This train terminates here. Please leave the train upon arrival.

AndrasBP

Senior Member
Hungarian
"This train terminates here. Please leave the train upon arrival."
This is an English-language announcement I hear every day on the Budapest underground. It is spoken by a native speaker of British English.
Does it sound natural to you? I have the impression that it's a bit awkward and 'officialese'. In the first sentence, do you think the verb "terminates" could be replaced by a noun that would correspond to the Hungarian term, literally translated as 'end station'? (Also 'Endstation' in German.) Terminus? Sound too formal to me.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To me, "This train terminates here" sounds fine. It's the next bit (leave … on arrival) that sounds a bit weird.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    US English
    In the first sentence, do you think the verb "terminates" could be replaced by a noun that would correspond to the Hungarian term, literally translated as 'end station'?

    Yes, they could say "This is the last station for this train." or "This is the last stop for this train." In both cases "this train" means "today's run or journey on this train". If anyone was unclear what that meant, it would be clear when the next sentence told everyone to exit the train. The reason everyone must exit is that the train goes no farther.

    In AE, "The train terminates here." is odd, and sounds wrong.The WR dictionary lists it as correct, but says it is only used for "rail transport". In other words, you can only say this about trains. Personally, I have never heard it. I have always heard "last stop", or sometimes "end of the line".

    To me, the thing that "terminates" is the journey, the trip, the run, or the subway line: not the train (the vehicle). To me the sentence "The train terminates here" means "we are going to destroy the train here". Obviously that isn't the intended meaning.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Well it's better than "Please de-train upon arrival" or "Please exit upon arrival" :D Or even "This train terminates here. Please get off now!":eek:
    I'm fine with terminates - perhaps it's a BE thing:)

    Random House @WRF has
    (of a public conveyance) to end a scheduled run or flight at a certain place:[no object]The boat ride terminates in downtown Prague.
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In AE, "The train terminates here." is odd, and sounds wrong.The WR dictionary lists it as correct, but says it is only used for "rail transport". In other words, you can only say this about trains. Personally, I have never heard it. I have always heard "last stop", or sometimes "end of the line".

    Likewise:thumbsup:
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    In British English, terminate is perfectly normal with trains, buses and trams. In one sense it is 'officialese'; if you were asking someone you would say 'where is this train going (to)?' not 'where does this train terminate?', but 'this train terminates here' doesn't sound contrived.
    The traditional announcement in Britain to ask people to leave a train is 'please alight here', and its use dates back over a century, long before recorded announcements or public address on trains, when it was shouted out by station staff. You'll still see it written on signs (or, more commonly, 'do not alight here'), but it's becoming unusual in verbal announcements as 'alight' isn't used this way in any other situation and many people don't know its meaning.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thank you very much for your replies.

    "This train terminates here" is a standard announcement on British trains too.

    It is wrong, of course, because it means, literally, "This train ceases to exist here".

    The correct version would be "This journey ends here"

    Do you mean that British Railways use the word in a way that is considered 'bad English'? Some sort of strange 'Railwayese'?
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you very much for your replies.



    Do you mean that British Railways use the word in a way that is considered 'bad English'? Some sort of strange 'Railwayese'?
    No, I don't think it is bad English at all, not British English at any rate.
    wordreference.com English Dictionary - terminate
    3. (of a public conveyance) to end a scheduled run or flight at a certain place

    It has been in common usage for as long as I remember and is standard in recorded announcements.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Might "the train terminates here" have something to do with the fact that the word "terminus" is used in the UK and elsewhere but not, I think, in the US?

    terminate, v.
    (definition from the OED)
    d. intr. Of a railway line or other transport route: to have its end point in a specified place, to reach its terminus. Also of train, bus, ferry, etc.: to come to the end of a scheduled route, to reach the final station, stop, etc., on a particular journey. With adverbial phrase (frequently beginning with at) indicating the end point of the route.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Might "the train terminates here" have something to do with the fact that the word "terminus" is used in the UK and elsewhere but not, I think, in the US?
    We on the left side of the pond have railway terminals -- but they are not necessarily end points these days.

    WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
    ter•mi•nal /ˈtɜrmənəl/ adj.

    n. [countable]
    1. a terminal part of a structure.
    2. Transport
      • a point at the end of a transportation system, as a railroad line, or any important junction within the system.
      • Rail Transport - the facilities located at a terminal: The new terminal has a number of good restaurants.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Getting back to the OP I agree with my fellow Brits that This train terminates here is fine. On the tube (the London Underground) the 'classic' announcement is "This train terminates at (name of station)". Please leave the train upon arrival on the other hand sounds odd: do they expect you to stay on it??

    In any case these days when you arrive at a terminus in central London (in my case Charing Cross, Victoria, Cannon Street) they don't tell you to get off, they say "Please remember to take all your personal belongings with you when you leave the train". A polite way of saying you've arrived, please get off the train and don't leave anything on it.:D
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The main problem I see with this is that it is quite illogical and don't think anyone would actually say these words:
    "This train terminates here. Please leave the train upon arrival."
    If the train terminates "here" you are already "here" - you have arrived. Therefore "Please leave the train upon arrival." is simply weird.

    But, "This train terminates at Derby/the next station. Please leave the train upon arrival." is perfectly normal BE.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The main problem I see with this is that it is quite illogical and don't think anyone would actually say these words:

    If the train terminates "here" you are already "here" - you have arrived. Therefore "Please leave the train upon arrival." is simply weird.

    But, "This train terminates at Derby/the next station. Please leave the train upon arrival." is perfectly normal BE.
    If this announcement is made as the train approaches the final stop, then it would make sense: ‘We are approaching Vicctoria. The train terminates here. Please do not alight until the train is stationary after arrival”:D
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Please leave the train upon arrival." is perfectly normal BE.
    I have never heard it on my travels in and around London and can find no instance of it anywhere on the web: the only English link I can find is to this thread and the others are mostly Hungarian websites (which makes sense....). So, it is normal BE only from a grammatical viwepoint. It is not a train announcement which is used in the UK.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I have never heard it on my travels in and around London
    It is not a train announcement which is used in the UK.
    Hmm... London is not the whole of the UK. The Tube may or may not reflect the announcements on mainline railway services.

    From the set list of announcements on the District Line: (.pdf https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/requ...2672/attach/6/District DVA Script D Stock.pdf)
    Wimbledon Branch Wimbledon

    The next station is Wimbledon, where this train terminates. Change for National Rail Services and Tramlink. Please take all your belongings with you when you leave the train.

    I suppose there is even more logic to assuming that people will leave a terminated train rather than just sitting there.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Hmm... London is not the whole of the UK. The Tube may or may not reflect the announcements on mainline railway services.
    I didn't say it was. What I said was is that this is not a train announcement we use in the UK because it would be on some website or another if it were, but it isn't. The only links to it online are to this thread and various Hungarian websites.

    Plus I wasn't only talking about the tube. See below (the bold is mine).

    Getting back to the OP I agree with my fellow Brits that This train terminates here is fine. On the tube (the London Underground) the 'classic' announcement is "This train terminates at (name of station)". Please leave the train upon arrival on the other hand sounds odd: do they expect you to stay on it??

    In any case these days when you arrive at a terminus in central London (in my case Charing Cross, Victoria, Cannon Street) they don't tell you to get off, they say "Please remember to take all your personal belongings with you when you leave the train". A polite way of saying you've arrived, please get off the train and don't leave anything on it.:D
    That said, I am willing to be proven wrong.:)
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Ok. In my case it's definitely the sort of thing I can't remember ever having heard.:D
    That makes two of us. And I use trains fairly often. I'd think it blindingly obvious that passengers would expect to get off soon after the common "this train terminates here".
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    It's definitely the sort of thing that I think I might have heard.
    In my case it's definitely the sort of thing I can't remember ever having heard.:D
    This is what I like about the forum.:)
    If this announcement is made as the train approaches the final stop, then it would make sense
    Yes, the announcement is made right before the train arrives at the terminus.

