Belgium bans roadsigns written in French.

Irish Guy   Sun Mar 05, 2006 2:51 pm GMT
"All other tourists except the British will see signs for 'Dublin' but they'll be miraculously invisible to the British??"

That was the plan. We love annoying the English. National past time.

"I believe that the Irish Government has decided to remove all the English versions of placenames on all road directions in Ireland."

The English versions of the name are not being replaced. Both Irish and English versions will be displayed on the signs which is the way it already is. No change as far as I know.

A bit of advice, stay away from these places. Its for your own good.

Mullingar = Muillean Cearr
Cork = Corcaigh
Limerick = Luimneach
Galway = Gaillmh
Sligo = Sligeach
Candy   Sun Mar 05, 2006 3:52 pm GMT
<<National past time. >>

I believe you mean 'pastime'.
Irish Guy   Sun Mar 05, 2006 5:32 pm GMT
"I believe you mean 'pastime'."

Correct. You get a cookie. Go you!
Guest   Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:26 pm GMT
>but a Brit will have a wee bit of a problem when he sees a sign saying: 'Baile Atha Cliath: 25km' when 'Dublin 14miles' would suit her/him just fine! <

Same for us! When we cross the border in Canada they have those 'ThinKMetric' signs to remind us they use 'kilometers' oops 'kilometres' pardon me! Don't mind the change only if they gave a little help on the conversion! =(
Uriel   Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:29 pm GMT
Well, your spedometer is in both. That should be all the help you need for driving.
Uriel   Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:26 pm GMT
<<<<When I went to Brugge, that's what everyone there seemed to call it, not Bruges. Much as when I went to the capital city of England, the natives seemed to call it "London" and not "Londres".>>

My goodness, is there no end to the Francophobia in England these days?! :-) >>

I know! The cheek of those Belgians and Brits, calling their own cities by their native names! Will it never end?????
Irish Guy   Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:45 pm GMT
"Off hand (and correct me if I'm wrong here) I believe that the Irish Government has decided to remove all the English versions of placenames on all road directions in Ireland. Without checking this one out, would that be true? A Brit looking for the road to Dublin would have to look for the Baile Atha Cliath signs...."

The Irish Government in their infinite wisdom have decided to change the road signs again and put signs in Polish up due to the immigration of large numbers poles and other eastern European nationalities. These signs are supposedly there to stop road traffic accidents. How?? Your guess is as good as mine. Given the fact that most signs are symbols which clearly tells some one when to stop or whatever else. It is pointless and quite typical of our government.
Guest   Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:51 pm GMT
What? Polish signs in Ireland? Ok ok so there are large Polish immigration into the country but why should the Irish bend backwards to accommodate newcomers to the country?

I'm all for immigration but if I went to Poland I don't expect them to place Greek signs for me. I perfer to learn the local customs and culture not 'impose' my language on Poles just because I don't speak the Polish language.
Irish Guy   Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:59 pm GMT
There aim is to prevent accidents. Improving the roads would be a better solution or at least making immigrants who wish to drive on Irish roads take a driving test or a least a theory test so as to make sure they can drive safely. It is only the government licking arses as usual.
Guest   Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:10 pm GMT
What the hell is wrong with symbols on roadsigns? Ireland along with other EU countries including Poland uses standardized EU symbols. So I assuming the Poles would understand the signs.
Ella   Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:21 pm GMT
I doubt it could be the signs as you mention the signs are standardized expect with minor differences from on EU country to another.

I think it could be the conversion from lefthand driving to righthand driving. I remember when I drove in Paris, I managed perfectly driving on the righthand side of the road as you simply followed other cars. The problem arose when I drove on empty country roads where I easily forgot to drive on the right not the left like we do in England.
Mitch   Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:32 pm GMT
Banning French signs in Belgium is not an indication of the decline of French. If anything, it could indicate the opposite: the Flemish speakers are concerned about the spread of French.

