking from this blog post to her professional website.
*Is it necessary to add that the Swinglisher is using “Swiss-language” here as a stand-in for the four national languages of Switzerland, or does one believe that the Swinglisher needs a lesson on the Swiss not actually speaking Swiss? Which is right. They speak Swedish. [Groan …]
Before we begin, let it be known that this post does not necessarily reflect the political views of the Swinglisher. I’ll leave that to this post instead.
This graffiti isn’t new; the Swinglisher has passed by it many times before. It’s not Swinglish, as the graffiti artist got the English vocabulary, grammar, and syntax juuust right. Given, however, that the person subject to the sentiments of said artist is currently on Swiss ground, what better time to share this snap with you, loyal Swinglishers?
As there’s no real Swinglish demonstrated here, this post merited the creation of a new category: Misuncategorizable. The title’s a nod to an infamous Bushism uttered by the American president thought at the time – by some, at least – to be the country’s most ridiculous ever, who seems almost benign in comparison to the country’s current leader. These “some” may just have misunderestimated how much they might one day be missing W.
Although clearly not the case among half or so of the United States population, the Swinglisher would say that on the whole, Switzerland is pining along with the other half of the United States population for the days of yore. The hopeful, progressive “Yes We Can” of the era of Barack Obama has become the menacing, imperialistic Trump-era Yes We Can, for example, nuke the f*ck out of you / build a wall to keep your rapists from entering our sacred land, part of which, oh, by the way, used to belong to you and your so-called rapists / grab you by the pussy, if not by the col.
After a year of Trumpishness — to the day, as the Swinglisher posts this on the one-year anniversary of the inauguration — throwbacks to the Obama campaign are appearing around this region. Let’s Go Fitness — you remember what a fitness is, right? — has borrowed the stylized look of Obama’s iconic “Hope” poster, as well as his “Yes We ___” slogan. The Swinglisher likes the concept, but there’s something slightly off in the execution.
Yes We Go, or should, to this fitness or any, to strengthen our bodies and simultaneously clear our minds, at least for a moment, of what the world is becoming. But first, Yes We Go, or yes we should go, to check the syntax of our revised slogan.
Although the Swinglisher’s love and admiration for Swinglish is the driving force behind this blog, she does admit this post seems rather curmudgeonly. Chalk it up to the 365 days of Trumpresidency that have just been endured. Perhaps you feel the same way?