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Poor Caching In France


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I've spent a while looking at caching opportunities in France for a forthcoming holiday. If you look at the map of Europe, France is a complete caching desert.

Look here

Many of the caches have been set by holidaymakers rather than by locals. Those that have been set by locals seem to be in a very poor state, badly maintained and often using METAL containers which soon rust and let the water in.

 

What is it about the French that so few of them are addicted to geocaching? There must be thousands of great spots for caches around the vast countryside.

 

I guess my holiday will also be a holiday from geocaching!

Edited by Firth of Forth
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And most probably must you learn french and try to find out what french word they use instead of "GEOCACHING". :)

 

Pitty about the number of caches in France, because it is a beautiful country with good food and good wine. The only problem I have is... (I think you all can fill in the blank for me :))

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And most probably must you learn french and try to find out what french word they use instead of "GEOCACHING". ;)

 

Pitty about the number of caches in France, because it is a beautiful country with good food and good wine. The only problem I have is... (I think you all can fill in the blank for me :D)

I definately want to plan a trip to Göteborg some time, it seems to be FULL of caches :)

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And most probably must you learn french and try to find out what french word they use instead of "GEOCACHING". ;)

 

How about Je geocache, tu geocaches, il geocache, elle geocache, nous geocachons, vous geocachez, ils geocachent, elles geocachent (all with an acute accent over the 'e' in 'geo'). Alternatively, how about 'faire du caching' or simply 'chercher la cache' (could be 'le' cache..) ???

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However, I may be able to claim a few in Belgium on the way back to the ferry. Although I can just about decipher French cache pages, I will have to give the Flemish ones a miss. It's a pity that such pages don't appear in other languages - how many people speak or read Flemish?

 

The rules for placing caches appear to be a bit different on the continent. Many of them are buried in the sand and you are adivsed to take a shovel (or 'shuffle' as it appeared on one page).

 

Here is an example

Edited by Firth of Forth
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For a striking example of the difference between France and neighbouring countries, go to this cache, click on "Geocaching.com maps", and do a maximum zoom out. You can see the German and Swiss frontiers drawn in caches !

 

One reason why France has no more Geocaches than, say, Switzerland is this French-based game, which requires no GPS. I don't know if that also explains the split in Geocaching density between the north (Dutch-speaking) and south (French-speaking) halves of Belgium.

 

Also don't forget that French people aren't necessarily all that great at English, so many won't necessarily have put in the effort to get over the "what is this GC thing" barrier. I've lived in France for 14 years, speak fluent French (90% of my work is done in French), but I never ever watch French TV: at the end of the day, I want to be comfortable and relaxed. And much the same applies when you go surfing the Web, I think.

 

I don't agree about the "burying in sand" thing - the worst I've seen is a big pile of leaves. But you may well find items in caches that would upset US approvers. I've found a condom (unused, I hasten to add !), a soft porn computer game, lighters, a can of beer, and sweets, just to name a few.

 

Anyway, in my part of France, there are at least 5 caches very well-maintained by a local resident ;) (my other two are a bit further away but I do get down there 2-3 times a year).

Edited by sTeamTraen
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What is it about the French that so few of them are addicted to geocaching?  There must be thousands of great spots for caches around the vast countryside.

 

I guess my holiday will also be a holiday from geocaching!

Is it because they spend too much time washing?! ;):DB):D:)

 

Cheers!

 

Seasider

Edited by Seasider
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I have a cache in Tocqueville. It is near our family owned cottage. We are going for a visit in August. It's only had a few visitors but we are happy for them. We thought we might get a few more as people would be going for the d-day celebrations. The nearest caches are 23 miles south. We have also found the cache that is at Mont St Michel.

We hope to do quite a bit of cacheing in the south of England when we are over. It's hard to know which ones to choose I have so many on my watch list!!

So little time, so many pubs!!

 

ttfn

Jane

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Regarding the Flemish question, the word simply means "Dutch speaking Belgian", it isn't a language. Well over half of all Belgians speak it, as do all Dutch.

