Talk:West Flanders

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Comments[edit]

It is ridiculous to resort to Google to decide what names to use in English! Dutch speaking towns and provinces have only a Dutch name officially, so that name must always take precedence. If another is often used in English, that name can be added for clarification. Example: Brugge (in English sometimes Bruges).

However, some of the people writing on Wikipedia do something even more ridiculous: they make up new English names, thus adding to the confusion. The provinces of Oost-Vlaanderen and Vlaams-Brabant, for instance, should be called by those names only. Just because "Vlaams" can be translated as "Flemish" does not justify coining the name "Flemish Brabant". The few native speakers who become familiar with the province (if they move there, for instance) will know it under its real name. Those who have to look it up from overseas will need the real name. Using the real names also avoids having to explain why "East Flanders" is located in the Western half of Flanders.

The English long used French names for German and Italian cities, but recently they have converted to using 'Firenze' and 'Aachen' rather than 'Florence' and 'Aix-la-Chapelle'. They would do the same with our names if we consistently used the right names. Why make things more difficult when the aim of Wikipedia is to explain, not to confuse?



Bruges and Ypres are not only the French translations of Brugge and Ieper but also the English, so they should be used here. A search on Google (English language sites only) gives the following results: Bruges (132,000) vs. Brugge (119,000), Ypres (39,900) vs. Ieper (15,700). OTOH, Kortrijk gives 32,200 results while Courtrai only 14,200. So, I'll leave Kortrijk and change the other two. The Dutch (and French) names can be given in the articles. D.D. 20:52 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I guess in the English Wikipedia version, the English names of the cities should be used. Is there a more authoritative source on what is the correct name though? I'll try the online dictionnary.
On the other hand, the English Wikepedia version is also the international one (not just the US-Canadian version). Personally, I think it's appropriate to add the Dutch name's in brackets. I hope you don't mind if I put them there.
I looked up the naming conventions on cities, the draft is not applicable.

http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Naming_conventions

Hdk 21:08 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I think using the English names is the most logical thing to do. The line I try to follow is: use the (most used) English name if there is one, otherwise use the (official) local name(s). There may be other lines of thought that are usable here, but I think that, at least within one country, there should be consistency. I haven't found a more authoritative source on the subject. If you find one, please let me know. If you think it's appropriate to add the local names in brackets, please do so. I don't think I'll find it too hard to live with that ;-) D.D. 21:24 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)


I've taken a look in the Merriam-Webster, and they use the policy you describe. If the city has an English name, they use this for their primary entry. (For example Warsaw, Brussels, Moscow) The local name(s) are mentionned in the explanation.
If the city doesn't have an English name, they use the official name the local administration uses for their primary entry. Variants are again mentionned in the explanation.
Strangely though, Bruges is apparantly not English, but only French. While Ypres and Courtrai apparantly are English, as they get their own entry and aren't labeled as French. M-W refers to Ieper and Kortrijk for the explanation.
My guess is they've chosen to put the explanation under the official name of the local administration.
I propose to follow M-W example. I assume they do research on what words are used in English. More than I do, anyway.  :-)
I'm just worried about the Wikipedians who'll go on a trip to Belgium, and search for Courtrai, Ypres etc. on the map in vain. ;-)

212.239.200.252 21:10 24 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I do find it very strange that Ypres and Courtrai are considered being English by M-W, and Bruges not. I've talked quite a bit with people whose first language is English, and they refer to the city as Bruges. The only source I can come up with for the moment is the van Dale GrootWoordenboek Engels - Nederlands and Nederlands - Engels. Despite what M-W says, I still think Bruges is far more common in the English speaking world than Brugge.
I wouldn't worry too much about the Wikipedians who'll go on a trip to Belgium. If they do they'll read the article about the place and find out what the local name is. D.D. 19:52 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Flag[edit]

Can someone verify the flag? I thought the West-Flemish flag was the “Oude Vlaenderen” (the currently displayed flag with the red shield on a blue field with yellow sun-rays) on the left side, and the Flemish Lion next to it on the right side.

(Here I use left as left side to the viewer = side to the flagpole, rather than the right side to the viewer as in heraldry)

As far as i know, the version with the lion is the one used in belgian context, with the lion being crowned. The lion depicts Flanders, and the crown its loyalty to belgium I THINK. 06:16, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Districts or Arrondissements?[edit]

This page calls these areas 'districts' (or, initially 'administrative districts'). But wouldn't it be better to call them 'arrondissements', to correlate with Arrondissements of Belgium and all the pages in Category:Arrondissements of Belgium. --David Edgar 18:19, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Judicial Arrondissements[edit]

The map with the Judicial arrondissements doesn't seem to add up. Not all of West Flanders is covered, the region to the North-East of Kortrijk does not seem to belong to any judicial arrondissement. I assume it belongs to Kortrijk? It's close to Ghent as well but I don't think arrondissements can cut across provinces.--Lamadude (talk) 15:08, 18 May 2008 (UTC)