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  5. "Schweden ist nicht die Schwe…

"Schweden ist nicht die Schweiz."

Translation:Sweden is not Switzerland.

March 29, 2016

127 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamerAbuAm

I don't know why people confuse between Sweden and Switzerland. even Duolingo is making fun of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyLegendaryBeing

It annoys me the most not because I'm European (I'm American) but rather that I took the time to learn some basic world geography, including Europe, Asia, the US, South America, most of Africa, and I'm trying to learn Oceania and some other places. I know the difference; very few people at my school can say the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kat_she-her

A lingot for you for not being a typical American!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_Professor

With some Americans, you could tell them that Georgia is a country and they'd say "Are they independent now?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyLegendaryBeing

Oh man, yeah, that too. I'll just stroll into school, I could be talking about anything geography-related- something as simple as the Missouri capital of Jefferson City to the strange history of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, and I feel like I'm talking to a wall.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AAltindal

As a Swiss who travelled to many countries, this happens everywhere. No idea why :s Practically every Swede I met say the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeroSalgado

In Spanish, their names are incredibly similar: Suiza (Switzerland) and Suecia (Sweden), I remember the last World Cup when those two countries played against each other and people often confused them


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/esrabeslioglu

And in Turkish too: İsviçre (Switzerland) and İsveç (Sweden) I thought twice if I am correct...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polish_bookworm

In Polish too: Szwecja (Sweden) and Szwajcaria (Switzerland)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/allan.alb

In Portuguese too: Suíça (Switzerland) and Suécia (Sweden)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KittieYang

My boyfriend is Swiss, and so many people confuse it with Sweden!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hekko2

Is it possible because you were talking to people in other than their native language?

I know Sweden and Switzerland are different countries, I know where each of them is in Europe, but I vaguely recall that I mixed them up in English until I got more practice with their English names.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew_Beiler

@MyLegendaryBeing same. I'm American and geography is one of my favorite things, but my family has gotten annoyed hearing me talk LOL


[deactivated user]

    You won't believe how many times I have had to tell people that Dutch is NOT German...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maneblusser

    When people see your name or they find out you speak Dutch, their first question is: "Oh, are you from the Netherlands?" "No, I am from Belgium. You know, the Flemish-speaking region!!!!" For us Belgians that is a rather offending question. Don't assume, we might give you a hateful look! :D Or the many times people come to Flanders and start conversing in French, considering everyone understands them. Please, don't do that! Inform yourself, because some might understand you, some might not and others might just refuse to talk to you! Brussels is a good place for French, Flanders is not! Some regions are a bit... ehm... "racist" sort of speak. They don't understand French and refuse to try or speak, because they just don't like the French-speaking part of our country. What might look like a small issue, could be a matter of life and death! No joking! Basic information: French - Wallonia and Brussels; German - more Wallonia; Flemish/Dutch - Flanders. And English works with our youth! Keep in mind! ;)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/envacance

    But it's not so simple. If I go to Belgium, one problem is that I don't speak Flemish. I once stayed in Drogenbos, which is theoretically in a Flemish speaking region, but French is widely spoken. And it's practically part of Brussels.

    I'm not trying to make any point about what language should be used except that it can be quite confusing for visitors, and looking at a map of who speaks what where doesn't help.

    Most places I would go to would tend to cater to tourists anyway, so I don't think it would be a big problem. And when I meet people from Belgium in the US, they tend to automatically assume that Americans are ignorant about Belgium anyway. And if I say that I like Belgium, I've been treated as if I must have been making it up.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maneblusser

    No, I get that. I face those issues every day as a Fleming studying in Brussels. I think that a save choice is English, because most of us speak it well enough. If you do that, people will automatically consider you a tourist and will be more friendly in general. But there are always and everywhere haters.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

    Not always though. I know several people who don't speak English well (especially from Wallonia). Even once, back when I had no knowledge of Dutch whatsoever, about 10 years ago when visiting Gent, I was asking a nice old man for the road to get somewhere and he only knew Dutch and rusty French but very politely explained he couldn't understand a word of English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victor238014

    Who cares about your country anyway. Jesus, look at this guy. Openly boasting about their "ehm ... racism".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

    Pretty much everyone learning Dutch cares since it's spoken in Belgium as well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

    Maybe among ignorants it is. Some even call the Netherlands western Germany. :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

    The only impolite and disrespectful person here is you so question your own upbringing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victor238014

    Yeah. I know that part. It's called Southern Netherlands :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victor238014

    Where do you come from that you are so impolite? Where were you raised? In a stable?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MartinoDeVino

    Sounds like he was embarrassed about it. I do not see any boasting. You got an issue then report it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark967950

    Except in Pennsylvania :-D (a state in USA, for those who may not know).

