Chemins de fer

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Chemins de fer

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Ott 18, 2010, 3:04am


I see that there is a current proposal to combine the tag "chemins de fer" with "railways". I wonder if people use the French term to refer to French railways specifically?

If you agree or disagree with the tag combination proposal, you can vote here:

Modificato: Ott 18, 2010, 5:46am

A simple inspection suggests that the answer is a clear "no" - there's only one user (intres, the person who proposed the combination) using it to any extent, and his collection of railway books isn't significantly biassed towards French subject-matter, or even to the French language. (That's the way I work, too: all my French, Dutch, Swiss, German, or whatever railway books are tagged "railways".) So, in the current situation it would make sense to combine the tags.

On the other hand, if you compare "railways" with "Eisenbahn" (5 users) there is a clear difference in subject-matter. That suggests that the scope of the tag "chemins de fer" might change quite significantly if (when?) we get a flood of amateurs du rail joining LT and cataloguing their predominantly French-language books. Or are there simply more railway books in German than in French?

So, I'm voting yes for the moment, because intres's collection is clearly valuable information that it would be useful to have access to under a single tag together with the books tagged by anglophone users. But it's possible that we might have to propose a separation again at some time in the future.

Ott 26, 2010, 12:53pm

I've just voted (to combine) and good grief, I see I'm the heaviest user of the tag "railways"! (884 and counting...)

My collection includes railway books in both French and German (and Russian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Hungarian, Czechoslovak, Dutch and Latvian as well for good measure) (as well as the odd one or two in English!), so I never feel the need to tag in multiple languages. I always tag non-UK railway books with the country involved anyway.

I would probably expect that there are more railway books in German than in French; quite apart from the fact that the nations that use the German language are probably greater railfans than francophones, the railway interest itself is probably bigger in Germany than almost anywhere else, certainly on a per capita count.

I'm currently putting together a bibliography of Austrian railway literature for the UK-based Austrian Railway Group and I've currently listed more than 840 titles - and that's a small country (now) with a total population of less than 8 million and not widely known outside of mainland Europe for its railways. So I doubt there'd be loads of LT-ers wanting to catalogue lots of Austrian railway books!

Ott 26, 2010, 8:52pm

I have no opinion on the tag issue.

Robert - 884 is impressive! I haven't reached 200 yet.

Ott 27, 2010, 10:40pm

I'm the one other user of chemins de fer (3 times). The tag combination has 18 yes votes, and 0 no votes, so it's crossed the threshold.

As an American I am more prone to use railroads (154) than railways (52). Several years ago, I proposed the combination and go trounced. I think people thought the difference between railroads and railways was akin to the difference between humor and humour. For what Americans call mainline railroading, he usual term is railroads, although there are/were come significant railways that used the latter term in their title in the United States: Southern, Chesapeake & Ohio, Norfolk & Western, Florida East Coast, Kansas City Southern, Northern Pacific et al. The two major Canadian companies, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific are railways. The Library of Congress subject headings prefer the use of railroads (including street railroads) to railways.

When my combo got undone, I began tagging a number of my books with both tags. I wonder whether another effort to combine the these two tags should be done.

I use the tag public transport more than railroads (186 times), as my transport books are more local.

As for eisenbahn, I think of this term somewhat on a par with railroads, but I am not an expert on German transportation terminology.

Modificato: Ott 30, 2010, 1:25am

Yes, why not try it again vpfluke. railways and railroads seem synonymous to me.