Translation:The Netherlands and Belgium are the only countries with grachten.
You're right, maybe it would be a gracht inside the city if it only changed name once outside. Let's say the Canal de Brienne then, to stay in Toulouse. My point was that they exist by hundreds everywhere. It could be that the one writing the sentence only meant it as a joke, meaning that in no other place they'd use the word "gracht" itself.
If you were to ask an English-speaking visitor to Amsterdam what the 'grachtengordel' is they would call it "the canal belt", which is what the guide books call it. I only say 'the grachts' when speaking with other people with a knowledge of Dutch. Otherwise people will ask, 'what's a gracht' and I'd say 'a canal" Have never heard the expression "city canal" before.
True, there are a lot of cities with beautiful city canals, from Beijing to Mexico City, sometimes more prominent than others.
Friedrichstadt is unique for a non Dutch/Belgian city (or at least special) because the canals are actually called Grachten - because the city was built by and for Dutch immigrants.
But then "enige"/"only" is an absolute statement.
Just as a side note: I don't mind the statement, this is a language learning site and not a scientific research. But as a comment I couldn't resist.
And Friedrichstadt is by my knowledge and intense research (cough) the only town outside Belgium and the Netherlands where the term is used in this sense and with this etymology (it is the Dutch word).
In general the word "Gracht" means canal or ditch in a broader sense in Lower Saxon, an older variety of German that still is quite common in Northern Germany. No surprise, Dutch and Lower Saxon are very closely related.
Een gracht is ook een greppel in het weiland om het overtollige water af te voeren, dus zonder een weg naast de gracht. Naast een kanaal is meestal een weg of een kade. Dit is echter niet noodzakelijk: een kanaal betekent dat het uitgegraven is en geen natuurlijke waterweg, in tegenstelling met een rivier.
A moat/gracht/canal is also a ditch in the pasture to drain the excess water, so without a road next to the Canal. Next to a channel is usually a road or a quay. However, this is not necessary: a channel means it excavated and not a natural waterway, in contrast with a river.
Woorden waarvan de betekenis vaak wordt verward 24
(1) gracht - (2) sloot - (3) greppel - (4) voor/vors
1 = een gegraven waterweg langs een straat; langs de oevers bebouwd kanaal om of door een stad, bijv.: Amsterdamse grachten 2 = een gegraven water, smaller dan een gracht en breder dan een greppel 3 = smalle en ondiepe uitgraving in landerijen, om het water af te voeren 4 = ploegsnede
Em, and how's about Saint-Petersburg? ;-) http://www.bugbog.com/images/galleries/russia_pictures/St-Petersburg-Church-of-Blood.jpg
In the US, we have city parks, state parks, regional parks, and national parks. The distinction is primarily in the jurisdiction; "urban" vs. "rural" is another typology.
City water is managed by the city authorities; it's distinct, for example, from the well water or spring water that a more isolated area might have.
City streets are within the city, but also maintained by the city authorities; presumably city canals are as well. Thus, again, "urban" vs. "rural" isn't necessarily the only applicable typology.
[US English native speaker]
I agree. City is more constrained than urban. Urban can refer to the city and its suburbs, as opposed to the countryside. We often speak of the urban/rural interface, meaning those areas where the suburbs have invaded areas bordering wild lands (national parks, forests, wilderness areas) etc, but those areas may have city water and sewer systems.
"In Dutch, the word gracht is used only when canals are located inside the city, while canals outside a city are called kanaal. However, Venice is an exception. In Dutch, one does not say "de grachten van Venetië" (the city-canals of Venice), but "de kanalen van Venetië" (the canals of Venice)."
Yes it is e.g. 'De Rietgracht' in Gent. See:http://ojs.ugent.be/index.php/hmgog/article/view/416/409
To me a 'gracht' is primarily a defensive work, and a 'kanaal' is primarily for transportation. Of course , the defensive function was lost and the meaning of gracht shifted a little. English has 'moat', but I wouldn't use that to refer to the kind of moat-converted-to open-sewer-with-streets-and-houses we have in NL.
Literally, gracht is something that was dug (gegraven). On old maps, you'll find "graft" instead of "gracht". I am not sure if a gracht was always meant for defense. In Amsterdam, for example, the 17th century grachten may have had transportation/fire extinguishing as their main functions. After all, they were within the city and not on the outskirts of the city (except for the outmost one).