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Old 21st December 2016, 16:18   #16
Bookd
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And one when I was staying in Luik / Liege I drive into the German speaking part of Belgium and found to get back I had to follow the signs to, I believe, Luttich. Very confusing but an interesting country!
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Old 21st December 2016, 21:21   #17
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And one when I was staying in Luik / Liege I drive into the German speaking part of Belgium and found to get back I had to follow the signs to, I believe, Luttich. Very confusing but an interesting country!
Yup! The German name for Liège / Luik is Lüttich - it's signed as that on the German Autobahnen from east of Aachen (or Aken / Aix-la-Chapelle).

Last edited by coppercapped; 21st December 2016 at 21:22.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 09:39   #18
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Nederlands = Dutch
Frans = French
Duits = German
Tweetalig = Dual language

In area 16 there have been fights 30 to 40 years ago that can be compared with the IRA fighting the Brits. No killings! Here more on that. > https://discoveringbelgium.com/2016/...tormy-history/
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Old 22nd December 2016, 11:08   #19
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Belgians never really used "Midi" for South, so that's not the reason why the station is called Bruxelles-Midi in French.

However, the station was the starting point of many trains going to Southern France, an area which is known as "Le Midi", which is what the station is named after. And because in Dutch it is "Zuid-Frankrijk", the Dutch name became Brussel-Zuid.

Same way as Bruxelles-Luxembourg/Brussel-Luxemburg is where trains to/from Luxembourg left from.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 11:10   #20
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Ah, so it's in a way a bit more like Wigan North Western, which lies to the south-east of the town centre - it's not named for its location in the town but for what or where it serves. Thanks.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 11:26   #21
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One I find interesting is that Mons in Wallonia is called Bergen in Flemish - in English it would be called Mountains!
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Old 22nd December 2016, 11:39   #22
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Originally Posted by Quakkerillo View Post
Belgians never really used "Midi" for South, so that's not the reason why the station is called Bruxelles-Midi in French.

However, the station was the starting point of many trains going to Southern France, an area which is known as "Le Midi", which is what the station is named after. And because in Dutch it is "Zuid-Frankrijk", the Dutch name became Brussel-Zuid.

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Ah, so it's in a way a bit more like Wigan North Western, which lies to the south-east of the town centre - it's not named for its location in the town but for what or where it serves. Thanks.
According to the French wikipedia, the above explanation is wrong. It was the terminus for the "South Railway" which initially went to Mons/Bergen and then later to the French border and beyond; the platforms extended into the "avenue du Midi" and the station became known as "Midi station".

Quote:
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gare_de_Bruxelles-Midi

La ligne de chemin de fer du Midi, destinée tout d’abord à relier Bruxelles à Mons puis, par la suite, à la frontière française et au-delà, a été créée en 1839. ..... Les voies pénétraient en ville par la large avenue du Midi, devenue aujourd’hui l’avenue de Stalingrad. La gare des Bogards prendra très vite le nom de « gare du Midi ».

The proper English translation of "Bruxelles-Midi" would be "Brussels-Meridional".

One may be more familiar with "oriental" and "occidental", the equivalents for east and west, and to save people from having to look it up, the word for north is septentrional.


If I were in charge of Eurostar I would just have called it "Brussels South station" in all English announcements and printed matters. I would also put up English signs on the Eurostar platforms.


The first time I went to Belgium, I was also very confused by the name since I thought Midi was just an affected way of saying central, as I couldn't understand why anyone would call a station "noon". Furthermore, the spelling "Zuid" does not look like "South", and only later when I went to the Netherlands did I realise that zuid in Dutch actually sounds like the English pronunciation of south which led me to understand the French name of Midi.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 12:12   #23
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No map of Belgium is complete that doesn't stretch to Baarle-Hertog (granted, and being located about 12 km north of the main Belgian-Dutch border, Dutch is the sole language), but it is chopped up into lots of little parcels, some of which are Belgium, some of which are the Netherlands. Possibly the greatest geographic peculiarity of the country!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baarle-Hertog

I don't understand why more of the signs are not bilingual across the entire country, though. Dutch and French are sufficiently different from one another for the corresponding forms of town names, etc, not to be obvious. It's odd, for example, to be travelling on a train that will be announced as going to either Courtrai or Kortrijk depending on where you get on it.
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Old 22nd December 2016, 13:26   #24
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announcements in trains also often just use the "local" language, so when a train travels from Liegè to Leuven, announcements change from French to Flemish and in Brussels both are used. Once the trains leaves Brussels for Gent, its Flemish only again.
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Old 23rd December 2016, 00:38   #25
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The border between Baarle Nassau and Baarle Hertog finally came to rest in 1995.