    The question is whether it's wise to use such phrases in announcements aimed at foreign tourists visiting Budapest, most of whom are not from English-speaking countries and are not used to this kind of 'non-colloquial' language. A significant percent of tourists are from the UK and US, though.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I don't think any native speaker is going to misunderstand you original.

    Foreigners do not seem to have difficulty with the London Underground announcements (link at #18). You may wish to adapt them.
    The next station is Wimbledon, where this train terminates. [Change for National Rail Services and Tramlink.] Please take all your belongings with you when you leave the train.
     

    2PieRad

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi

    This train terminates here...not a huge fan. Not nearly as bad as this airplane terminates here.

    On the other hand, this flight terminates here sounds fine to me. But flight refers to the route serviced by the plane, so I guess that's why it works. Is there an equivalent word for trains? I think I can live with this train service terminates here.

    Here, the subways don't announce that you're arriving at a terminus station. I guess the mentality is that if you're too oblivious to realize that you've arrived at the end of the line, that everyone else has gotten off the train, that the train isn't moving, and/or the train has begun moving back the other way, then you only have yourself to blame. :rolleyes:
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The MRT (mass rapid transit) announcement here is something like 'This train service terminates at the next station. Passengers may alight and change to the XXX line.' The first bit of the announcement sounds fine therefore, but the second sentence is strange sounding. We have held on to the British officialese term 'alight'.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is there an equivalent word for trains?
    Not in British English. Train is used both for the service and the string of carriages.
    'I'll take the next flight'/'I'll take the next train'

    While you can say 'I'll take the next plane', 'flight' sounds more natural to me, but I cannot think of anything you would say instead of 'train'.
    The MRT (mass rapid transit) announcement here is something like 'This train service terminates at the next station. Passengers may alight and change to the XXX line.' The first bit of the announcement sounds fine therefore, but the second sentence is strange sounding. We have held on to the British officialese term 'alight'.
    I was more surprised by how excessively polite you are. 'May', indeed!
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When I lived on Long Island (New York) the "Port Washington Line" of the Long Island Railroad ran from Manhattan to Port Washington.

    The conductor would always make this same announcement when the train arrived at Port Washington:

    Port Washington next. Next stop is Port Washington. This is the last stop. All passengers please exit the train. This is the last stop. All passengers please exit the train.

    Note: It has been many years since I've traveled that train, but when I read it aloud just now it sounds entirely accurate.
     

    panzerfaust0

    Senior Member
    mandarin
    Here in British Columbia, Canada, the announcement on the sky train for the last stop, is "Terminus station, _____ (name of the last station)".
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Port Washington next. Next stop is Port Washington. This is the last stop. All passengers please exit the train. This is the last stop. All passengers please exit the train.

    I think I've heard it as "Last stop, all passengers must exit," in the US. Possibly it was in Boston which is where I lived when I took public transportation often (many years ago for me also), and lived near the end of one of the longer subway/tram lines. That's very close to Packard's version. I think that's what is most common in the US. Here, "terminal" would just mean a stop or station, despite the finality in the Latin word it derives from, so I think the officials decided "terminate" would be unnecessarily confusing and decided to use "last stop" instead, which is pretty close to "end station" !
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    It is wrong, of course, because it means, literally, "This train ceases to exist here".
    In a certain way it does, viz. if we understand train in a more literal sense: an assembly or column of vehicles for the purpose of conducting a specific journey. I think this is the relevant meaning of the word in announcements like this train terminates here or this train is cancelled.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Not that it's much consolation - they still announce 'All change!' over the tannoy.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This "All change!" strikes me as odd. Is it assumed that nobody lives within walking distance of the station?
    The people who live there are so inured to commuting that they don't listen to announcements. The announcement is only for people who are confused about where they are going and are contemplating staying on the the train that is going nowhere.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    "This train terminates here" is a standard announcement on British trains too.

    It is wrong, of course, because it means, literally, "This train ceases to exist here".

    The correct version would be "This journey ends here"

    This is nonsense. The words have been used in this sequence for decades, it’s daft to say they’re “wrong” as though words only have one meaning or can only be used in one way.
    This meaning of terminate is #3 in our dictionary.