    Just joking. Maybe you have to be from there to understand. :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew_Beiler

    With Pennsylvania Dutch which is actually similar to German? lol. P.S. I once was Amish and I know Pennsylvania Dutch. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohanShiju

    Pennsylvania Dutch is actually a dialect of German. When people said they were Deutsch, the English-speaking Americans thought they meant Dutch, so that's why its called Pennsylvania Dutch.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zmikh25

    In Russian we have Швеция (Shwetsiya, Sweden) and Швейцария (Shweytsariya, Switzerland). Some people confuse them.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Piece_o_Ham

    I used to get them mixed up. I guess people (at least here in America) just don't know much about Europe. Plus they both start with "sw". I can kind of understand it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nunes89

    Don't even mention it! In Portuguese we say "Suécia" and "Suíça", they are even more similar to each other! :(


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrakonyanAzkar

    I was about to say that. You just can't not mix them up without knowing both countries.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinnstrs

    I used to mix them up a lot, I wasn't interested in languages back then xD


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aquaplant

    In my country, many confuse them with each other because they are pronouned nearly the same, they also mix Spain and Portugal up :v but they don't do that with Austria and Australia :v


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dawn940425

    I've got a holiday mug from Austria that reads "No kangaroos in Austria" - in English. I also once heard Österreich translated as Ostrich!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DarrenRdz

    Some people just don't care enough about certain topics. A lot of moviegoers think there are only two animation studios (Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlonsoIbat

    In Spanish it's really annoying for native English speakers.


    [deactivated user]

      Not for me it isn't.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Acsor-B

      Why is the definite article "die" being used here in "die Schweiz"? Would it be possible to omit it so as to yield "Schweden ist nicht Schweiz"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      Why is the definite article "die" being used here in "die Schweiz"?

      Because countries which are grammatically masculine or feminine always need their article in German.

      Would it be possible to omit it so as to yield "Schweden ist nicht Schweiz"?

      No, that would be wrong.

      Just as, for example, "United States is bigger than Netherlands" would be wrong in English - some countries simply need the definite article.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liz310858

      That is true, but there are very few countries in German that need "the" in front of them. So I think it is more similar to "the Netherlands" in English (die Niederlande); Switzerland is technically a mix of cantons united together...in English, more like "The Swiss Territories". The USA is also technically a plural group and gets "die" as well. Does anyone know of a country that takes "der"?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZiadHelou1

      Love from der Libanon


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheJSauce

      To latecomers: this is a bad comparison. Die Schweiz is feminine, not plural.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ste11aeres

      Why does Duolingo say that Schweiden is masculine? Is it? If so, why does it not need a definite article?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

      There is a sentence on Duolingo which talks about a Swede (as in, a person who lives in Sweden) in the accusative case -- den Schweden. Ich kenne den Schweden "I know the Swede" or something like that.

      In that sentence, Schweden is the accusative case of the masculine word Schwede.

      But in this sentence, Schweden is the name of the country, which is neuter.

      So the word-form Schweden can be either masculine (in a non-nominative case) or neuter (in a non-genitive case). Perhaps the pop-up can only display one gender, rather than all genders that might possibly apply to a given word-form.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

      Relevant BBC News article: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18233844

      "There are many other country names that are habitually referred to with "the", such as Congo, Gambia, Yemen, Lebanon, Sudan, Netherlands, Philippines and Bahamas.

      But according to several authoritative sources, such as the CIA World Factbook, the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World and the US Department of State, only two countries, The Bahamas and The Gambia, should officially be referred to with the article.

      The two Congos are officially Democratic Republic of the Congo and Republic of the Congo. And the longer, official name for Netherlands is Kingdom of the Netherlands.

      [...]

      In some of the other cases, says Ashworth, it's largely a question of usage and how people refer to them. Quite commonly, definite articles are attached to areas where they have a mix between geophysical names and a physical entity.

      "Groups of islands like the Maldives and the Bahamas. You wouldn't say 'I'm going to Maldives, you'd say 'I'm going to the Maldives' because it's a geographical area."

      Countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom also carry the definite article because they are compound nouns with adjectives."

      Oddly, the article doesn't acknowledge that particular for places like the Maldives, the US, UK, etc., "the" is used because the following noun is a plural.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dawn940425

      It always used to be the Ukraine in English but that's definitely wrong nowadays. I don't know if it's because they're now an independent country not a region of the Soviet Union?


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/01Astride

      I am swedish, and I really can't understand how people could mix up Sweden and Switzerland because they are completely different countries, to me at least


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/envacance

      It's not the country but the similarity of the names to somebody who isn't familiar with them. If I ask you about US states, do you know the difference between Idaho, Ohio and Iowa? Somebody in the US might tell you that they are nothing alike.

