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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #941
brisavoine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wimpie View Post
Namen & Waver are both cities in Wallonia and are sometimes known under their newer French names (Wavre & Namur).


Sometimes SSC gives me a good laugh I must say.

Anyway, bravo, you've done a great job at showing the international forumers what's going on in Flanders at the moment. Congrats!
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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glodenox View Post
As for directions on signs to cities in another linguistic region: there's more logic to write those in the language of that city itself, but the current situation isn't any different than in most other countries anyway.
In Europe these days the names of foreign cities on road signs are written both in the national language of the country where the sign is posted as well as in the native language of the city appearing on the sign.

For example here in Lille, Ghent is clearly marked both in French (Gand) and in Dutch (Gent):
[img]http://i54.************/14alufo.jpg[/img]

Here near Dunkirk (or should I say Dunkerque? or Duinkerke? or Duinkerken?) the city of Furnes is marked both in French (Furnes) and in Dutch (Veurne):
[img]http://i56.************/2e64xsx.jpg[/img]

Frankly the extremist situation in Belgium where regional authorities refuse to write the names of cities from the other side of the linguistic border in their native forms is becoming more and more ridiculous as the years go by.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 10:57 PM   #943
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
....Frankly the extremist situation in Belgium where regional authorities refuse to write the names of cities from the other side of the linguistic border in their native forms is becoming more and more ridiculous as the years go by.
(At the risk of opening this up again, you can't blame regional authorities: it's national law.)
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Old February 24th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #944
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
In Europe these days the names of foreign cities on road signs are written both in the national language of the country where the sign is posted as well as in the native language of the city appearing on the sign.
No, it is obliged to use the local (native) name primarely (endonym). Logical, because if you don't know the local name you'll never find your destination, and you could end up with discontinued signage. The name in the language of where you are may be added between brackets (exonym). So France does it the wrong way, it should be Gent (Gand).

However the Belgian language laws don't take into account the target of roadsignage: people who are not known to the local situation. This group can't cope with signage made for Belgians-only, in which you have to know the exonym and endonym of all places in the country to find your way...
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Old February 24th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #945
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Hm, I'm not sure I understand what you mean...

All I know is that in supposedly imperialist France, Ghent is posted as "Gent", whereas in Flanders Mons is not posted as "Mons" (as if the rest of Europe was supposed to know it's called "Bergen" in Dutch), and in Wallonia Ghent is not posted as "Gent". If that's not ridiculous, in a country that hosts the EU institutions!
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Old February 24th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #946
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I agree that the Belgian way of roadsigning is totally ridiculous.
By the way: In the Netherlands several German cities already have changed names on the roadsigns to their local names. Keulen became Kln, Aken became Aachen, etc. In the nearby future the Wallon city of Luik (B) will be changed into Lige as well on the Dutch A2.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #947
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Originally Posted by aswnl View Post
I agree that the Belgian way of roadsigning is totally ridiculous.
By the way: In the Netherlands several German cities already have changed names on the roadsigns to their local names. Keulen became Kln, Aken became Aachen, etc. In the nearby future the Wallon city of Luik (B) will be changed into Lige as well on the Dutch A2.
Okay, a general question: is the use of...the names that are used in the destination country (German for places in Germany for example)*...an EU requirement, or directive, or...? My understanding is that Belgian signage treated places outside Belgium the same way they did places in Belgium until a European rule required otherwise. In other words, Lille would have been identified in Dutch-speaking areas as "Rijsel" and only "Rijsel"; now it's "Rijsel (Lille)" Which, I assume, is why even some French-made road maps (Michelin, IGN....) of northern France have Lille labeled in both languages - so people trying to find it from northern Belgium know the Dutch name they were going to see for it.

And Brisavoine, if I'm not mistaken, you can occasionally see a "Sarrebruck" or "Gnes" in France without translation. But I'll assume these are all being fixed. ;-)


*because I can't remember which is an "endonym" and which is an "exonym."
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Old February 25th, 2011, 12:54 AM   #948
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Well the Flemings and the Walloons should take example on the Swiss. No silly linguistic pettiness in Switzerland.

Here we're in German-speaking Switzerland (municipality of Ried bei Kerzers), just a few miles before crossing the linguistic border. As you can see, the names of the cities are in French. In the same situation in Flanders, just a few miles from the linguistic border, the names would be in Dutch only.
[img]http://i53.************/293hgg2.jpg[/img]

Here we're in French-speaking Switzerland (municipality of Avenches), just a few miles before crossing the linguistic border. As you can see, the names of the cities are in German. In the same situation in Wallonia, just a few miles from the linguistic border, the names would be in French only.
[img]http://i54.************/2exu0xy.jpg[/img]

Even more interesting, on his arrival in French-speaking Switzerland, a German-speaking motorists is greeted with signs telling him things in German, despite the fact that he's now in French-speaking territory. This would be unthinkable in either Flanders or Wallonia.
[img]http://i54.************/68ylxv.jpg[/img]
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Old February 25th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #949
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Here near Dunkirk (or should I say Dunkerque? or Duinkerke? or Duinkerken?) the city of Furnes is marked both in French (Furnes) and in Dutch (Veurne):
http://i56.************/2e64xsx.jpg

.
However, in some cases only half of foreign destinations are marked in such way:
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:45 AM   #950
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Obviously, we're not talking at all about "Belgian motorways", yet the debate is interesting. So, why not...

Language is still considered by many people as having to do with the national identity. Maybe it did back to the end of 20th century. But today, in the age of globalization language it's only about communication. Perhaps it takes longer to understand that and one needs to travel enough and speak more the 2 languages (native and English) to get it. I don't identify myself by the language I'm speaking. Indentity lies in culture, thoughts, actions etc. But not the language. Of course, it would feel weird to talk French or German to my kids back at home. Yet we do talk English or French among ourselves once the conversation involves another person who doesn't speak Romanian.

