Sunday, October 30, 2011

Language Diversity in Subway

For the first time today, I saw a medley of foreign languages on a subway poster on subway line 6, the line that passes through Itaewon, the known location for foreign goods and exotic restaurants, and an international assemblage of foreigners and their respective babble of languages. I have in the past seen a brief comment in Chinese or Japanese and the subway intercom announcing stops has gradually come to include Chinese or Japanese on some lines and some key stations or transfer stations, but today this posting really shows that Korea is making attempts to embrace other foreign languages and target other large language groups besides the big three: English, Chinese and Japanese.

This poster shows three languages with a simple sentence representing each. The first is Japanese with the message "Seoul where everyone smiles". The second language I'm actually clueless about but the message is "Seoul where everyone is happy". The final message reads in Arabic "Seoul that is constantly thankful". In the upper right-hand corner this propaganda message heralds from Hi Seoul, the department that spreads or perhaps is in charge of culture and entertainment around Seoul. For some more info on the entertainment options or other information on "Hi Seoul, the soul of Korea" go to for English, Japanese and Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese?), or for Korean

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