In France there are towns with Dutch names. Most famous is of course Lille with is Rijssel and Dunkerque which is Duinkerken/Duinkerke and apparently Dunkirk in English.
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Old 23rd December 2016, 13:08   #26
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Same way as Bruxelles-Luxembourg/Brussel-Luxemburg is where trains to/from Luxembourg left from.
That is not correct. The station was called 'Bruxelles-Luxembourg' because this line was build by a private company, La Grande Compagnie du Luxembourg (GCL). After nationalisation of this company, the name changed to Bruxelles-Quartier-Leopold (Leopoldswijk) but in 2000, the station got it's original name back.

As for 'Brussels-South', Midi is indeed another French word for 'south'. However, the name has nothing to do with the line towards the south (and France) because the original station for this line was situated somewhere else and had another name: 'Gare de Bogaerden' near the present Place Rouppe.
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Old 23rd December 2016, 14:03   #27
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While I understand people may find the use of the relevant local language name confusing, that is a fact of the multilateral form of federalism Belgium has. Unlike other multilingual countries where it is a federal matter with the other main language(s) appearing out of region, this is not how Belgium functions. Indeed each region issues its information in its language and there have been battles over that where there are those trying to get information in another language. Of course the German speaking territory around Eupen is a quirk of history and technically I believe part of Wallonia for regional government purposes.

As others have noted that means you get signs and announcements in the language of the region in question. Brussels is essentially the exception as the capital region meaning it is bilingual (although in reality on the ground most of the region is Francophone). I always felt sorry for foreigners when a train pulled away from Brussels given that the train reflects the linguistic boundaries as well.

Looking at the original question, I really don't see how it is confusing or that Midi needs renamed. As others have pointed out there are many shared names across languages e.g. Monaco/München/Munich or Valence/Valencia and we do the same with our anglicised versions of place names.

I always remember the name changes from my young childhood crossing Belgium on the way to/from Germany and beyond - it was and is a characteristic of the Kingdom .

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Old 26th December 2016, 08:21   #28
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Ah, so it's in a way a bit more like Wigan North Western, which lies to the south-east of the town centre - it's not named for its location in the town but for what or where it serves. Thanks.
Or after its origin al owners, the London & North Western Railway?
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Old 26th December 2016, 09:45   #29
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About Brussel-Luxemburg (Wikipedia):
The station was built between 1854 and 1855 by the Grande Compagnie de Luxembourg as part of the Brussels-Luxembourg railway line it was constructing. The station was built to service the new Leopold Quarter, hence its original name of Leopold Quarter station. The lead architect was Gustave Saintenoy. He designed it in a neo-classical style in keeping with the other buildings around Place de Luxembourg which were designed around the same time. The station was Brussels' third, after those built in the Allée Verte and Rue des Bogards (which would eventually become Gare du Nord and Gare du Midi). Unlike those two however, Quartier Leopold station was designed as an intermediate stop rather than a terminal.
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Old 26th December 2016, 11:09   #30
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Originally Posted by paddington View Post
According to the French wikipedia, the above explanation is wrong. It was the terminus for the "South Railway" which initially went to Mons/Bergen and then later to the French border and beyond; the platforms extended into the "avenue du Midi" and the station became known as "Midi station".




The proper English translation of "Bruxelles-Midi" would be "Brussels-Meridional".

One may be more familiar with "oriental" and "occidental", the equivalents for east and west, and to save people from having to look it up, the word for north is septentrional.


If I were in charge of Eurostar I would just have called it "Brussels South station" in all English announcements and printed matters. I would also put up English signs on the Eurostar platforms.


The first time I went to Belgium, I was also very confused by the name since I thought Midi was just an affected way of saying central, as I couldn't understand why anyone would call a station "noon". Furthermore, the spelling "Zuid" does not look like "South", and only later when I went to the Netherlands did I realise that zuid in Dutch actually sounds like the English pronunciation of south which led me to understand the French name of Midi.
The name which is used on international trains is "Brussels South-Midi". And I can see what wikipedia says for the history, but the Dutch-language Brussels Newspaper Bruzz (or Brussel Deze week as it was called before) did a whole article about it earlier this year, where they said it was named after Le Midi, after talking with (railway) historians.
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