More languages on the Tube – PC gone mad!


by Sunny
1st June, 2009 at 6:48 pm    

BBC News:

Ticket machines on the London Underground (LU) have been upgraded to operate in 17 different languages. Some of the touch-screen machines were already available in six languages – English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. From Monday, all machines in every station will also have Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Urdu, Polish, Punjabi, Tamil, and Turkish.

Damn these left-wingers and their attempts to serve the needs of the unwashed immigrants from all over the world. It’s political correctness gone mad! Or perhaps it’s cultural relativism! I’m not sure which one. Either way, it’s the end of the west and the Freedoms We Hold Dear.


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: More languages on the Tube – PC gone mad! http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/4695




  1. Liam — on 1st June, 2009 at 6:53 pm  

    I would not say it is QUITE as extreme as that!

    London is one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists from around the world – a welcome sign of inclusion is surely little touches like ticket machines in their native languages.

    I don’t think reaching for the PC-stick is such an effective reaction.

  2. marvin — on 1st June, 2009 at 7:09 pm  

    Left-wingers like Boris Johnson?

    Kulveer Ranger, Transport Director to the Mayor of London, said: “Boosting the number of languages on our ticket machines is just another step in making life easier for those who live in, or travel through, the capital.

    Can you actually point to any right wing ‘outrage’ about providing translations for service that people will pay?

    Or is this a tongue-in-cheek post? Like Rumbold’s rather odd post about ‘Johnny Foreigner’?

  3. Don — on 1st June, 2009 at 7:10 pm  

    Damn right. If I ever find myself on the Japanese underground and find directions in English I will be outraged.

    How can we tell if someone is foreign if they ain’t lost?

    It’s bloody London. Most cosmopolitan city in the world. Wouldn’t want to live there, but proud of that fact.

  4. Adnan — on 1st June, 2009 at 7:14 pm  

    Nice jokey posting – may upset the odd poster here.

    Actually, it’s not such a difficult technical issue for half decently written software, and need not be such a huge cost on a large software project.

    With a modern user interface software, the screen layout can be easily switched for languages written from right to left. Also, a decent set of rules is required to prevent the original software developers making boo-boos such as trying to build message sentences in a way that is not applicable for all languages.

  5. SKye-Vee — on 1st June, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

    Hmm will they translate Esperanto, Latin… or even better Sanskrit. I am waiting for the Klingon translation. Us trekkies are under-represented in London.

    2 B honest it’s all Greek too me. With me state edukatetion I donut reed too well.

  6. London Muslim — on 1st June, 2009 at 7:27 pm  

    how do you say “Oyster” in Mandarin/Chinese?

  7. Vikrant — on 1st June, 2009 at 7:36 pm  

    Can you actually point to any right wing ‘outrage’ about providing translations for service that people will pay?

    I’ll second that..

  8. Sunny — on 1st June, 2009 at 8:00 pm  

    Honestly, you right-wingers can’t take a joke eh marvin?

  9. Rumbold — on 1st June, 2009 at 8:07 pm  

    The public transport system is a hotbed of socialism. It even instructs me to ‘keep to the left’. But some of us aren’t lefties. If it was ‘keep to the right’ the Guardian and the BBC would be up in arms over this.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  10. Shatterface — on 1st June, 2009 at 8:21 pm  

    ‘how do you say ‘Oyster’ in Mandarin/Chinese?’

    No. 46.

    Boiled rice comes free.

    (Aw, come on! Who can resist an open goal like that?)

  11. Amrit — on 1st June, 2009 at 9:18 pm  

    First it was PCs-gone-mad.

    Now the ticketing machines have followed suit.

    It’s too much, I tell you. Damn machines just don’t respect the whip hand like they used to in my day. Bring back witch-burning!

    Bloody foreign ticket-machines, coming over here and taking our ticket-machines’ jobs.

    Machines are all just terrorists in waiting anyway. I mean, remember those Dell laptops that blew themselves up? We need to deport the lot of them. Some of my best friends are keyboards, hence you need to respect my unbiased authority on this topic.

  12. Shatterface — on 1st June, 2009 at 9:30 pm  

    I haven’t sen Terminator Salvation yet but I’m reliably informed it starts with a T1000 disguised as a ticket machine.

  13. Adnan — on 1st June, 2009 at 9:48 pm  

    “John Bull” Connor will reprogram the old mono-lingual ticketing machines in the future to come back in time to destroy the foreign ticketing machines and save Albion.

    Everyone will celebrate with dancing round the May Pole in their druid’s outfits, cheese rolling, Morris dancing …

  14. John — on 2nd June, 2009 at 12:12 am  

    Presumably the ignorant do-gooders behind this haven’t even bothered to read up that there isn’t such a thing as simply ‘Chinese’. In its written form, there is simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. And if these machines speak too [in the case of a blind visitor from Nanjing who happens to want to travel to East Finchley] then there are of course even more flavours of spoken Chinese.

  15. Andy Gilmour — on 2nd June, 2009 at 12:21 am  

    What? No Scandinavian languages? It’s an anti-social-democracy conspiracy!

    :-)

  16. Sunny — on 2nd June, 2009 at 1:55 am  

    If it was ‘keep to the right’ the Guardian and the BBC would be up in arms over this.

    Well, obviously! The vast left-liberal conspiracy that envelops both would mean it would be a coordinated backlash!

    The rightwing forces of darkness need to be defeated! and Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation and al-Guardian will do the job.

    On behalf of the global forces of Islamism of course.

  17. Radhika — on 2nd June, 2009 at 2:41 am  

    PC kitteh sez esperanto iz PC

    (Seriously, though, some of the people here are getting their panties (pants? knickers?) in a bunch. Even this American understands cheeky British humo(u)r!)