      If you are from Sweden, you might not care about three random states with a combined population of 16 million people, but you can appreciate how people can be ignorant of places even with a lot of people.


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmilyJJorgensen

      THANK YOU! I guess because I've always studied languages and geography, I knew the difference by the time I was ten... But I even know adults, even my old high school cuisine teacher, who don't know the difference. 'being american' is no excuse for being ignorant


      [deactivated user]

        Und Guinea ist nicht Guinea-Bissau!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/V2Blast

        Es ist auch nicht Äquatorialguinea oder Papua-Neuguinea.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikeCisner

        Since Schweden is gender neuter, and Schweiz is feminine I understand why it is die Schweiz.

        Why isn't it "Das Schweden ist...", though ?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        Neuter-gender countries are not usually named with the article - they're treated like proper names in general. We don't say "das London", either, and "der Mike" is less common in standard German as well (but very common or even mandatory in some dialects).


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/INEDDA-CAT6463

        it's funny how the same misunderstanding happens to vietnamese people. they mess up the two but in vietnamese!!! Thuỵ Điển for Sweden and Thuỵ Sĩ for Switzerland:-)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ddddan

        Next you're going to tell me that Austria is not Australia!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        Or Slovakia is not Slovenia!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J-Steven

        Or that Turkmenistan is not Tajikistan!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ehsan_Mehmed

        Or Switzerland is not Swaziland


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Petra550060

        Or Budapesta is not Bucharest


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/angus390025

        Or Mauritius is not Mauritania.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/envacance

        Next you'll be telling us that Venice is not Vienna.

        Or that Georgia isn't Georgia. That one happens to be true.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mehrdad.0f

        Or Iran is not Iraq


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JarekS14

        Or Czechia is not Chechnya


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alejandro.Steve

        Or Colombia is not Columbia.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin135869

        So, Washington and WashingtonDC are not the same state?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyLegendaryBeing

        Well, they kind of used to be... with the whole Yugoslavia thing combining the countries as they all used to be merely provinces of sorts of Yugoslavia. So, technically at one point they were. Not anymore, of course, but they were.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wookiee92

        Slovakia was not part of Yugoslavia


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MyLegendaryBeing

        Nevermind, you are right.

        To myself: BACK TO YOUR CORNER, YOU!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bosandwich

        Or tht taiwan is not thailand


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KittieYang

        LOL Thank you! Every time I say I'm from Taiwan, someone goes, "Oh, I love Thai food, I love the beaches..."


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Malarone

        Lithuania is not Latvia!


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Polish_bookworm

        It's more similar in Polish: Litwa to nie Łotwa


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MutluSarta

        For Turkish users, more specifically, İzmir is not İzmit (the former is the third city of Turkey in the Aegean coast, and the latter is the center of Kocaeli Province in the east of Istanbul)


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chartsman

        Since Switzerland is a noun, wouldn't it be more appropriate to use "keine Schweiz" to negate instead of "nicht die Schweiz"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        keine is a negative indefinite article, but country names are proper nouns and always definite.

        Also, Schweiz is feminine, and non-neuter country names always use the article.

        Thus you need nicht die Schweiz.

        keine Schweiz would mean "not a Switzerland" (as if there were many Switzerlands, but Sweden isn't one of them).


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aug707

        Would "Schweden ist nicht Schweiz" also work? Or would you have to include the "die" before "Schweiz"?


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        That would not work. See the question be al_taken above yours which asked this question already, and the answer to it.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ruth924877

        I mean Suisse is also correct


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        No, that's not the name for the country in either English or German.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/InvertedGo

        It would, however, be correct if you were talking to someone in the French speaking part of Switzerland. It is not German, though.


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/01Astride

        Suisse is French I believe


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/petrdusek

        in the other sentences schweiz has a "der" in fromt of it, why is it "die" in here


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

        It's die here because it's in the nominative case.

        • nominative: die Schweiz, e.g. Die Schweiz liegt zwischen Deutschland und Italien. "Switzerland lies between Germany and Italy."
        • genitive: der Schweiz, e.g. die Größe der Schweiz "the size of Switzerland"
        • dative: der Schweiz, e.g. Basel liegt in der Schweiz "Basle lies in Switzerland"
        • accusative: die Schweiz, e.g. Ich fahre nächsten Sommer in die Schweiz "I'm going to Switzerland next summer"

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bestofs0ns

        Why is it die Schweiz and not der Schweiz??


        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo
        • the country name Schweiz is feminine
        • it is used in the nominative case here
        • country names that are not neuter need their definite article with them in German
        • the feminine nominative article is die

        Thus, die Schweiz.

        der Schweiz would be genitive or dative.

        See also the comment thread started by petrdusek.


        [deactivated user]

          Sweden is not the switzerland why is wrong?


          https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

          Because the name of the country in English is “Switzerland” and not “the switzerland”.


