Talk:Pont du Gard

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Good article Pont du Gard has been listed as one of the Art and architecture good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Capacity[edit]

The official website of the aqueduct (according to Unesco, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344) gives the flow rate of the operational aqueduct as 35 to 40,000 cubic meters daily, which would mean 8.8 million UK, or 10.5 US gallons.

http://www.pontdugard.fr/page.php?rub=325&langue=GB — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dreacos (talkcontribs) 09:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Age[edit]

Does anyone know the true age of the Pont Du Gard? The article says 19BC but the offical web site and the linked references all say the Nimes aqueduct was completed between 40AD and 60AD? Any clues anyone? --Nickj69 13:43, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I'll try reading the article properly next time... --Nickj69 12:57, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

History[edit]

The first paragraph is confusing. It suggests the bridge was built in 19 BC or circa 50 AD, then goes on to say that its building is attributed to Agrippa. Agrippa died in 12 BC.

Also, the book "Bridges and Men" claims that mortar was used for the top tier of arches.

Typo in quote?[edit]

The article repeats a quote from Hilaire Belloc that reads in part "One can response in it. [...] A man, suffering from the unrest of our time, might do worse than camp out for three days, fishing and bathing under the shadow of the Pont du Gard." I'm normally uncomfortable with changing an attributed quote without being able to see the original, but I'm certain that response should be repose. I will be bold and change it, with the hopes that someone with access to the source will see this note and verify. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 18:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Pont du Gard/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: MathewTownsend (talk · contribs) 13:10, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

  • I'll review this article.

note - there are three dead links caught by the link checker - I checked them and they are dead.

MathewTownsend (talk) 13:10, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

review
  • I'm a little confused by the headings. In the lede, there doesn't seem to be a mention of the "Nîmes aqueduct" but under "Description" the first heading is "The Nîmes aqueduct" and the first sentence starts: "The Nîmes aqueduct originally carried water". I see that you're making a distinction between the aqueduct and the Pont du Gard. Perhaps under "Description" there can be a preliminary explanation of the distinction, especially since the name of the article is Pont du Gard. But the Pont du Gard heading is much farther down in the article.
  • Erm, the second sentence in the lede says that the PdG is "part of the 50 km-long Nîmes aqueduct"... Prioryman (talk) 00:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "the Garrigue hills - shouldn't this be in lower case? "garrigue" as its a type of hill.
  • Actually garrigue is a kind of habitat, rather like chaparral or maquis. But the hills outside Nimes are specifically known as the Garrigues de Nîmes. I see someone has reworded the passage to make the point clearer. Prioryman (talk) 00:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • As far as I can tell, the source given (Bromwich, James (2006)) doesn't discuss the Garrigue hills, so I added a [citation needed] tag to point that out.
  • I'll have to check this, I don't have Bromwich to hand right now, but if I remember rightly the hills are mentioned but not named - I added the name from the map I had of the area. Prioryman (talk) 00:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "Nonetheless it seems to have continued to supply water to Nimes until as late as the 9th century." - "seems" is not encyclopedic wording. Perhaps something like "According to [source], it continued to supply water ... "?
  • I needed to check this, because I'd heard that there had been more recent research done on the topic. That turns out to be the case and I've reworded this bit to add the latest research. Prioryman (talk) 21:50, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "The Pont du Gard's design represents a fairly early stage in the development of Roman aqueducts. Its designer's technique of stacking arches on top of each other is clumsy and expensive, as it necessitates the use of a very large amount of stone." This doesn't seem to be supported by the source given at the end of the paragraph (Hill, Donald Routledge (1996)) - also "fairly early" is vague.
  • will put on hold until nominator weighs in. Having trouble verifying info as many citations are either dead links, or don't have enough information to track down.
  • Also, the quotes from the Literary visitors should all be punctuated the same way. The first on can be the model: "Jean-Jacques Rousseau was overwhelmed when he first visited it in 1738:" So a colon should be used for each of the following quotes. Also, some of the quotes don't start with a capital letter. e.g. "one is struck dumb with astonishment;" If this quote started in the middle of a sentence, then use "[O]ne is struck dumb" etc.
OK, done. Prioryman (talk) 21:50, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • "It was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1985." This is mentioned in the lede but isn't mentioned in the article where it should be expanded upon. What were the features that enabled it to be added the the list?
  • Actually it was already in the article in the "Tourism" section, but I've moved the bit on UNESCO to the preceding section and added the criteria on which it was listed. Prioryman (talk) 21:50, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Just a few fixes and this can become a good article.

