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Gold Bullet member
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This was originally posted on the old boards by NRAJOE.

What do you do now that you have found a little plastic tag with a bunch of numbers and German writing on it under your butt plate? If you want to try and make contact with the previous owner......

1. Determine the individuals name. The last name is most often listed first, then the first name. Vorname=Last name

2. Determine the street name. They usually end in "str." Strasse=Street but not always.

3. Determine the town/city name and Canton (district in Switzerland abbreviated by 2 letters).

4. Now go to www.tel.search.ch for the Swiss phone book and type in your info. Hit "suchen" and hopefully you will get a list of names. You can send a cover letter to all the names listed and hope to get a reply from the "correct" name. It costs about .85 cents postage per letter.

Most of the Swiss speak German and many speak English so write your letter in English. If the previous owner can't speak English odds are he knows someone who can.

There are often other things on the tag. The soldiers age, company and battalion, division etc. Ask him about those in your letter. A photo or copy of the tag and rifle will immediately let the gentleman know what this strange letter from the USA is about whether he speaks English or not.

If you get a letter back and it's in German you can find many online translators with a google search.

Thats about it and good luck.


How to read the tag:

http://www.swissrifles.com/sr/tags/



A good translator:

http://www.systransoft.com/index.html
 

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Admin Emeritus
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What does C/P stand for?
 

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Copper Bullet member
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This was originally posted on the old boards by NRAJOE.
Most of the Swiss speak German and many speak English so write your letter in English.

Sir, I would most emphatically NOT write my first letter to anybody in Switzerland in English. Please remember that the majority of your hopeful correspondents are going to be old, very old, or dead. Anybody born in 1906, for instance, is more than likely a fondly-remembered great-grandfather rather than simply an older person happy to get a letter in a foreign language.

Also remember that over here in Europe we don't necessarily share the 'slap-on-the-back-how-are-ya' familiarity that can make meeting with Americans so much fun.

The Swiss, and in particular the older French and German speakers, are for the most part punctilious and extremely polite and reserved in their dealing with strangers, especially foreigners.

So please look at the various letters that have been produced for you on www.swissrifles.com and use the one most appropriate. The recipient or his surviving family will think more of you for trying to communicate in THEIR language, and you are more likely to receive a response that way.

tac
 

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Diamond Bullet Member
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Well, I broke etiquette and wrote to both of the previous owners of the two K31's with tags that I own in English and I got a response from both. I used a polite, semi-formal tone. I included photographs of the K31, the tag, and my best group so the topic of the letter would be obvious. I commended them on having taken fine care of their arm, even if it wasen't clear that they had :) One owner did not speak English and had a friend reply. The other wrote a very nice letter (by hand) in poor English but it was still understandable.
 
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