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Talk:Montreal/Archives

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Well, many of us have been wanting to do a page on Montreal. So I'm really hoping others will pitch in; I feel my Vancouver page has been a rather solo effort! In fact, I get the feeling that this is true for a number of pages here ... maybe because we're still a small group ... CL 12:23, 24 Oct 2003 (PDT)

I think you've hit on a good point. My guess is that that's the case because...

  1. We're still a small group (not yet 100 registered users).
  2. We have a really, really big world to cover -- chances are slim of overlap.
  3. We are still working out the framework for how we lay out articles, etc.
  4. All these other reasons make it so, and people consciously or unconsciously think that that's the way it "should" be, so they don't rock the boat.

I think as we get more articles, and more users, we'll see more of that WikiWay happening. (Making mental note: start a Wikitravel:Promoting Wikitravel page to discuss how to get more users/views/whatever.) I think the Australasian folks have been a good example of collaborative effort, and we should continue that.

That said, I'll take a shot at working on Montreal tomorrow. -- Evan 18:13, 27 Oct 2003 (PST)

Note: there's now something in Wikitravel:ways to promote Wikitravel. -- Evan 16:06, 29 Oct 2003 (PST)

Hi, I just met Evan at a lunch-thing and decided to stop by. I'll see if I can help with spreading the word a bit. :) Looking at the Montreal page, I noticed the "Work" section kind of, um, odd and lacking? "Illegal factory work"?? Perhaps mentioning things like the relative low cost of living, the laid-back atmosphere, "small town yet remarkably cosmopolitan" culture... These things make it an great place for freelancers, web-workers, etc... Just a thought. :) Bopuc


Well, slowly but surely, this page is getting somewhere, I guess. It's been the shoemaker's child of Wikitravel too damn long! Maj, we gotta get this baby cookin', or nobody's going to come visit us! -- Evan 15:41, 17 Nov 2003 (PST)


Have you mates agreed on something about translating street names? I think I saw all of St. Catherine, Ste. Catherine, Ste-Catherine, but no Sainte-Catherine. My advice will obviously be to use the 'real' names, that is Sainte-Catherine. For instance.

By the way, hello, I'm new to this. :-) -- Valmi 01:29, 8 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Well changed it to the official street names anyhow. --Valmi 20:20, 7 Jul 2004 (EDT)
Sounds good to me. --Evan 21:26, 7 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Hi everyone. I just want to say how great the page is. However, about the street names, I have something to add.

On Wikipedia, the main community who work on Montreal-related articles have decided on a very well-devised plan for street names. I think it can be adapted here.

Of course, as you know, Montreal is 20-25% anglophone. Most major streets once had English names (Saint Lawrence Blvd, etc..). The policy is to use English generics (Street, Blvd, Avenue, etc..), and to use "Saint" for both sexes, and to omit hyphens which aren't part of a proper name. The policy also encourages the use use of commonly understood English names with the French/official name given in brackets (not always, but frequently enough to remind the reader). So, for example:


Most Streets:

  • rue de la Savane = De La Savane Street
  • rue de l'Église = De L'Eglise St (accent may or may not be included)
  • chemin Queen-Mary = Queen Mary Rd.
  • chemin Lakeshore = Lakeshore Rd.

Streets named after people and saints:

  • rue Sainte-Catherine = Saint Catherine St
  • rue Saint-Denis = Saint Denis St
  • rue Paul-Émil-Lamarche = Paul-Émil Lamarche St (the hyphen in Paul-Émil is kept *since it is part of the name)
  • boul. René-Lévesque = René Lévesque Blvd.
  • rue Jeanne-Mance = Jeanne Mance St.
  • Christophe-Colomb = Christophe Colomb

Streets with common English names very different from French names:

  • rue de la Montagne = Mountain St (de la Montagne) (because Mountain is the very common English name)
  • av. du Parc = Park Ave. (du Parc)
  • av. des Pins = Pine Ave. (des Pins)
  • boul. Saint-Laurent = Saint Lawrence Boulevard (St-Laurent)

note that the French name in parenthesis need only be used in the first mention in each section

Streets with very similar names in both languages:

  • rue de la Cathédrale = Cathedral St (any traveller can easily figure this out)

Hyphenated names:

  • Ch. de la Côte-des-neiges = Côte des Neiges Rd (accents kept, hyphens omited. Since it is not a proper name, accents may be omited as well)

Please note that this is not translating the French street manes, it is just using the names as they are commonly used in English in Montreal. You will note that, by following the steps mentioned above (there is a more comprehensive document on Wikipedia) that you will end up with the names as they are common in English.

