European multi-language guide to cycling is launched

by Published Tue 19 May 2009 15:37
European cycling lexicon launched

A multilingual dictionary of cycling terms has been produced to encourage more Europeans to convert to pedal power.

Common cycling terms such as “adjustable luggage strap”, “Bowden cable”, “bearing” and “quick release clamp” have been translated into the EU's 23 official languages, including Gaelic.

The 33-page passport-sized guide also contains images to point to, should pronunciation be difficult and is designed to help European citizens when cycling abroad to communicate easily at locations such as bicycle shops, travel agencies and railway stations.

The inititive was launched at “Velo City 2009”, an international conference on cycling policy held at the European Parliament.

European Economic and Social Comittee (EESC) secretary general Martin Westlake launched the "European Cycling Lexicon", which also contains key terms of cycling infrastructure and different types of cycles for different mobility needs.

“The very positive reactions to this lexicon that we have received so far show us that this booklet can help citizens and policy makers to overcome language barriers in cycling matters and raise awareness about good cycling policies," Martin Westlake said.

In several cases indeed the EESC translators had to create the terms for cycling infrastructure that so far exists only in some member states. “Words change thoughts and thoughts change reality," he concluded.

In addition, the EESC signed the "Charter of Brussels", a commitment to a European pro-cycling policy. Among other things, the charter calls for a policy target of at least 15% share of cycling in journeys made in Europe by 2020.

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