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09:46 Nov 30, 2008
This question was closed without grading. Reason: Other
Dutch to English translations [PRO] Tech/Engineering - Transport / Transportation / Shipping / Traffic and roads
Dutch term or phrase:voorrangsweg
The British English translation for the Dutch word "voorrangsweg" is "priority road". As far as I know, there is no American English equivalent. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
I think you should be careful not to confuse 'priority' with 'right of way': all road users have a right of way, but certain road users have priority over others depending on factors such as vehicle class, road class and direction. Hence 'priority road'.
Thank you, Chris, for the excellent reference from the Vienna Convention. Thank you, Jarry, for your concise confirmation. I have a lot of respect for you both and appreciate your responses very much.
Thanks to Lianne JM van de Ven and Maria Ramon for providing an "American perspective".
As the text will appear on a GPS navigation device for American travelers in Europe, I didn't feel it was appropriate to use a term (priority road) with which they would not be familiar. Instead I opted for "roads on which you always have the right of way", which I hope will be clear (and prevent accidents).
If the text is meant to provide information on driving in the US to Dutch visitors, then you should not translate this at all because, as Lianne and Maria have pointed out, this kind of road does not exist in North America, and insofar as you may sometimes have the right of way, there is no sign to tell you so. You know that you are on a main road (and this is a perfectly acceptable term) when any of the following (or a combination) is present:
1. more than two lanes (sometimes divided)
2. relatively few traffic lights and very few stop signs
3. a higher speed limit than standard for that city
4. on and off ramps
However, none of these are defining conditions and of course they may vary from place to place. I think that what you need to do is leave this out altogether and substitute a description of North American traffic rules. Also keep in mind that 'a road where you have the right of way' in traffic is very different from 'a right-of-way road'. The latter is a legal term indicating 'right of access'.
A few years ago some parts of the Dutch Highway Code were changed. The rule was that a car coming from the right always had priority. The only exception were the voorrangswegen. A yellow in white sign at a junction indicated that you were approaching a priority main road. This rule has now been modified. At the moment the rule is that a driver coming from the right has no right of way if white inverted triangles are painted on the road (junction).
US does not have roads where "driver continuously has the right of way" (and I can tell you this is REALITY in the US too). There is no sign for such a road, and it took me a while to understand the implications of this as a driver, because in the Netherlands it is one of your main orientation "moments" when driving. Do I have to stop at every intersection to make sure I have the right of way? In reality there ARE "main roads" that MOST OF THE TIME have the right of way. But it could stop any moment, indicated only by a STOP sign or traffic light. The very truth is: EVERY road IS a "priority road" and has the "right of way" UNTIL there is a stop sign. It is ONLY a stop sign that tells you that you don't have right of way - and consequently you always need to pay attention to signs and "discover" the stop signs. Fortunately you don't find stop signs just anywhere along the road without other visual cues, and if there is a stop sign to come on a road that in the Netherlands would typically be a "voorrangsweg," there is a stop sign with a "100 yards" or so sign below it, indicating that there is a stop sign down the road, or that there will be a traffic light.
I agree with Jarry's and your own proposed translation: road on which you have the right of way. "Main road" is a "users" term rather for traffic directions (follow the main road) and does not imply anything about right of way. It could have stop signs and still be the main road.
Het sein voor een voorrangsweg vind ik, na 15 jaar rij-ervaring zonder, een overbodig en ietwat misleidend sein. Het geldt ook maar totdat je bij een "einde voorrangswegsein" bent.
if it's a main road, it implies that cars travelling on it have right of way. In most countries, including US, people wanting to join traffic on main roads have to yield right of way. There are usually stop signs or other indicators. Main road is self-explanatory in this case, imo.
The context is an assignment to localize a British English translation of a tourist information guide from a Dutch provider of travel information to American English. The original Dutch text was not provided. The sentence in question pertains to travel in Austria and is as follows: "Priority roads are indicated by a blue sign with the road number indicated in white."
I think both of these suggestions are too general. Neither specifically implies the concept of a road on which the driver continuously has the right of way. And by the way "right of way", which is the US English term used for the UK English "priority" doesn't seem to provide a solution to my dilemma either: a "right of way road" is not a "priority road", it is a public road that provides access through private property. At the moment I'm leaning toward using "roads on which you always have the right of way" as the translation.
Explanation: I live in the USA - here there is no such thing as a 'voorrangsweg', and if I had to translate it I would say 'priority road' although I doubt any American would know what it is.
When there is a 'voorrangsweg' here 'you yield' that is to say, those on that road have the right of way, they go first, I go when all is clear.
Hope this helps. :-)
Maria Ramon United States Local time: 23:24 Works in field Native speaker of: English, Dutch
Reference information: Regardless of whether a 'priority road' is a known concept in a given country, the concept of a 'priority road' is regulated in the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in conjunction with the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals.
Article 10 of the latter stipulates:
-> "7. Sign B, 3, "PRIORITY ROAD", shall be used to notify users of a road that, at intersections of that road with other roads, the drivers of vehicles moving along or coming from such other roads are required to give way to vehicles moving along that road. This sign may be set up at the beginning of the road and repeated after each intersection; it may also be set up before or at the intersection. Where sign B, 3 has been set up on a road, sign B, 4, "END OF PRIORITY", shall be placed at the approach to the point where the road ceases to have priority over other roads."
Sign B3 here (the numbering has changed slightly since this version) refers to the yellow diamond with a white border, which most drivers in mainland Europe will be familiar with.
As such, I think it's fair to say that 'priority road' is the correct term here as it has been ratified by the countries that have signed the Conventions referred to above regardless of whether those countries actually use the concept of a 'priority road' in their own traffic systems.