MathewTownsend (talk) 17:56, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

GA review-see WP:WIAGA for criteria (and here for what they are not)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    a. prose: clear and concise, respects copyright laws, correct spelling and grammar:
    b. complies with MoS for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation:
    • per lead: "The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview. ... The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic ...". Because the organization of the article and the way the lead is written, it doesn't serve as a "concise overview".
    the first section heading is "The Nîmes aqueduct" which is confusing because it's barely mentioned in the lede, yet this section is quite long. The second section heading is "The Pont du Gard" (the name of the article)
    • Per section headings, the article's name should not be repeated in the section heading.
    • Per words to watch: use of vague wording e.g. "fairly well understood", "a fairly early stage in the development of Roman aqueducts", "it seems to have continued to supply water".
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    a. provides references to all sources in the section(s) dedicated to footnotes/citations according to the guide to layout:
    there is one citation that is a dead link
    b. provides in-line citations from reliable sources where necessary:
    c. no original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic:
    b. it remains focused and does not go into unnecessary detail (see summary style):
  4. Does it follow the neutral point of view policy.
    fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    no edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    a. images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    b. images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    The GA1 was opened on July 12. This is close to a good article, but no work on it has been done since July 16 and all the review points have not been addressed. With a few fixes, the article can be renominated.

Best wishes, MathewTownsend (talk) 11:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Pont du Gard/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: MathewTownsend (talk · contribs) 22:27, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

review
  • Some problems in the first review remain.
  • The The Nîmes aqueduct is not mentioned as such in the lede. Thus it's confusing that the first section is "The Nîmes aqueduct". Elsewhere in the article it's called "The Roman aqueduct". Recommend calling that section "Aqueduct" and "The" shouldn't be there anyway.
  • The second section heading is "The Pont du Gard" (the name of the article). Per section headings, the article's name should not be repeated in the section heading. Recommend calling it "Bridge".
  • I've retitled both sections. Prioryman (talk) 21:19, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In the "Aqueduct" section, a paragraph starts out "The spring still exists and is the site of a small modern pumping station." Then it describes various problems described in the past tense. e.g. "The carbonates caused significant problems for the maintenance." (Is this still true?) "Another threat was posed by vegetation penetrating the stone lid of the channel." (Is this still true?) "It required constant maintenance by circitores, workers responsible for the aqueduct's upkeep, who crawled along the conduit scrubbing the walls clean and removing any vegetation. (Was this in the past, but not now? How do they deal with these problems now?)
  • They don't. The problems described were the ones faced by the Romans. I've reworded this bit to make it clearer. Prioryman (talk) 21:19, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In the two adjacent paragraphs beginning "The method of construction is fairly well understood." and "The builders would have made extensive use of cranes and block and tackle pulleys to lift the stones into place" use the word "would" six times. How about "[historians blah and blah] speculate that...". Or Some other wording? Even "could" would be better.
  • There's not much speculation involved, we know how the Romans built things because they described it, left pictures of themselves building things and some of the tools they used have survived. I've reworded it a bit to reduce the repetition. Prioryman (talk) 21:19, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Under "Tourism" there is a paragraph starting: "The bridge has had a long association with French monarchs seeking to associate themselves with a symbol of Roman imperial power." There is no explanation how this relates to tourism; rather is seems to relate to politics. Should it be moved to "History"? (Does Obama going to Colorado because of the recent shooting there relate to tourism?)
  • I categorised it under "Tourism" because the French monarchs effectively pioneered tourism to the Pont du Gard - a series of kings and emperors visited it while on tours of the region, and their interest raised its profile; because of their influence (and in some cases direct sponsorship) artists also went there to paint it. Yes, it had a lot to do with politics, but it was also a matter of aesthetics - it's very different from Obama in Colorado; he's not there to see the sights. Prioryman (talk) 21:29, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • In the lede the "History" seems to be mainly represented by its roll as a toll road and as a tourist destination. Do you think the lede fulfills the requirement of lead?
  • I usually aim for about 400-500 words for a lead; currently it's 440 words, which I think should be sufficient. The "History" is covered in both the second and third paragraphs of the lead. Prioryman (talk) 21:19, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

MathewTownsend (talk) 18:22, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

GA review-see WP:WIAGA for criteria (and here for what they are not)

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    a. prose: clear and concise, respects copyright laws, correct spelling and grammar:
    b. complies with MoS for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    a. provides references to all sources in the section(s) dedicated to footnotes/citations according to the guide to layout:
    b. provides in-line citations from reliable sources where necessary:
    c. no original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    a. it addresses the main aspects of the topic:
    b. it remains focused and does not go into unnecessary detail (see summary style):
  4. Does it follow the neutral point of view policy.
    fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    no edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    a. images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    b. images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    Pass!