          [deactivated user]

            The questions says " Schweden ist nicht die Schweiz " and die should be also translated . Otherwise they could say " Schweden ist nicht Schweiz" !


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            You cannot translate word for word.

            In German, the name of the country is die Schweiz. Saying Schweiz would be wrong.

            In English, the name of the country is “Switzerland”. Saying “the Switzerland” would be wrong, and “the switzerland” even worse.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fastfowler

            When i was going to italy with my school (we drove from scotland) we stopped in switzerland and my mate said "ive never been to sweden before", all my friends found it so funny


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MikkRozzWhuh

            In all seriousness...(sorry)...why is Sweden not THE Switzerland? Why do we have to say "die"??


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            Why do we have to say "die"??

            That's just how it is with country names in Germany that are not neuter. No reason.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BOOOOAISHIBA

            Why is nicht used here


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kdk
            • 575

            Is "Schweden ist keine Schweiz" also correct?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

            No, that would mean, more or less, "Sweden is not a Switzerland" (which makes no sense).


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Amir235407

            Why not "keine Schweitz"?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            Because Schweiz has no T, and because Switzerland (as a proper noun) is a definite noun -- we use nicht for definite noun phrases, kein- for indefinite ones.

            ...ist keine Schweiz would be "...is not a Switzerland", as if there could be many Switzerlands.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IGrgic1

            ...die Schweiz. Bat in english is without 'the"Switzerland??? I do not understand?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            English and German have different article usage with some countries. It's just the way it is.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MargaretMcMullan

            The pronunciation of "Schweiz" is very odd


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leo-Mc-III

            When is it Die Schweiz and when is it Der Schweiz?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

            Just like anytime you use an article, you need to conjugate the article for case. So since "die Schweiz" is feminine, we use "die" in the nominative and accusative, and "der" in the dative and genitive.

            So "Schweden ist nicht die Schweiz" (nom.) but "Schweden ist nicht in der Schweiz" (dat.).


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rphdrgn85

            funny how we have the same situation in spanish. "Suecia" being commonly mistaken with "Suiza"


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanS327

            Isn't it "der Schweiz"? Why is it "die Schweiz" here?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-Copernicus-

            It's "die Schweiz"; "Schweiz" is feminine.

            Perhaps you saw a sentence where "Schweiz" happened to be in the dative case. The feminine dative form of the article is "der," so we would have, e.g., "Ich wohne in der Schweiz."


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlanS327

            Arrrgh! I think in fact you just explained it, because that is exactly the phrase I remember hearing. I have not found a way to live with "der" applying to feminine dative. I have no end of trouble learning the article - noun pairings, and it is a complication that I really don't master. Thanks!


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lee559448

            why is switzerland the only country that needs to be prefaced with "die"?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            why is switzerland the only country that needs to be prefaced with "die"?

            It's not the only country that needs a definite article.

            All countries that are not neuter need one.

            Some masculine countries: der Iran, der Irak, der Sudan, ...

            Some feminine countries: die Schweiz, die Türkei, die Ukraine, ...

            Some plural countries: die Niederlande, die Philippinen, die Vereinigten Staaten, ...

            Fortunately, most country names are neuter in German.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Papapa21

            I used to live in Switzerland before moving to the US. Can confirm, everybody confuses Sweden with Switzerland.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PushkarOke

            How do we differentiate between Sweden (country) and a Swedish (person)? Both are called "Schweden" in Germa!


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            Schweden, the country, is neuter.

            Schwede, the person, is masculine. It follows the n declension (masculine weak noun) so it has -n in oblique cases (i.e. everything except nominative) in the singular: der Schwede, des Schweden, dem Schweden, den Schweden and all cases in the plural.

            Schwede, the person, is countable, so it needs a determiner before it in the singular.

            In the plural, Ich kenne Schweden could be ambiguous between "I know Swedes" and "I know Sweden".

            But you could instead say Ich kenne viele Schweden which would be unambiguous again.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ratbabe69

            That moment when a Swede and a Swiss meet and bond over the annoyance of people confusing these two hahaha <3 I'm Swedish and confusion is okay, whatever, but what really annoys me is when I've heard "Sweden, Switzerland... basically the same anyway" > like ehm no?


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poolio1912

            Prussia is not Russia


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dawn940425

            Nein, es ist viel teuerer.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            There is no reason to use the genitive or dative case here. die Schweiz is correct.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JorgeTodes

            But why? I thought the country (nominative) was Der Schweiz


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mizinamo

            Then you would be wrong :)

            There are masculine country names in German (e.g. der Iran, der Sudan, der Libanon) but die Schweiz is not one of them.


            https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bbsantic

            That's why I came here. I was sure Schweiz was 'der' . Tnx for clarifying

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