<b>Spelling counts</b> -burg vs. -berg

When spoken by most Americans, -burg and -berg sound the same (kind of like "burr g"), and incorrect!

A fortified town was called a Burg (pr. bourk). A mountain is a Berg (pr. beark). When named, Salzburg and Rothenburg were fortified towns (Rothenburg still is). On the other hand Nürnberg was so named for the castle that sits on a hill. The buses for the Eagles' Nest leave from Obersalzberg, Upper Salt Mountain, which is just a few km from Salzburg, Austria (a fortified town on the salt trade route).

This is important because much of the software for searches and train schedule won't come up with the right place if you spell it incorrectly. Put in Salzburg on the Bahn query site, and you'll get Mozart's birth town. Put in Salzberg, and you'll get a pulldown menu with bunch of choices. The first few will be towns in Baden-Württemberg or Hessen; the town in Austria will be well down the list.

Also, those two little dots over the vowel, called an umlaut, are important. Füssen is NOT Fussen! However, using "ue" for "ü" works (and is, technically, correct). So, if looking for a route to Neuschwanstein, use "Fuessen Bahnhof".

Posted by AKF
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
191 posts

How did you do the bold/italics and the umlaut?

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
13067 posts

I get ü by holding down the <alt> key while typing "0252" on the number keypad.

I get ü by typing <b>ü</b>.

For more, see my webpage.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
13067 posts

For italics, substitute 'i' for 'b'.

For underline, substitute 'u' for 'b'.

<b> starts bolding.

</b> ends it.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
13067 posts

The codes are:

ä 0228
ö 0246
ü 0252
Ä 0196
Ö 0214
Ü 0220
ß 0223

Posted by Jed
Seattle, WA, US
419 posts

Are these the same shortcuts for Mac? Thanks for the great info Lee!


Posted by Tamara
209 posts

I found the Mac instructions here.

Substituting vowel-e for an umlaut will work, as mentioned. Also, to substitute for an ess-zett, just use ss.

"On any Macintosh, press the Option-key, the letter u and then the vowel you want as an Umlaut.

For example, to get an ä, press Option-u a. The same goes for ü and ö.

To umlaut a capital letter, follow the same steps and press Shift-letter.

For example, to get an Ö, press Option-u O.

To get an ß, press option-s.

Alternatively, hold down the "MAC" key while typing these numbers:

Ä = 128 / ä = 138 / Ö = 133 / ö = 154 / Ü = 134 / ü = 159 / ß = 167"

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
13067 posts

Also, when writing HTML, which is really what you are doing when you write in the text box on this site (which is the reason that we can do the bold, italics, and underlining), you can use the ampersandt codes:
Ü is &Uuml;
Substitute u, O, o, A, & a for the cap U above to get the others. There really IS a ; at the end of that code. It isn't just my punctuation of the sentence.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
13067 posts

There really is an historic significance to ue being used for ü, etc. In earlier German, the Gerundete Vorderzungenvodale (lips rounded, tunge forward) vowels (that's what they call umlauts) were written, for instance, ue for umlaut u.

In the old handwritten script (Sütterlin), e was two vertical strokes, with a connecting stroke and seriffs. So, two vertical strokes were used to represent the superscript e. Eventually two dots were substituted in printing, so, Fuessen (Fuessen) for Füssen is technically correct.

Posted by Gary
New Hampshire
182 posts

How about the "burgh" that you caught me on being less than careful in some of my spelling attempts, even when I used multiple methods in one post. Where/how does that fit in?