Removal of the translation Gard Bridge[edit]

Gard Bridge is not "faux English", it is the correct translation of Pont du Gard (bridge named after body of water it crosses, cf Forth Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, etc.). The fact that the structure is an aqueduct over the Gardon is irrelevant: it "should" be called Aqueduc du Gardon in French too, but it isn't.

I would, however, be happy to to say "literally" rather than "English", the way we do to explain many foreign expressions (eg, sine die, literally "without date"). So: Pont du Gard, literally "Gard Bridge". Hopefully acceptable?

Awien (talk) 16:15, 16 July 2013 (UTC)

No. I wish I could agree. The Name of the structure in English is 'Pont du Gard', and it has been since 1730. This had been investigated many times and the World Heritage Site List- which is written in English translates it as 'Pont du Gard'. There is a problem translating all the Pont-de, Pont-du articles as in some like Pont-du-Diable a translation is helpful others like this one it isn't. Can you tell me what a Gard is? A serious question because there is a departement le Gard, with which I am very familiar but we have place names such as Rochefort-du-Gard, Castillon-du-Gard which are nowhere near the Gardon river. While bridge is the school boy translation of 'pont'- it also means 'axle' and in one case it means 'sea'.
I thought just dropping the whole issue was free of controversy.
I looked for precedents but have found none. If we are to invent a name we must have a reference trail. Where was the name first used, what is it officially called and each time we are back to Pont du Gard in English and French and Puente del Gard in Spanish and Lo pònt de Gard / pont de Gard in the local Occitan. So looking at Forth Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge neither of them attempts to say " Forth Bridge: ((en:Forth Bridge))... "
But Ive got a better idea- how about a site visit (or a Wikimeet) next month- I'll buy the first bottle of wine. -- Clem Rutter (talk) 17:29, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
The name was already translated "Bridge of the Gard", which is a poor translation because it isn't how we would actually phrase it in English. I merely improved the existing translation, as I am qualified to do as a fully bilingual, recently retired French professor. What conceivable objection can there be to letting readers know what the name means literally? That's not re-naming, it's merely a clarification.
The rest of what you write is really beside the point, so I'm not going to address it.
As for meeting there, you missed me in March. No plans to be back in the near future. Sorry!
Awien (talk) 23:00, 16 July 2013 (UTC)
To be honest, though, I've never seen it translated into English - even in the oldest sources I've checked (200 years or more) it's always referred to as the Pont du Gard, untranslated. It's a bit unusual in this regard; after all we don't refer to the Tour Eiffel in English, or the Circo Massimo. I think this may be one of the rare examples of a foreign name which is never conventionally translated into English, so on this occasion I would suggest leaving out the translation. Prioryman (talk) 06:21, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
But don't you see? It's precisely because the Pont du Gard kept its French name that it's useful to have the translation (in brackets, as a clarification). And the norm on WP is that whichever language ends up as the headword, the other is also given. To take your own examples, their entries read
The Circus Maximus (Latin for great or large circus, in Italian Circo Massimo)
The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel . . .)
Same thing for [1] [2] [3] and so on - both languages.
Awien (talk) 13:36, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
So allowing time for potential disagreement, I propose to either restore (literally: Gard Bridge), or add the more explanatory (bridge over the Gard). Any preference? Awien (talk) 21:51, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
As you have not achieved consensus- I suggest you leave it as it is. There is no need to provide an English translation for an English name. that has nor been challenged since 1730, a name used in its World Heritage Listing. Your made up translation I have discussed above- the more explanatory note about a bridge over a non-existent river needs more work. It may be different if you could provide a reference then we could discuss it. If you want to write a separate section on etymology- check this GA first- to see if it has already been discussed.-- Clem Rutter (talk) 23:13, 17 July 2013 (UTC)
If there's something wrong with translation by a competent translator, why would WP actively encourage it? [4] No reference or paper trail is required; if you can, you just do it.
Pont du Gard isn't English, it's French. English has just chosen to retain the original name, but that's no reason not to clarify what it means literally. To do so seems to be the norm rather than not: see Funkturm, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Circus Maximus, etc. above.
If the article was Good with a poor translation (Bridge of the Gard), why would its status be threatened by the translation being improved? English doesn't say Bridge of the Narrows, it says Narrows Bridge, and so on, hence Gard Bridge.
Gard vs Gardon is covered in the linked Gardon article, but might actually be usefully clarified in this one, given the bridge's name.
Awien (talk) 00:23, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
There is already a footnote about the Gard vs Gardon issue. As for the translation, a Google Books search indicates that "Bridge of the Gard" is the more often used form where a translation is given - including by Britannica [5]. I guess if it's good enough for Britannica it should be good enough for Wikipedia. Prioryman (talk) 05:04, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, if we have to settle this on the basis of my website's bigger'n your website rather than fundamental principles of translation, the Official website of the French Government Tourist Office has Gard Bridge:
[6]
I quote: "The Gard Bridge – a grandiose work of art, elegant and fascinating".
So since the actual wording seems to be the only outstanding issue, and the French Government's version is as official as it gets, can we declare consensus to restore Gard Bridge, and get on with our lives?
In hope, Awien (talk) 15:58, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't support that, for two reasons - my Google Books search suggested that it is far less widely used than the alternative (and not used by such high-quality sources), and the French website is clearly translated by a non-native English speaker, so it is less likely to be idiomatically satisfactory. Britannica prefers "Bridge of the Gard" - I'd support going with that as we can show that it's both more widely used and has an impeccable pedigree in high-profile native English sources. Prioryman (talk) 17:07, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm (temporarily) speechless. You ask for official, you get official, the term endorsed by the relevant organ of the French government, and then YOU think that YOU can overrule that? Even if it were wrong, you would be out of line, but it's both right, and OFFICIAL. Enough already! Awien (talk) 18:16, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
You know, I'm offering a compromise solution here - ClemRutter wanted it out of the article altogether, you wanted a different name. I think splitting the difference is an acceptable middle option. Please don't forget this place works on the basis of consensus and negotiation. Prioryman (talk) 20:44, 18 July 2013 (UTC)