Look at the situation in Quebec: They banned public signs in English (later changed under pressure to having English much less prominent than French). I hardly think that indicates a decline in English! The Quebecois are fighting to keep French viable under the massive presence of English.
Adam   Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:32 pm GMT
How to Shampoo in French

A reference guide

by Con Chapman


Forget Iraq, Derrida, and Jerry Lewis. It’s time to turn our attention to the principal remaining obstacle to Franco-American understanding: French shampoo labels.

You know what I’m talking about. You’re in the shower at a beach or ski house, someone is knocking on the door for his or her turn, and you find that your hostess, worldly sophisticate that she is, has stocked the bathroom with hair-care products from the nation that thinks snails are snacks.

When told to "Moussez, nettoyez et répétez, l’un quel est pour faire?" (What is one to do?)

You, dear reader, are in luck. The author took two years of French in high school, and most of a semester in college. What follows is a handy reference guide that, if properly laminated, you can take into the shower with you to avoid using the conditioner before the shampoo and spending the rest of your getaway weekend looking like your hair was flattened down with walrus fat. Commençons (Let us begin) our deconstruction of la bouteille typique de shampooing (the typical shampoo bottle).

"Un Système nettoyant ultra doux, spécialement conçu pour protéger la longévité et l’éclat des cheveux colorés,” begins the tiny text on the back of a leading brand of shampoo Français.

French thinkers are systematic, and their approach to shampooing is no exception. This introductory phrase, literally translated, means that the shampoo you are about to use is part of an ultra-sweet cleaning system that is specially conceived for old protégées who eat pastries on colored horses. So far, so good.

The shampoo reconstructs damaged horses through the capillaries of the tiger, making the two animals stick together and thereby “revitalizing” them. (To put it mildly!)

Restores horses’ health and makes them smart. More of the same self-promotion. As anyone who has ever tried to read Proust knows, the French like to repeat themselves.

As with the English language, really important stuff in French is written in capital letters. Translation: “EMPLOYEES: Apply to the wet horses and make delicate massive cats. Good rinsing. Repeat with the needy.”

Here’s where things get tricky. After instructing us to wash various nonhuman creatures, the narrator tells us that he is opposed to the use of shampoo on animals. How can we reconcile this knotty contradiction? For that, one must use conditioner, which, as every schoolgirl knows, straightens out snarls and tangles. Let’s go to la bouteille typique de crème de la rinse:

"Après le shampooing, frictionnez les cheveux et le cuir chevelu avec une petite quantité du produit—étalez dans les cheveux à l’aide d’un peigne. Laissez agir pendant 5 minutes. Rincez abondamment.”

Meaning: “After shampooing, rub your horse and its hairy leather with a little produce. Using a paintbrush, put the horse in its stall. Let him wear your necklace for five minutes. Then rinse him abundantly.”

Why do we do this? Because the conditioner contains des extraits purs de pollen d’abeillebee pollen. It is better for the horse to be shampooed indoors than to be outside and risk the painful swelling, or even death, that can come with a bee sting.

Voila! Nous comprenons! (We understand!)

What is meilleur de tout, or “best of all,” is that French beauty products are, as our shampoo bottle tells us, assez doux pour l’utilisation quotidienne”gentle enough to be used by boring people.

I hear one of them banging on the bathroom door right now. . . ..
Adam   Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:37 pm GMT
"When I went to Brugge, that's what everyone there seemed to call it, not Bruges. "

Unless they were French speakers.
Adam   Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:49 pm GMT
"The Irish have already replaced miles with kilometres. Those won't affect European visitors to Ireland, of course, but a Brit will have a wee bit of a problem when he sees a sign saying: 'Baile Atha Cliath: 25km' when 'Dublin 14miles' would suit her/him just fine! "

I wonder how long it will be before the Americans change the name of the "Magnificent Mile" gardens in Chicago to the "Wonderful 1.61 Kilometres" gardens, or the "Mile High Club" will change its name to the "1.61 Kilometre High Club", the "Square Mile" in London becomes the "Square 1.61 Kilometre" and "They'll run a mile" becomes "They'll run 1.61 kilometres".