Signs of the Times - February 2013 - (Page 66)

‫ﺱﻝﺏﺍﻥ ﻕﻱﺭﻁ םכש ךרד‬ Word on the Street Signs Israeli street-sign regulations make U.S. sign codes appear tame. By Deborah Rubin Fields Here’s purpose of street signs? a question: What is the primary Are they meant to clarify? Most people would probably say “yes”. Most people believe road signs should help people navigate. In Israel, some people take a different view. Israeli signage, a complex subject, raises numerous questions. First, who should determine the copy? Should politicians, academicians, civil engineers or signpainters decide? Moreover, what languages should appear? Should Hebrew Photo by Ariel Fields and Arabic – both of which have legal standing as official languages – be used? Should English also be used to assist the many tourists? Should the English be a translation or just a transliteration of the Hebrew and/or the Arabic? What if a place is known by both Hebrew and Arabic names; should signs reflect both names? Let’s ponder just one example: In Jerusalem, one thoroughfare is known to Hebrew speakers as Shechem Road (‫ )םכש ךרד‬and to Arabic speakers as Nablus Road 66 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / FEBRUARY 2013 / www.signweb.com (‫ .)ﺱﻝﺏﺍﻥ ﻕﻱﺭﻁ‬Should the English part of the sign state Nablus Road (as posted on the English website of the Consulate General of the United States, Jerusalem), or should it read Shechem (the location’s Biblical name) Road, or even Derech Shechem (as printed on at least one local, English-language hotel map)? Furthermore, how accurate should the English translations be? Should qualified translators be hired to properly spell the translations from the Hebrew and Arabic, or can municipal, sign-department personnel rely on electronic translators/ dictionaries? Amazingly, when posted in English, Israeli signs sometimes display “made-up” words. Here is one example. Where highways are under construction (where in Israel aren’t they?), yellow signs often caution in English: “Trucks slowing from left.” How did all this multi-lingual mess begin? In 1922, the League of Nations approved the British Mandate for Palestine. This included Article 22, which stated: “English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any http://www.signweb.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - February 2013

Signs of the Times - February 2013
Contents
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review
Technology Review
Sign Museum News
New Products
Dressed to Impress
Uniqlo’s In-store Digital Signage
Pursuing a Different Rout
Word on the Street Signs
Industry News
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - February 2013

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