Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nordmann-Reiser "Amerikaspesialisten"

This Norwegian company claims to specialise in travel to the two continents on the Canadian side of the Atlantic Ocean; North America and South America. An interesting feature about their corporate logo is the use of the USA's Statue of Liberty, a symbol that only represents one country on this side of the Atlantic - the USA. It does not represent Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Belize, Argentina, etc., etc. In North America and South America, and including the Caribbean, there are over 30 countries in the Western Hemisphere. In the Nordmann-Reiser 2008 catalogue, (and website), their travel stories for one of the travel destinations - Canada - is filled with several sloppy and unprofessional mistakes. How can they claim to be specialists for travel to North America when they can't even get some of the most basic of information about the country of Canada correct? These may not be major mistakes, but they reflect an attitude that permeates many in the Norwegian press and Norwegian organisations about Canada, Canadians, and Canadian culture. An attitude that verification of Canadian details, proper use of Canadian terminology, currency, geography etc., is not that important. And often, if Norwegian journalists gets the Canadian details wrong, they are "close enough" to being accurate that it doesn't really matter. An attitude that certainly reflects that Canada is not important enough to take time to get right. Oddly, does this Norwegian journalist attitude take hold when stories about the U.K., Australia, the USA are covered? Would Nordmann-Reiser start referring to Australian and American states as provinces for example? Would Nordmann-Reiser feel having as many mistakes in their coverage on the USA be acceptable as their coverage on Canada? Their mistakes about Canada include:
1)"Banff - Lake Louise: Ikke minst strekningen Colombia Icefield Parkway mellom Banff og Jasper er populær." Colombia is spelt wrong, the correct name of the Columbia river system and Columbia ice field is "Columbia." Colombia is a country in South America.
2)"Edmonton: Edmonton er hovedstaden i delstaten Alberta...Den største attraksjonen er West Edmonton Mall som nå er Nord-Amerikas nest største shoppingsenter." This is wrong. The Canadian city of Edmonton is the capital city of the Province of Alberta, not "delstaten" as is written. Canada does not have states, and has been using the French system of provinces for 345 years when Canada became a Royal Province of France. Mexico and USA are the only two countries in North America with states. As well, the Canadian shopping centre - West Edmonton Mall is the largest in Canada, the largest in North America, and is the largest entertainment and shopping centre in the world. It is larger than "Mall of America" in the USA. Many Norwegians seem to think the USA's "Mall of America" is the largest in North America, but this is not correct.
3) "Halifax: Halifax er Canadas eldste by grunnlagt i 1749 av britene og har en sterk skottsk innflytelse." Halifax is not Canada's oldest city. The Ville de Québec (founded 1608) and St. John's in Newfoundland (St. John's is the oldest English-founded settlement in Canada and in North America, by Royal Charter in 1583) are Canada's two oldest cities.
4) "Toronto: Yorkville er et trendy område mens Yonge Street er hovedgaten med bl.a. Eaton Shopping Center....Villmarksopplevelser i Algonquin National Park." In their catalogue they have Eaton Shopping Center; this is the wrong name, and is also spelt wrong. It's called and spelt the Toronto Eaton Centre. The Toronto Eaton Centre uses the Canadian spelling of "centre". Also, Algonquin Provincial Park is a provincial park in Canada, not a national park. This means the park (7630 square kilometres) is administered by the government of the Province of Ontario, and not the Canadian government. Two different types of parks and levels of government in Canada.
5) "Vancouver: World Trade Center og Vancouver Trade and Convention Center" These are also spelt wrong, and the names of the two facilities are wrong. In Canada they are spelt using the Canadian spelling of The Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre and also World Trade Centre Vancouver. Both use the Canadian spellings of "centre" not the American spelling of "center".
6) "Victoria: Hovedstaden i delstaten British Columbia ligger...Butchard Gardens." The city of Victoria is the provincial capital of the province of British Columbia. British Columbia is a province in Canada, and has been since 1871 when the British colony negotiated with the Canadians to join Canada in 1871 as Canada's 6th province. Canada has been using the French system of provinces for 345 years from 1663 when Canada became a Royal Province of France. Mexico and USA are the only two countries in North America with states, Canada does not. In addition the correct name of the gardens is "Butchart Gardens", not Butchard Gardens. Their website and catalogue are excellent examples of how little respect and attention is paid to using the correct names of Canadian places, the proper Canadian spellings, and the correct Canadian political terms and descriptions. And, it's obvious that paying attention to detail about Canada in their catalogue is not their specialty.

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