I had just finished drafting this when your comment appeared. I hope you will try to read it with an open mind.

A good translation accurately conveys the sense of the original language, while sounding as though written in the target language: normal syntax, idiomatic, “sounds right”. “Bridge of the Gard” fails this test because the word-by-word translation fails to yield normal English syntax: I can’t think of any bridge in an anglophone country whose name follows the pattern Bridge of the (name of the body of water). The pattern is (name of the body of water) Bridge: Forth Bridge, etc., as above.

This is because in French, the relationship between two nouns has to be be made explicit with a preposition: balle de tennis, confiture de fraises . . . Pont du Forth, etc., whereas in English the norm is for one noun to modify another by placing them in apposition: tennis ball, strawberry jam . . . Forth Bridge, etc.

So it’s “Bridge of the Gard” that’s the gallicism, not Gard Bridge, and by the same token, Gard Bridge is not a gallicism perpetrated by a francophone translator.

And just so you know, the French Government Tourist Office hires native anglophones with native-like French and a university degree to work on their English copy. It’s where a fellow-student of mine went to work with his good degree from a good university.

All of which is irrelevant, because the term endorsed by the the Government of France is the one WP should use. Period. Please think about it. It would be nice to get on with our lives, wouldn't it?

Awien (talk) 21:07, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I thought that letting this drop, and ommiting an attempt at a translation was the compromise. We have multiple authoriative sources- World Heritage Listing v. local tourism industry. We have first printed source v latest official translation. We have the problem of what the source language is- Pónt de Gard v Pont du Gard/ Occitan v Standardised northern French. We have the confusion of the River (in French) being the Gardon while the département being the Gard. We have the problem of 'le Gard' being a shortform for Les Garrigues Gardoises. We have differing explanations in different editions of the EB (in the 9th/10th Edition (The Scholar's edition- the last European edited edition) it is in the article on Aqueducts)bbbb.
In Kent we are sensitive to the two English Genitive forms: Kentish Men/Men of Kent both being the only correct form in different parts of the County- we have the Kingsferry bridge- over the Swale, which is also not a river! And until it was renamed, the Dartford bridge was a bridge near Dartford, a town where one could ford the Darent. Rules don't always work.
I researched at all of this when I drew File:Aqueduct-de-nimes.svg and came to the conclusion that I would never solve it. This is a fascinating topic for a round the table multilingual conversation- but no conclusion will be reached. The offer of a bottle of wine still stands. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ClemRutter (talkcontribs) 07:56, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Rochester, eh? With its famous Bridge of the Medway . . . Oh, oops, that’s Medway Bridge (or Viaduct), like Golden Gate Bridge, Millau Viaduct, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Royal Gorge Bridge, Bosphorus Bridge, New River Gorge Bridge, Bixby Creek Bridge, Iron Cove Bridge, Peace River Bridge, Pitt River Bridge, Jemseg River Bridge. Can you name me even ONE bridge whose English name is Bridge of (the) X? In your own examples, I see no Bridge of the Kingsferry, Bridge of Dartford, yet Bridge of the Gard was acceptable to you, while Gard Bridge isn’t? Makes no sense.
Btw, there are two spelling mistakes in the title of your map file: “viaduct” should be viaduc, and “Nimes” should be Nîmes; and it’s Beaucaire, not “Beaucaires”. Maybe your French is not so hot? But just so you know, mine is level 5.