    I don’t use public transport much these days but the last stop on my old bus route used to be called the terminus.

    These days, what you hear on British trains when a train terminates announcement is made is usually something about remembering to take all your belongings when you leave the train.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    This "All change!" strikes me as odd. Is it assumed that nobody lives within walking distance of the station?
    It doesn't mean you are expected to get onto another train/bus, just get off this one. It is used just as much at country termini in the middle of nowhere where there is nothing else to get onto as it is at busy city interchanges (and yes, we in Britain do refer - occasionally - to the bus stop beneath the tree by the village green as the terminus of the bus from Hastings, or whatever metropolis is at the other end of the bus route).

    I suspect (but I haven't found any evidence) that this use of 'change' may predate its meaning of getting off one train and onto another. If it has changed meaning, then it is easier to imagine a change in this direction than the other.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It doesn't mean you are expected to get onto another train/bus, just get off this one. It is used just as much at country termini in the middle of nowhere where there is nothing else to get onto as it is at busy city interchanges (and yes, we in Britain do refer - occasionally - to the bus stop beneath the tree by the village green as the terminus of the bus from Hastings, or whatever metropolis is at the other end of the bus route).

    I suspect (but I haven't found any evidence) that this use of 'change' may predate its meaning of getting off one train and onto another. If it has changed meaning, then it is easier to imagine a change in this direction than the other.

    "This train terminates" brings to mind:

    TrainPart4.png


    While, all change brings to mind a vaudeville act where the same actors play multiple parts.

    Convention drives the meanings, not the actual words themselves.
     

    AndrasBP

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Here, the subways don't announce that you're arriving at a terminus station. I guess the mentality is that if you're too oblivious to realize that you've arrived at the end of the line, that everyone else has gotten off the train, that the train isn't moving, and/or the train has begun moving back the other way, then you only have yourself to blame. :rolleyes:
    The "original" Hungarian announcement preceding the English one actually tells you to:
    "leave the train after it stops and remind your fellow passengers to do so."

    We Hungarians must be far less sensible people than Canadians. :D
     
    Hilarious. You expect people to tell other passengers they have to get off too?:D

    Oh, it's better than that -- it says that you should tell your fellow passengers to get off, but after the train stops, not before!

    Of course, as a daily commuter on the Long Island Rail Road, there has been more than one occasion on which I wished an annoying fellow rider would leave the train before the train stopped... :D
     

    andrew.shadura

    New Member
    Russian and Belarusian
    I’ve just found this thread as I’m trying to write a similar announcement, but I can’t find any "prior art".
    What would the announcement be if the train/bus/tram broke down or the driver is unwell or there is some other operational reason for it to not continue?
    I came up with:
    ‘This service is unable to continue on the route. Please take all your belongings when you leave’
    1. I’d like to avoid words non-native speakers would be unfamiliar with, like alight.
    2. I want my announcement to be usable on trains, buses and trams without a change to the wording.
    3. Probably leaving out "when you leave" might still work, but maybe explicit is better than implicit in this case?
    What do you think?
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I’ve just found this thread as I’m trying to write a similar announcement, but I can’t find any "prior art".
    What would the announcement be if the train/bus/tram broke down or the driver is unwell or there is some other operational reason for it to not continue?
    I came up with:
    ‘This service is unable to continue on the route. Please take all your belongings when you leave’
    1. I’d like to avoid words non-native speakers would be unfamiliar with, like alight.
    2. I want my announcement to be usable on trains, buses and trams without a change to the wording.
    3. Probably leaving out "when you leave" might still work, but maybe explicit is better than implicit in this case?
    What do you think?
    In this sort of announcement we usually here "remember" - "please remember to take all your belongings with you".

    You don't usually need "when you leave" as that has been said earlier, in telling the passangers what to do, such as change train or go to platform 6 or get on the tram in front.
    So I think your goal of getting a statement to suit all modes of transport is rather challenging. Why add that level of difficuluty?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    What do you think?
    A small amendment:This service is unable to continue on this route. Please take all your belongings with you as you leave.’

    The 'as you leave' implies that the passengers should leave.
     
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