What is this text on the bag of a Swiss bakery trying to tell me?

Die Verpackung aus Papier:
Zum Tragen kein Problem.

L'emballage en papier:
Un moyen de transport.

I don't get what they are trying to say. It's paper, so safe to use for carrying around?!


I think what they're trying to say is:

It's a paper bag: No problem to carry around safely.

That might be, because in Europe paper bags are not that well known to accomplish carrying heavier weights as good as plastic bags did.
It's a relatively new law that plastic bags are banned in the European Union. I'd say the Swiss (not part of the EU) are just adopting that.

Another implication might be "kein Problem", because plastic bags are considered being harmful and problematic for the environment.

The French "moyen" expresses that a bit differently as the (appropriate) medium (of choice) for transportation.

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    i'm pretty sure it's the environmental thing that they talk about – Ivo Beckers Mar 31 '18 at 18:49
  • @Ivo Of course! – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 31 '18 at 18:53
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    I'm pretty sure plastic bags are not illegal in the European union. I am currently standing in the European union holding a plastic bag (that said their reuse is strongly encouraged) – Richard Tingle Mar 31 '18 at 22:25
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    @RichardTingle they aren't "banned", but afaik there's some fee on them now which forces basically all sellers to no more give them away for free (as it was before) – Daniel Jour Apr 1 '18 at 7:37
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    Downvote. In Switzerland, paper bags have been commonplace for decades. – mach Apr 1 '18 at 18:53

Vielleicht hilft es weiter (vielleicht auch nicht) zu wissen, dass auch das Schweizer Zielpublikum mit dem Werbespruch auf der Tüte seine Deutungsprobleme hat.



findet man folgende Mitteilung von 2012:

Zum Tragen kein Problem

Knabenschiessen-Montag, Zürich: 20-Minuten-Online-Leserin Martina Z. vertreibt sich die Zeit, bis die Kinder von der «Monster»-Bahn zurückkommen mit dem Studieren ihrer Hot-Dog-Tüte. Und wird nicht schlau daraus.

Vorne auf der Papiertüte ist ein fesches Mädel gezeichnet, das hinter Weggli, Gipfeli und Ähren eine Backware in der Hand hält. Obwohl Userin Martina Z. aus dem Pappsack einen Hot-Dog schnabuliert, findet sie die Skizze passend. Da die «Monster»-Bahn nicht aufhören will, ihre Kinder schwindlig zu machen, nimmt Martina auch die Rückseite der Tüte unter die Lupe. Dort prangt ein grosses «i», also stehen dort Informationen. Und die lesen auf Deutsch: «Die Verpackung aus Papier: Zum Tragen kein Promlem.» Wer da nur Bahnhof versteht, des Französischen aber mächtig ist, der kann es mit dieser Übersetzung probieren: «L'emballage en papier: Un moyen de transport.»

Alles klar? Wenn Sie wissen, was die kryptischen Botschaften bedeuten sollen, dann wären wir froh, Sie erklärten es im Talkback.

Das Ganze ist als "Foto-Rätsel" bei dem fraglichen Internetportal publiziert. Eine Lösung scheint aber bis zum heutigen 31. März 2018 bei der Redaktion nicht eingegangen zu sein.


If it is a solace for you, you learn at least that you are not alone in your bewilderment.

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  • Interesting information. Why didn't they also apply an italian sentence, or ladin, as these are also official languages in swiss? – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 31 '18 at 17:59
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    @πάνταῥεῖ I don't know, but my feeling is that Italian is not that present in the entirety of Switzerland as German and French are (and you could also ask for Rhaeto-Romanic). This is not an official document, this is a paper bag of a bakery. Second, it is quite possible that this bakery has shops in German and French speaking areas, but not in Italian speaking. Just a guess. – Christian Geiselmann Mar 31 '18 at 18:04
  • THX for the guess. /OT Are you a swiss citizen actually? (I'm asking, because of your sometimes a bit of odd language proposals) ... Forget it, I've checked your profile :-) – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 31 '18 at 18:07
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    "Why didn't they also apply an Italian sentence?" I lived in Zurich for six years. It's quite common for more minor products, not obviously distributed nation-wide, to be labelled in French and German only north of the Alps. Movies might be "E/d/f" meaning English soundtrack, German and French subtitles. Train announcements I think are always German, French, and English. Menus might be German, French and English. Or if it's an ethnic restaurant, you might see the Ethnic language, German and English. I've heard Italian Switzerland gets movies with just Italian subtitles, same as Italy. – Swiss Frank Apr 1 '18 at 8:03
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    @SwissFrank Actually, in Italy the vast majority of movies are dubbed, not subtitled. – Federico Poloni Apr 1 '18 at 9:31

This is really an interesting question, because the German and the French text say different things:

Translation of the German text:

The packaging made of paper:
No problem to carry.

French Version:

The paper packaging:
A means of transport.

We can not tell you more than this translation. If you really want to know he correct interpretation, you have to go back to the bakery and ask them.

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The message is marked with the information (i) symbol, but it seems to be more of an advertisement for the use of paper as packaging material. It is probably meant as an appeal to the people, part of the effort to phase out plastic bags.

In the U.S.A. we would probably write "(i) Paper packaging: the safe and convenient alternative", which conveys the same message with, I think, approximately the same level of mild confusion.

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