Wicket Indication of Railroad Stations

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Snappy_is_here

Senior Member
Japanese
The wickets of a local Japanese railroad station indicate an English sign that reads "Gates" for English-speaking foreigners. The platforms have English signs that read "Exit" to guide English-speaking passengers getting off at the station.
A friend of mine working for the railroad station wants to know if these expressions "Gates" and "Exit" are acceptable to native speakers of English.
He also wants to know if the above wicket sign should be "Gate" or "Gates." There are a number of wickets at the station. If there was only one wicket gate because it was a small station, should the station use "Gate" instead of "Gates"?
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Just as a point of interest, we call wickets (which I think is charming) turnstiles. If you search the forum, I think you'll find threads about turnstiles.

    You can say Gates for plural and Gate for the small station with just one, but you might just want to say Exit and save yourself the trouble of multiple signs. When people head for the Exit, they will find a turnstile and leave through it -- you don't need to identify the turnstile or gate by name. In fact, don't even think about using Turnstile(s).

    I vote Exit, singular, for all stations and all gates or turnstiles. People just want to know how to get out of the station. They used a turnstile and a ticket or card to get in, so they'll certainly understand its appearance and use to get out. Ultimately, you want to define a direction, not a mechanism.
     

    Snappy_is_here

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Just as a point of interest, we call wickets (which I think is charming) turnstiles. If you search the forum, I think you'll find threads about turnstiles.

    You can say Gates for plural and Gate for the small station with just one, but you might just want to say Exit and save yourself the trouble of multiple signs. When people head for the Exit, they will find a turnstile and leave through it -- you don't need to identify the turnstile or gate by name. In fact, don't even think about using Turnstile(s).

    I vote Exit, singular, for all stations and all gates or turnstiles. People just want to know how to get out of the station. They used a turnstile and a ticket or card to get in, so they'll certainly understand its appearance and use to get out. Ultimately, you want to define a direction, not a mechanism.
    Thanks. Japanese train stations do not have turnstiles. You can see typical Japanese automatic wickets here.
    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ファイル:自動改札機.jpg
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Thanks for the photo. We have a variety of gates in Hong Kong... and even the ones with paddles are called turnstiles -- perhaps because no better name has been thought of. If you say wicket to most English speakers, their first thought will be cricket or croquet. Having said that, if all your expatriates are used to calling them wickets, by all means continue. :)
     

    Snappy_is_here

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thanks for the photo. We have a variety of gates in Hong Kong... and even the ones with paddles are called turnstiles -- perhaps because no better name has been thought of. If you say wicket to most English speakers, their first thought will be cricket or croquet. Having said that, if all your expatriates are used to calling them wickets, by all means continue. :)
    Okay. Thank you for your advice.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Thanks. Japanese train stations do not have turnstiles. You can see typical Japanese automatic wickets here.
    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ファイル:自動改札機.jpg
    I think we call those things barriers in BE, maybe even ticket barriers. Wickets are made of wood, usually vertical palings held together by horizonatal bars across the top and the bottom like this one (near the sign saying add to my basket). I see that the wiki article on the word says that Japanese ticket barriers are called wickets in English; I've never heard that usage.
     
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