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Old 07-01-2013, 08:05 PM   #1
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Explain Canadian Info Signs to me!

We drove across New Brunswick and onto Prince Edward Island.

Canada is a beautiful country but frankly the signs have me a little confused. Seems they are all icons instead of English (or even French) words.

Building with a 'M' in it? I thought it was a bank ('M' for money) but evidently it was a Museum.

Bed with a cup of ice cream? Turned out the ice cream was a hard boiled egg and the sign meant a Bed & Breakfast. Do Canadians eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast all the time? That one does not click with cereal eating Americans.

Spinning wheel? I think that is a museum too but why have two icons to mean Museum?

Hand holding up a funeral ash urn? Nope. Evidently hand made crafts (NOT necessarily pottery) are right around the corner!

Small figure pointing while big figure looks through binoculars. My first thought was 'Hey Dad, bikinis over there!' but evidently it was a sign for a viewpoint. Doesn't the small figure in the sign know its not polite to point.

So I'm driving along at 110 KPH (MAXIMUM) and I'm supposed to read the multiple icons on the sign to tell me I can:
and canoe.

Also can anyone tell me what the trees on the top of PEI highway signs mean?

Happy Canada Day to all! Your country is friendly and beautiful, but help me out with the signs!

Tom and Katharine
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #2
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You have to recognize that many of the icons may be in French.

Brian, Loretta & Daisy (Golden Retriever)
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:28 PM   #3
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LOL, just trees. For decorative purposes. FYI, for information purposes, a street sign that says for example Ch. Green is Green Rd. in French. (Chemin is road). Sometimes you will see Ch. Green Rd. Parts of New Brunswick are more Francophone than others, so signage can vary. Big red signs that say ARRET mean STOP,
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:08 AM   #4
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Shoot and I thought the trees on the sign meant scenic highway
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:19 AM   #5
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Was I ever wrong; I always thought the pictograph signage was designed to be universal world-wide so everyone could follow road signs where-ever they were in the world or what=ever language they spoke.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:47 AM   #6
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Some of the pictographs (icons) are equally unintelligible in all languages.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:27 AM   #7
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It really is funny. The ancient Egyptians wrote in hieroglyphics.
Then, somebody invented the alphabet. Wow! What an improvement over those odd little pictures.

I realize that there a lot of French speakers in Canada, but in reality, most of them can also read English. There are probably more Spanish speakers in the U.S. than French speakers in Canada. I suspect that the problem is more political than practical.

Icons on signs or buttons on your dash are fine so long as the meaning is obvious. However, when they leave you scratching your head trying to figure them out, perhaps, some text would be preferable, even if multiple languages were needed.

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Old 07-02-2013, 07:36 AM   #8
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Ah the Canadians, 'eh. They got a word (sign) for everything, 'eh.
Steve & Annie (RVM2)
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:14 AM   #9
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Try speed reading this one:
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Moonrover View Post
Try speed reading this one:
Only in Canada you say! Pity(that comes from an old red rose tea commercial in an English accent).

The powers that be, think they are the only ones capable of reading the written word so they have to draw pictures for the masses.

Most of the new vehicles have little pictures on all the knobs and dials as well! It's harder to figure out the pictures so if they went back to text at least some of us would know what they mean.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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Shucks - that tree icon OBVIOUSLY means it's DOG friendly - could have used a fire hydrant icon as well...
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Moonrover View Post
Try speed reading this one:
Is Concord, North Carolina in Canada?
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jackfish View Post
Is Concord, North Carolina in Canada?
Didn't say it was. Just put up a pic of a heavily posted intersection.
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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Hey.....just be thankful you didn't visit Canada a couple of years ago during the "transition". Historically we always drove on the "left", like Britain, but to encourage tourism from the States we changed to driving on the "right". Unfortunately our then Prime Minister - The Right Honourable Tim Horton - decided to phase the change in with Trucks, Busses & RV's first and motorcycles & cars six months later....what a mess!

Next year in July we will also change to the 24hr clock, so it will be easier for our visitors from the South. However, you will have to remember that we only have 2 time zones in Canada ( East & West). Hard to knock progress but it sure is confusing and it's kinda hard to see our history and traditions slowly disappearing.

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