In recent times, the question has arisen as to in what language announcements should be made on trains (that is rather cumbersomely put, but you appreciate what I’m getting at here). In French speaking Wallonia, announcements are to be made in French and in Flemish speaking Flanders announcements are to be made in Flemish. So far, so straightforward.
But what about in Brussels which is the capital and officially bilingual (though, de facto, French speaking)? Announcements should be made in both languages you might say, which just shows how little you know about the matter. You have not addressed the vexed question of which language comes first; the Belgians have. There are three main stations in Brussels. In Bruxelles-Midi announcements are to be
made in French, then Flemish. In Bruxelles-Nord announcements are to be made in Flemish, then French. This leaves Bruxelles-Central. Which language should have priority here? Worry not, a solution has been found, in odd years announcements will be made in French then Flemish and in even years announcements will be made in Flemish and then French. I swear I am not making this up.
on 04 February 2006 at 19:03
If they would just speak English, there would be no problem. The Flemish are almost there anyway.
on 05 February 2006 at 12:58
Berry, Mr. Waffle wants to know what happens in Ottowa and New Brunswick? He was born in Canada, he takes a special interest. You are funny, FT, START YOUR OWN BLOG.
on 05 February 2006 at 13:54
I’m not too sure in New Brunswick but I’ll find out. In Ottawa, here is a quote from their official language web site “all documents published by the City or its agencies and addressed to the public appear in both official languages (instructions, regulations, municipal by-laws, etc.).That publications be made available in both official languages simultaneously or in the language of the target group (i.e., schedule of courses in French).”
on 05 February 2006 at 23:43
Does that explain why the station staff are so unhelpful at Midi then? You really couldn’t make this up could you.