Of course, this strategy can be modified to fit with WikiTravel. Please let me know what you think here, so we can either enact the policy or modify it.

P.S.: I know that many will feel concerned that, since this is about Travel, travellers might be confused. However, the generics, hyphens, and accents are of no import, as they are very small on street signs. Most street specifics remain unchanged. The few that vary in English from French have the French name clearly pointed out for geographical/directional purposes, so any traveller will be able to know both names, and won't get lost (for example looking for a sign saying "Mountain St"). -Larineso 21:10, 16 Aug 2005 (EDT)

By the way, I'm not just coming in here to drop this and then leave. I want to contribute to WikiTravel and will. This just happens to be my first contribution... --Larineso 21:17, 16 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Larineso, thanks for your contribution! You point out quite correctly that the traveller comes first at Wikitravel. However, I'm a Montreal anglophone and I've never heard anyone used "Pine St" or "Saint Denis Street". I don't see the advantage for travelers in including English names that don't appear on any street signs, maps, or business cards. Can you straighten me out? --Evan 08:32, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Some of the highway signs actually say, for example, "Rue Bonaventure St." (They may have been produced by the Department of Redundancy Department.) I have heard people speak of "St. Catherine's Street", but they were all old enough to remember the 70's before the hardcore Francophone policy took over. Digamma 10:57, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)
All your points are valid. Firstly, it is a bit difficult because in Montreal, no one says the generic (We have just "Rene Levesque" or whatever and not "Rene Levesque Blvd"). But, for the sake of clarity (so we know when we're talking about a street), we use them in writing. Using ....St, Blvd., Rd., etc.. should be adopted because it's an English publication. I mean, if it were somewhere that never had any native anglophones, then ok. But Montreal has a huge anglo minority, so English names exist and should be used.
Usually, the "English" name is just the French name without hyphens and with the English generic (as in Saint Jacques St). Of course, the French names are just the old English names with hyphens and French generics. This isn't confusing to the traveller, as "Saint Jacques", "Saint-Jacques", "rue Saint-Jacques", "Saint Jacques St" is all the same. I think we can at least adopt this. I'm sure no one says "Rue St-Jacques" in English. Everyone can see that "Saint Catherine" and "Sainte-Catherine" are the same. It's not like they'll get lost or confused by a missing 'e'.
The only problem lies with the handful of streets that are different in English from the street sign. These are St. Lawrence Blvd., Mountain St., Park Ave., and Pine (Ave.). That's pretty much all I can think of. While it is necessary to give the name as it appears on the street sign, we must also acknowledge the other usage, which people will most likely also here (for example, asking for directions). So, it only makes sense to include both names. The thing is, since this is written in English, it only makes sense to use the English one with the French one in brackets:
Many of the city's trendy shops and restaurants line Saint Lawrence Blvd. (St-Laurent).
This is a compact way to show both names, eliminating confusion. There might be a very short paragraph (like 2-3 lines) about the anomalies to help travellers understand and be able to function in the city. It all may sound a bit complicated, but in fact it's just using the names that are already used in English.--Larineso 23:57, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I appreciate your dedication to this issue, but I'm having a hard time seeing why it's incumbent on us to provide these English names. The French ones are used for all official references (maps, street signs, bus routes). I've been in Montreal for quite a few years, and I've only heard a few people say "St Catherine Street" -- mostly francophones speaking to me in English and over-translating. I just don't think the effort of maintaining separate names is justified by the needs of travellers. --Evan 00:51, 19 Aug 2005 (EDT)