If you’re troubled by various roadside signs announcing Wien where you’re expecting Vienna, relax.
See also: Language in Vienna
Wien is simply the local (German) word for Vienna. It’s pronounced “Veen” (with a V).
So Wien is the city of Vienna, and a Wiener is a man or boy who comes from Vienna (and, crucially, not a sausage – that’s called a Frankfurter here). A woman or girl from Vienna is a Wienerin.
(The “Wien river”)
There’s also the Wienfluss or Wien river, which runs through the city and along one edge of the town centre. It’s often confused with the Danube.
Finally, we have Wienerisch, which is the German dialect spoken in the city and has its own, often “colourful”, vocabulary. It’s hard to describe, but takes a lot of getting used to. Think Glaswegian English.
Vienna in other languages:
- Spanish – Viena
- French – Vienne
- Czech – Víden
- Estonian – Viin
- Hungarian – Bécs (go figure)
- Dutch – Wenen
- Polish – Wieden
You see the Latin term for Vienna, Vindobona, used now and then in branding or business names. There’s a Vindobona cabaret theatre, for example.
Vindobona was the name of the Roman camp that predates today’s city and has two claims to fame:
- The Battle of Vindobona features in the Oscar-winning film, Gladiator
- The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, died here in 180AD