Now, the names, I would say that, for the sake of standardisation, which in turn rewards us with the ease of use, at least in Europe we should all reffer the cities by their local name. Cause it's far more likely that the outsiders will adapt to the change, rather then the locals. It might be strange at the begining, but everybody will benefit in the end. Cause once you travel in a forign country, the last thing you care behind the wheel are the local sensitibilities. You only care about getting fast and safe to your destination. So any confussion is to be avoided. That is, of course, assuming that there is "life after GPS" and you get to the "unlikely event" of driving based on your own geography knowledge and on the road signs.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #951
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
Uhm, I can tell you that's completely wrong. The linguistic border in Belgium has barely moved over the past centuries, except maybe for a few small villages along the border (and Brussels). Everything south of it has always been French speaking and everything north of it has always been Dutch speaking. So no, the Dutch names names For Wavre or Namur are not older than the French names and these cities have never been Dutch speaking.
In Northern France, only the present-day arrondissement of Dunkirk was historically Dutch speaking. Lille (Rijsel in Dutch and not Rijssel) or Saint-Quentin have never been Dutch speaking.
Looks to me like you've got your information from some untrustworthy source.

Anyway, back to the highways now!
I assume your information is faulty because my explantion comes right out of my old Dutch highschool textbook...
The Dutch language region used to be alot bigger, it also compromised the region of Artesi (which is now known as Artois) in France. Under the emperialistic period French spread across Europe (even into the higher classes of the United Kingdom which frenchified the English language considerably).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
(At the risk of opening this up again, you can't blame regional authorities: it's national law.)
Correct! You are well informed

Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post


Sometimes SSC gives me a good laugh I must say.

Anyway, bravo, you've done a great job at showing the international forumers what's going on in Flanders at the moment. Congrats!
And what exactly is it that we are doing wrong, you'll find the exact same situation in Wallonia...




I regret by the way that Switzerland changed their original font (that is in Belgium since 1978). The ex-Yugoslavian country's have the proof that it is still a very modern font.

[IMG]http://i54.************/2exu0xy.jpg[/IMG]

In Belgium




Last edited by Wimpie; February 25th, 2011 at 01:36 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #952
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baiazid View Post
Obviously, we're not talking at all about "Belgian motorways", yet the debate is interesting. So, why not...

Language is still considered by many people as having to do with the national identity. Maybe it did back to the end of 20th century. But today, in the age of globalization language it's only about communication. Perhaps it takes longer to understand that and one needs to travel enough and speak more the 2 languages (native and English) to get it. I don't identify myself by the language I'm speaking. Indentity lies in culture, thoughts, actions etc. But not the language. Of course, it would feel weird to talk French or German to my kids back at home. Yet we do talk English or French among ourselves once the conversation involves another person who doesn't speak Romanian.
Globalisation or not, in Flanders more than 90% of the population speaks Dutch, in Wallonia 90% speaks French, in Germany 90% speaks German. It's quite obvious that people identify with languages. It's one of the last differences between nations. English is used in international conversations. it does not threaten the national languages. And BTW: monolingualism and the fact that people self-identif with a language do not go hand in hand.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #953
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Hm, I'm not sure I understand what you mean...

All I know is that in supposedly imperialist France, Ghent is posted as "Gent", whereas in Flanders Mons is not posted as "Mons" (as if the rest of Europe was supposed to know it's called "Bergen" in Dutch), and in Wallonia Ghent is not posted as "Gent". If that's not ridiculous, in a country that hosts the EU institutions!
Only Walloon cities are mentioned on signbords by their Dutch name only. If you drive the E17 Antwerp-Lille,you will see that Lille is signed as Rijsel (Lille), just the same as in France.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #954
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Originally Posted by brisavoine View Post
Anyway, bravo, you've done a great job at showing the international forumers what's going on in Flanders at the moment. Congrats!
What a load of crap, in Wallonia Antwerpen is also signed by the French name only. As usual you're making one-sided accusations again and generalizations. Flemings are not more extremist than other people in Europe.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #955
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Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
At the end of the day, the effect on highway network is clear: Belgium has a worse network than nearby countries (proportionally). It is underdimensioned and - more important - has a huge backlog of maintenance to be done. Not much construction of new lanes and alignments is seen in Belgium.
First of all, the jurisdiction of the highways is in the hands of the regional government. So the 'standing-still-situation' on national level has nothing to do with the maintenance of the roads in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. Second: Belgian roads are not that worse, not worser than roads in the US or most parts in Europe. thirdly: the Belgian road network is not at all underdimensioned. It's more the opposite, we have therefore less traffic congestion than your country.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #956
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Do you realize the irony of that picture? You guys write the German name of Aachen, but not the French name of Lige. Belgium is NUTS.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:17 PM   #957
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Luik is an official name as well, most Belgian cities have an official Dutch and French name. Aken is not an official name as Dutch is not an official language in Germany.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #958
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Is there also a sign saying Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen) on E40 east from Lige? I tought it was only Aachen, but haven't been paying attention since i usually know where i'm going - maybe just in the german-speaking region? (Damn Google for not having streetview in Belgium.)
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #959
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Wallonia recently changed its policy. Previously Aachen was signed as 'Aix-la-Chapelle', but since so many people were not aware that Aachen = Aix-la-Chapelle they now only sign Aachen. However: Flemish cities are still signed with their French names only. This for the reasons I said earlier.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #960
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Language politics. Especially something road signage is not meant for. But try tell that the Belgians...
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