That may be officially true, in that official Belgian government documents will speak about the "Dutch-speaking region", but when a Flemish/Dutch speaking Belgian goes to Brussels and wants to know what language to speak to someone, he will typically ask "spreekt U vlaams ?" rather than "spreekt U nederlands". (I presume y'all can work that out.)

 

The written languages are formally the same, although if you read a 100-word article in a newspaper there will be two or three words which give the game away.

 

I would estimate that the differences in daily usage are comparable to those between US and UK English. And just as the Brits tend to think that the Americans are too numerous, vulgar and don't speak the language properly: well, the 5 million Flemish tend to think that the 15 million Dutch are loud, vulgar, and speak funny...

Edited by sTeamTraen
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And most probably must you learn french and try to find out what french word they use instead of "GEOCACHING". :unsure:

 

Pitty about the number of caches in France, because it is a beautiful country with good food and good wine. The only problem I have is... (I think you all can fill in the blank for me :blink:)

I definately want to plan a trip to Göteborg some time, it seems to be FULL of caches :lol:

There is about 300-400 caches in the city of Göteborg :lol:

 

It is always rough when people email us and ask "Hi, can you recommend a few caches?" :lol:

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However, the point is still that not that many people speak Dutch/Flemish or whatever you want to call it, so the opportunties for the vast numbers of people travelling through these countries to geocache are limited. I just wonder whether geocaching.com could organise a translation for those cache pages written in some of the less popular languages. It is to their credit that some cachers have taken the trouble to provide their own translations (which sometimes results in fairly hilarious phrases or words).

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I was trying to not be too technical! :-)

 

I have many Vlaams and Nederlands friends, and travel the areas frequently. It is clear that for practical purposes the languages are the same.

 

Now, are there any cache descriptions in Geordie?

Nonetheless, you were totaly correct, LG.

 

The Netherlands and Flemish varieties of Dutch are much closer to each other than the US and UK varieties of English. They are actually identical, using the same spelling, the same dictionaries, the same authoritative grammar books, etc. The Dutch and Flemish ministries of education and culture have each delegated some of their tasks to a joint institution which works, among other things, on issueing these joint dictionaries and references, and on joint standardization of technical terminology, where relevant.

 

Indeed, the only difference between Standard Dutch as used in the Netherlands and in Flanders is in terminology, much of which will never be standardized, because it is culture- or country-specific. To name an example: the word for attorney-general is different in Flanders than it is in the Netherlands. This is the level of differences you will find in a 100 word newspaper article. If you read a book, you won't find any difference at all. As said: not even in terms of spelling.

 

Of course, as in every language, when people start speaking you will hear which area they come from. But this goes much beyond hearing whether someone is from the Netherlands or from Flanders. Usually, you can pinpoint the geographical region quite accurately, and often the exact city.

 

'Vlaams' or 'Flemish' is usually a regional rather than a linguistic adjective. When used as a linguistic adjective, it usually is either derogatory or a sign of (common) ignorance when used by non-Flemings, or a sign of Flemish-nationalistic, anti-Francophone or local dialect-patriotic pride when used by Flemings themselves. In the latter sense, 'Flemish' is an inclusive name for the dialects of Flanders, whereby, to complicate things, Flanders might either be the modern Northern Belgian region of Flanders (defined as the area where DUTCH is the official language, and which also includes most of the old duchies of Brabant and Limbourg and even a sliver of the old bishopric of Liège), or the historical County of Flanders, which includes areas in the Southwest of the Netherlands, all of Western Belgium, and some areas in nothern France. The two overlap only partially. In no way is there something like standardized Flemish, and certainly such would not be an official language of Flanders.

 

Off the soap box :-)

 

For my credentials as an authority, check out

My Webpage

Edited by Shunra
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And most probably must you learn french and try to find out what french word they use instead of "GEOCACHING". :unsure:

 

How about Je geocache, tu geocaches, il geocache, elle geocache, nous geocachons, vous geocachez, ils geocachent, elles geocachent (all with an acute accent over the 'e' in 'geo'). Alternatively, how about 'faire du caching' or simply 'chercher la cache' (could be 'le' cache..) ???

je n'est pas un mougle

 

(excuse my French)

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Ooooh no! No automatic translations please. Don't you remember when Nick & Ali tried to translate into Swedish a while ago? :blink:

 

Even when the english original text was translated directly to english (english -> english) went it wrong...

