Prague Metro

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by evian, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    Can someone please tell me how the Prague Metro, with regards to reliability, general frequency, cleanliness (trains and stations) and overall quality is compared to the Underground in London or the Metro in Paris?
  2. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member

    Hi Jason,
    I found the Prague metro spotlessly clean, very efficient and easy to use. I was very impressed. It is difficult to compare with the London Underground because the London tube is vast in comparison and carries far more commuters than Prague does. London tries hard but the trains can be a bit messy sometimes. As far as the Paris Metro is concerned it is a number of years since i have been there so cannot advise. Qcumber who is based in Paris and who uses this forum is probably the best person to advise you.
    Malnik another who uses this forum works for London Underground i believe. I'm sure he will post a response.
    Best regards from England,

  3. Káčko

    Káčko Member

    Comparing to London Underground, it is almost the same... Its almost smae clean, efficient and so on. I think Prague metro is much easier to use, because it i just smaller, so it easier to orientate...
  4. evian

    evian Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for your opinions, I really appreciate it. Also, are announcements made solely in Czech or Czech and English?
  5. wissy

    wissy Well-Known Member

    All announcements are in Czech ofcourse, but don't worry it's all very uncomplicated.

  6. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Yes, I've seen many a tourist with absolutely no knowledge of Czech come home able to word-for-word recite the metro announcements in Czech. :lol:
  7. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    Announcments are not just in Czech!~.
    At certain stops they will announce, Termin, please get off the train, in English! Other than that though, it just says the name of the next stop and the one that you are at. Cross over the white line and you will be met with a harsh voice from the attendant telling you to step back...

    Super clean, yes. Reliable, 100%... other than the flood days when it came to a stand still.

    Easy, of course, there are only A B and C lines!
  8. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    The Prague metro is modern, clean and efficient with large carriages. Carriages and stations are larger than in Paris, and a lot more spacious than in London where carriages are comparatively narrow and almost cylindrical. In terms of carriages, I'd say it is comparable to Barcelona's. Its only shortcoming is that it has only three lines, but they link the major squares of Prague.
    I don't remember any turnpike to acceed a platform. If you have bought a multi-transport ticket for several days, you only feed it in the "punching" machine the first time you use it.
    I used to buy mine at the tourist and ticket shop of the Museum station. This year I bought it at the airport where public transports have a shop in the concourse on your right when you arrive.
    I didn't notice any tag, and I hope it will continue that way. I didn't notice any bum, professional beggars or dangerous-looking individuals as in Paris or London. [ditto]
    The first time I used it, I was a bit puzzled by the way directions were indicated, but it took only me a minute to understand despite the fact that I'm now in my dotage.
    Of course everything is in Czech, and the stations are announced in Czech within the cars. I wouldn't expect it in any foreign language. I'm puzzled by KJP's remark that announcements are also in English. I didn't notice that, so this must be new in some stations where tourists are particularly numerous.
  9. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    Cerny Most, last stop, says, "terminus, please depart the train" (although the termius part is a bit strange)

    Reason is, so many tourists were staying on delaying it departure...

    Additionally, you will hear English at various times at the major stations like Muzeum...
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    When I was in Prague (1994-1995), I never heard any announcements in English on the metro. Occasionally, as KJP mentioned, in the stations, if some American got too close to the tracks and didn't respond to the first warning in Czech to back off, they would repeat it in English, but I only recall this happening a few times. They must have changed policies since I was there, if they are announcing any stations in English.
  11. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    Yes Sova, that was 10 years ago, they did change it, although still 99 % of the announcments are still in Czech...

    My Czechs friends found it nice to hear something in English, but promptly asked me if Terminus was correct....maybe for some, but not for Americans...Terminus is self explanatory, but I would never say that :}
  12. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    I have also heard the end of the line being announced in both Czech and English. In addition, announcements informing about tram rerouting, station closures and other irregularities can also be in both Czech and English, at least in those stations that are frequented by foreigners.

    In case you haven't seen the Prague Metro page, it's at . It includes translations of some words and phrases you may see and hear in the metro stations and on the trains.

  13. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The announcement is "Terminus, please leave the train" (I heard it yesterday).

    The Merriam-Webster says:

  14. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    This is what the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary says (current British usage, the only one that counts in Europe).

    "terminal /.../ 3.1. a place where buses, planes, ships, etc. begin or end their journeys and load or unload their passengers or goods /.../"

    "terminus /.../, termini, terminuses. The plural can be either termini or terminuses. A terminus is a large railway station or bus station where several routes begin and end, ..."

    In brief, the Prague metro announcement with "terminus" is correct. Besides the term is also used in French and probably other languages, so it is preferable to "terminal".

    I noticed the British tend to say "end of the line" in colloquial English, e.g. "She rode the bus till the end of the line."
  15. SMZ

    SMZ Well-Known Member

    This word (terminus) is also used in the US to denote the ending point of something... wiring, for example.

    Tourists from the US who didn't understand much else would understand that they're reached the route's endpoint when they hear this announcement.

  16. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    I don't think anyone would argue that terminus is wrong, it just sounds a bit too high register - "Terminus. Please evacuate the vehicle." Maybe the word was chosen because it is used in French and exists in English, and I'm sure at least has cognates in most European languages, so it seemed like the safest bet. How funny that the tourists didn't get off at the last station...I've never seen anybody stay on the Madrid metro at the last stop, no matter how obvious a tourist they are. Unless they're asleep.
  17. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    Interesting, but I don't quite see how the concept of 'high register" could apply here. Normally, every official announcement is worded in this sort of neutral style, aren't they? Do Americans expect something like: "Hey folks! Git off the train! You're arrived."? :lol:

    To come back to "terminal", I have the definite impression it is now reserved for airport terminals whereas "terminus" is used for metro, tram and bus lines.
  18. Ceit

    Ceit Well-Known Member

    I don't think neutral and high register are the same thing. Official announcements certainly avoid colloquialisms and slang, but they generally are not in the same tone one would use when addressing, say, the UN. I've never had the opportunity to use American subway systems, so I don't know for a fact what they say, but I can think of several possibilities - Last stop, End of the Line, Line Ends (Here). Somebody who has actually used the subway would have to confirm which, if any, of those phrases are used. I think Qcumber's suggestion would only be heard in the (stereo)typical small town where everybody knows/is related to each other so formalities are forgotten for the most part. :) As for "terminal", I have heard it used of bus stations, and it seems to be used for the ends of intercity or interstate lines, not for local lines. But I have nothing to back that up, maybe it's just usage without proper definition.

    Before we wander completely off topic, I'd like to add my somewhat dated praise for the Prague metro. During my several short visits years ago, I enjoyed using the Prague metro and was impressed with its overall cleanliness and the elegance of its stations. Not like in some cities I could mention. I've also seen that the city is planning extensions on two lines and two brand new lines, so there's something to look forward to next time I visit, whenever that may be.
  19. Qcumber

    Qcumber Well-Known Member

    I agree with you, Ceit, that "terminal" and "terminus" are still more of less synonymous, but as is often the case when there is this sort of semantic nebula, it tends to split into smaller ones, and each concentrates into one meaning represented by one word. My impression is that this is the sort of process we are witnessing with "terminal" and "terminus". :)
  20. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Ceit is right. Although the usage of the word "terminus" is correct, it is not common usage here in the U.S. transit system (not anywhere I've been, at least). Still, one would expect that Americans should understand this, if they are paying attention.

Share This Page