Now, re “I . . . came to the conclusion that I would never solve it.” YOU don’t have to. WP welcomes and actively solicits the input of qualified translators, I’m a super-qualified translator, and I tell you that the correct English translation of the WORDS Pont du Gard is Gard Bridge. The form in occitan, the fact that the département is the Gard, synonymy with Garrigues, and so forth and so on, have no bearing. You’re unduly complicating what’s actually very simple: Pont du Gard translates as Gard Bridge.
Similarly, “no conclusion will be reached.” WE don’t have to reach a conclusion, WP goes with the most authoritative source. A branch of the government of France chooses both to translate Pont du Gard on its English page, and to translate it as Gard Bridge. That should be good enough for us.
So the bottom line is that a poor translation, Bridge of the Gard, was acceptable to you, while a good, OFFICIALLY sanctioned translation, Gard Bridge, is not, so get rid of it altogether? Makes no sense.
Oh, and there’s no genitive in Kentish Men, that’s an adjective modifying a noun. As for Maid(!) of Kent (is it still running?), the fact that X of Y exists as a structure in English doesn’t alter the fact that it isn’t used in the naming of bridges. You’re comparing apples and oranges. Maybe you’re not very highly qualified in grammar or linguistics either? My master’s (French) was a 50-50 split between literature and linguistics, and I spent over 40 years teaching grammar at the university level.
As for that bottle of wine, restore the correct, French-government-sanctioned, actual not attempted, real not faux English translation Gard Bridge, and I’ll bring the wine. I should be passing by Rochester come October . . .
Awien (talk) 16:36, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Lets start at the bottom. Love to see you in October- particularly if you want to do a stop over after a late ferry. I am proficient in bad French, bad German and my English is deteriorating rapidly- I left doing language degrees to my wife and daughter. I have no preference for either of the translations just the fact that an English word doesn't need a translation though were it to, and were it over a river called the Gard then I would side with you. It is not a matter of accuracy but a Manual of Style issue- and here we enter uncharted water, and if I could find the section I probably would want to rewrite that as well. I just look to the World Heritage list as being more authoritative. Personally (no proof) I think that the Pont du Gard (en) was a mis-translation of the Occitan ( Pónt de Gard) spoken in 1738 around Nisme! (What ever happens I am not going to revert- there are other fishes to fry.
The Man of Kent, a pub in Rainham, Kent is a useful aide-mémoire - and the battles that we fought to stop that being renamed to Rainham, Medway. It is interesting in that the dividing line between Kentish Men etc went along the parish boundary between there and Gillingham, not along the Medway at this point.
Bridge of Dee,Bridge of Don, Bridge of Allen and the famous Bridge of Sighs
The map- change the name please. I sort out the Beaucaires problem- well spotted. Feel free to copy edit anything I have written in French. :::My editing will be limited during August due to lack of WiFi access- but I will check my emails.-- Clem Rutter (talk) 20:13, 19 July 2013 (UTC)
Following precedent and starting at the bottom . . . I'll gladly help with French any time you like - just ask. But change a file name? No way! Weird things happen if you mess with file names (OK, if I mess with file names).
Is Scots English? Its proponents seem to consider it a language in its own right. And "sighs" is neither water nor place. Mais à part ça . . .
Fish to fry? Are you handy to a chippie? Man of Kent? You interest me strangely!
Anyway, bonne nuit unless it ends up being bonjour, Awien (talk) 22:55, 19 July 2013 (UTC)