Link to the topic

 

It is better that the reviewers (approvers) in these countries do require people to write their cache pages in at least english. In Sweden are the most cache pages written in English only, and some are in both English and Swedish.

If someone wants to list a new cache with a Swedish description only, do the reviewers approve it, but they will also make a note that the cache owner should write in English also.

 

English is a world language. Despite what the french population says [:unsure:]

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Ooooh no! No automatic translations please. Don't you remember when Nick & Ali tried to translate into Swedish a while ago? :unsure:

 

Even when the english original text was translated directly to english (english -> english) went it wrong...

Link to the topic

 

It is better that the reviewers (approvers) in these countries do require people to write their cache pages in at least english. In Sweden are the most cache pages written in English only, and some are in both English and Swedish.

If someone wants to list a new cache with a Swedish description only, do the reviewers approve it, but they will also make a note that the cache owner should write in English also.

 

English is a world language. Despite what the french population says [:blink:]

I agree with the no automatic translation bit. They are attrocious and misleading. If someone needs and wants automatic translation, they can do it, at their own risk and responsibility when viewing a foreign-language cache page. A cache owner should not be required to put gibberish on his cache page.

 

However, I strongly disagree with the requirement for English. It would result in the following:

 

- Bad and misleading English texts, probably machine-translated

- Less submissions from the respective areas, because not everyone can create or afford good translations

- Defection of prospective cache owners to other sites, without such requirements, and the splintering up of the global geocaching community.

 

Let's keep this unregulated, please. Every cache owner, by choosing the language(s) for his cache page, will cater to the type of cacher he likes to attract, local, tourist, or both.

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I agree - The last thing caching needs is to be branded with a form of cutural imperalism that says everything should be accessable to anglophones.

 

I speak only smatterings of langagues like French , German, Dutch and Finnish - I can order a beer and that is about it. I certainly could not read a cache description. Nonetheless, I would not want to force English on other cachers even if they would probably get more visitors if they did.

 

I would say the solution is to use the Forums to try and team up with a native.

 

BTW, the Dutch speakers in Begium only got persecution of their language terminated by threatening civil war with the French speaking Government at the end off WWI. Until then they were prohibited from using the language officially, and it was not even taught in schools.

 

Having taken up arms (actually, it was more like refusing to put them down) to earn the right to use Dutch - I think we should leave them to it, and they are the majority in Belgium.

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I managed to log 8 caches last week in the south of France. They were mostly very good in quality (the Garrigues series was particularly good). I didn't find any dodgy items in them (pity) and they were the usual tupperware-type containers (except for the couple of micros), hidden in the conventional fashion. There does seem to be quite a bit of activity with them as well: lots of logs and new caches appearing.

 

Hopefully a few other British geocachers will visit - although the numbers aren't enough for a really productive geocaching week, the approach of going there for a holiday and logging a few caches works quite well as the southern ones all seem to be located in places that you'd want to go anyway.

 

HH

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I like the idea of teaming up with a local. That sounds like it could be a pretty neat thing. :unsure:

 

I also support the idea of caches in the vernacular. That is something I love so much about Europe: diverse languages, diverse cultures. Perhaps a solution to the lack of abundant foreign caches is the inverse to English-translation idea: offer main www.geocaching.com pages in "foreign". (Are there corresponding sites to GCUK?)

 

Elizabeth, an American ex-pat

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Ooooh no! No automatic translations please. Don't you remember when Nick & Ali tried to translate into Swedish a while ago? :unsure:

 

Well we did try!!! :)

 

By the way Hedberg - only just seen your last message on the Forum asking for feedback. We didn't do too many caches (3 or 4 I think), but loved the trip and will almost certainly be back when it starts to snow!

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