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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #161
Penn's Woods
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What's wrong with both? My high school - yes, a public high school in a country that has the reputation of not being interested in this sort of thing - offered Spanish, French, Italian and German. And I have a feeling there was another one I'm forgetting. Also Latin.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 10:01 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Same with Lille, very "Netherlandic" architecture (in France it's called simply "Flemish" architecture, given that Lille is the capital of Flanders anyway), so why do authorities in your country signpost Lille as "Lille" and not as "Rijsel"?
Lille is the capital of parts of Flanders annexed to France somewhere in the 1700s. Calling it the capital of Flanders proper is about as accurate as calling Seoul the capital of the whole of Korea. As far as that is concerned, that Flemish architecture is typical for the borders as they once stood. Not of Flanders, as the architecture was as common in neighbouring parts of the 17 Provinces that were never part of Flanders (Brabant and Hainaut, notably). There is no link to the Dutch language. Flemish-looking towns like Lille and Tournai have never been in Dutch-speaking territory.

Anyway, cultural links or former language have not been leading for the Dutch style of signposting. So end of the history class. And as to the way of signposting to Brussels from the Netherlands, I'm not even going there ...
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:27 PM   #163
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Quote:
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What's wrong with both?
Well you see, you're touching on a key issue here. All the southern Euro countries lagging northern Europe economically have suddenly decided to ditch all other foreign languages and teach only English (it's not just Italy, it's also Spain, Portugal, and Greece). As if learning English was suddenly going to turn them into Asian tiger economies.

I've always found that mentality ridiculous. I mean seriously, in a country like Spain, where France is the main neighbor and the main economic partner, they suddenly decide to abandon French and become crazy about English at school. What good has it done to their economy? To me it looks like a sort of magical thinking.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #164
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PMing you before people yell at us for going off topic.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #165
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It's the off topic thread, don't worry.

PS: My mail box at SSC is 99% full.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:35 PM   #166
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Please keep the discussion going. It's a little off-topic, so what. It's conducted in a civilized manner, and I find it interesting.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:36 PM   #167
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This is in Kosovo...




Last edited by shpirtkosova; August 26th, 2011 at 05:49 PM.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:37 PM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g.spinoza View Post
In Italy French was the only foreign language taught in school until the 70s, so many well-educated older people speak it. Then we realize that the world was changed and switched to English.

At Spain too. In fact, they had to choose, at high school between English or French.
My mother remembers she chose French... because it was the alternative most chosen (only three students chose English in the 60s). Spain had little relation with exterior. People could go out with passport but there was no culture of movements... And if you went to any centre Europe country, first to cross was France (where a lot of Spanish emigrants were living).

So you can find no older people with high level education and little knowledge of languages.

Nowadays, one language is mandatory (and not neccessary English, it is the major option but can choose French or German) and second language is optional (more options in this case).

When I was at high school, we had one year Latin for everyone, and people who chose Arts will continue with further years of Latin and Greek.


(not for me, I studied Sciences...)
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Old August 26th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
It's the off topic thread, don't worry.

PS: My mail box at SSC is 99% full.
Ah. Already sent it. But let's see....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Road_UK View Post
Please keep the discussion going. It's a little off-topic, so what. It's conducted in a civilized manner, and I find it interesting.
All right, here's what I sent Brisavoine. Ever-so-slightly edited:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=163

I completely agree. I've always been fascinated by languages, so I'm rather jealous of Europeans, who have the opportunity (if they're interested, of course, which many if not most people aren't) to watch TV or listen to radio from neighboring countries, day trip to neighboring countries to buy books.... I'm old enough - 47 - to remember a time when I used to go to every French film that showed up in Philadelphia or New York because it was the only opportunity, without traveling, just to hear French spoken! It's gotten easier for me with the Internet, but I still can't get that sort of real-life exposure to another language unless I go to Europe (which isn't cheap and I don't like flying) or Quebec. I get books in French by ordering from Amazon France....

But human nature is human nature and a lot of people aren't interested. I scratch my head when I see Francophone Belgians on forums saying, "but I never get the opportunity to use Dutch." Heck, as I said, they could spend an afternoon in Antwerp or just turn on the TV. If someone's motivated, the opportunities are there. People have every right not to be motivated, but saying they have no opportunity is just bull.

I still remember being impressed by a restaurant hostess in Amsterdam 25 years ago who was switching effortlessly and fluently among Dutch, English, French and German. I wonder if that still happens.

And relying completely on English - besides being I think somewhat disrespectful of your neighbors (why shouldn't German be at least as important as English to people in Strasbourg, for example? And for a Belgian who speaks either major language of his country to say the other major language of his own country is "useless" is really rather contemptuous) - risks turning English into a sort of Esperanto. That really drives me up a wall. (Years ago, I read a column in the New York Times by someone suggesting that - out of consideration for the many non-native-speakers using English - we should be careful not to use words that are too complicated. Sorry. If everyone wants to learn English, that's fine. But learn it as it is rather than asking us to dumb it down, because we native speakers don't have a backup language that we can switch to when we want to express ourselves completely. But I've said that a couple of times on this forum, and some people don't want to hear it.)

But this has turned into a slightly incoherent rant, so I'll stop now.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #170
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In Portugal in Year 10 some people have to choose between French and English, although some people continue with both, by choosing the Languages and Humanities course.

In the UK French is the most common foreign language taught, but I think that all schools teach Spanish too
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Old August 26th, 2011, 07:18 PM   #171
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It's interesting to find signs for cities not in neighbouring countries, but for 1 more country ahead. To be more precisely: You should cross two borders to reach that city. We have tried to find examples on the Dutch Wegenforum

Example on the Belgian E314: Heerlen is in Netherlands, Aachen is Germany. To reach Aachen, one should first drive through the Netherlands (in Germany, on the A4 near Aachen The Belgian city of Antwerpen is signed - via the Netherlands)

image hosted on flickr



Another example: Trieste in Croatia, but one should first cross Slovenia for reaching Italy.



Switserland: München on the signs, but one should first drive through Austria.
image hosted on flickr


Saudi-Arabia: Oman is via the UAE.


Has anyone more examples?
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Old August 26th, 2011, 08:08 PM   #172
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You won't find any US examples, since the nearest qualifying cities would be in Guatemala or Belize.

But I think there's a thread along these lines in this forum somewhere.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #173
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Muenchen is signposted on the Italian A22 before the Austrian border. Verona is signposted in Germany at the Inntal Dreieck near Rosenheim. I think there are images of that on this thread somewhere. Dijon and Lyon is signposted on the Belgian E411 via Luxembourg.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:30 PM   #174
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Quote:
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You won't find any US examples, since the nearest qualifying cities would be in Guatemala or Belize.
Or Poland.
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #175
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Or Poland.
?
Did we annex something while I wasn't looking, or are you doing an Alaska/Russia-and-jump-to-Kaliningrad/Poland thing?
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #176
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Quote:
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But I think there's a thread along these lines in this forum somewhere.
That one is here:
Road signs for cities in non-neighbouring foreign countries
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #177
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?
or are you doing an Alaska/Russia-and-jump-to-Kaliningrad/Poland thing?
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Old August 26th, 2011, 09:55 PM   #178
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"The nearest qualifying cities" would still be in Guatemala or Belize. :-P
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Old August 26th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #179
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Surely if you went that way, the closest country to be reached from Alaska via Russia would be North Korea. Anyone for a sign for Pyongyang in the USA?
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Old August 26th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvinus
I missed that thread I'm afraid...
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