Comparison of idiomatic expressions in Switzerland’s four national languages

Project management

Cooperation with Università della Svizzera italiana


Marine Borel, Laura Hodel, Corinne Hunziker, Verena Tunger

01.2018 - 12.2019
Didactics, Diversity, History

This project culminates in a book in four languages that is designed for the general public. In the book, roughly 40 expressions in Rhaeto-Romanic (all idioms), Italian, German (including examples in Swiss German) and French are compared. The selected expressions have the same meaning in all languages yet employ different, sometimes amusing metaphors; humorous images from all linguistic regions are used to illustrate the expressions. A brief etymology of each expression provides additional information on its historical, geographic and cultural origin and draws parallels between the different languages. A short section is dedicated to “untranslatable” expressions, i.e. sayings that have no equivalent in the three other languages. The Institute was responsible for the expressions in French and (Swiss) German.

About the book: 4 Fliegen mit einer Klappe