  18. Cjcjc — on 2nd June, 2009 at 6:45 am  

    @9 – keep left – brilliant.

    There are English names and directions on the Tokyo subway btw.

  19. douglas clark — on 2nd June, 2009 at 7:22 am  

    Rumbold @ 9,

    I’d second cjcjc. Brilliant!

  20. Vikrant — on 2nd June, 2009 at 7:49 am  

    There are English names and directions on the Tokyo subway btw.

    I dont know about Tokyo subway, but the one in Seoul has the English translations of the Korean names for quite a few stations, so the Koreans invariably are unware of the English name of a particular station, making getting directions a big effing pain!

    The rightwing forces of darkness need to be defeated! and Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation and al-Guardian will do the job.

    Sunny, i believe the most popular renditions are Bismillah Broadcasting Corp, or Britainistan Broadcasting Corp…

    Even this American understands cheeky British humo(u)r!)

    I don’t care how one Webster spelt it… Humour is always spelt with a ‘u’ Radhika you yank…

    P.S For all you Beeb loving pinkos… a clear evidence of Beeb bias in this report from the colonies… http://www.deeshaa.org/2009/06/01/bbc-and-the-attack-of-the-asses/

  21. platinum786 — on 2nd June, 2009 at 8:50 am  

    Well that’s an exccellent step. London is one of the worlds most popular cities, steps like this will only make visiting more affordable.

  22. Shamit — on 2nd June, 2009 at 9:53 am  

    “Well, obviously! The vast left-liberal conspiracy that envelops both would mean it would be a coordinated backlash!”

    Left and liberal — Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Gordon — Liberal.

    That must be an oxymoron right?

  23. Jai — on 2nd June, 2009 at 10:25 am  

    I haven’t sen Terminator Salvation yet but I’m reliably informed it starts with a T1000 disguised as a ticket machine.

    Brilliant. Chortle.

    ********************************

    Hot London Girl: “Mate, this ticket machine isn’t accepting my travelcard”.

    Assistant: “Have you tried wiping the electronic strip on the back ? Sometimes that sorts it out”.

    Hot London Girl: “Yeah, didn’t work. The machine just keeps beeping threateningly, and there’s some weird red light that keeps blinking at me too”.

    Assistant: “Very odd. Let me try….” *Repeatedly rams ticket into slot*

    *Ticket machine turns into Arnie and pumps 50 bullets into assistant*.

    Arnie (deadpan): “He should have bought me a drink first”.

    Hot London Girl: “Bloody hell !”

    Arnie: “Are you Surinder Connor ?”

    Hot London Girl: “Look, if you’re from the Inland Revenue, I swear I didn’t claim any expenses”.

    Arnie: “This is your final warning. Answer ze question”.

    Hot London Girl: “Okay, okay ! I ‘borrowed’ some expenses for my dad’s extension, I swear I’ll pay it back.”

    Arnie: “Why did you need ze extension ?”

    Hot London Girl: “I’m Punjabi, for God’s sake. Every Punjabi house has an extension overlooking the back garden. What planet have you been living on ?”

    Arnie: “I’m from Earth in ze year 2029. I am here to terminate you as you will shortly become pregnant with John Connor, leader of ze worldwide Resistance against Skynet and future saviour of mankind”.

    Hot London Girl: “Pregnant ?! Shit, my mum’s gonna kill me”.

    Arnie: “Stand still so I can get a clean headshot”.

    Hot London Girl: “So you’re not here about the extension ?”

    Arnie: “No, I am not here about ze bloody extension”.

    Hot London Girl: “Thank God. Hey look, there’s Alistair Darling !”

    *Runs away as Arnie turns around*

    Arnie: “Not again”.

    *Kyle Reese grabs Hot London Girl as she sprints past*

    Kyle: “Come with me if you want to live”.

    Hot London Girl: “Yeah yeah, I look like I should be on Britain’s Got Talent. Like I haven’t heard that one before, sunshine”.

    Kyle: “Your life is in danger”.

    Hot London Girl: “Damn right it’s in danger, have you been on the Central Line during the summer ?!”

    Arnie: “Aha, there you are. Step away from ze girly-man”.

    Kyle: “You’re too late, you son of a bitch. I got her first”.

    Arnie: “But I have an Uzi 9mm”.

    Hot London Girl (laughing): “Christ, a bit of hot weather and suddenly it’s like everyone’s on Viagra”. *Jumps on tube and blows kiss throw window as train leaves*

    Kyle (scowling): “Bloody foreigners”.

    Arnie (scowling): “Bloody foreigners”.

    Kyle: “Pint ?”

    Arnie: “May as well”.

  24. marvin — on 2nd June, 2009 at 11:00 am  

    Every left-winger mocks the PC gone made idea so much that it seems they have almost no concept of when political correctness prevents the address of legitimate concerns.

    Now THIS is the kind of area, that increases support for a politically incorrect party, whereby lefties mock and deride people like this man

    How to explain this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1190073/Farmer-opposed-traveller-site-branded-racist-council-threatened-prosecution.html

    Being from Kent, all of the ‘travellers’ I have ever had the joy to countenance have been extremely chavey (‘pikeys’) white people with no respect for anybody at all. So I often find it a tad hard to swallow that criticising such people is ‘racist’ anyhow…

  25. Dave Cole — on 2nd June, 2009 at 12:42 pm  

    Marvin,

    What on earth have you been smoking? What’s the connection between making life easy for tourists in London and the piece to which you link (which lacks, er, the facts)?

    I’d say that the machines should work in Welsh, too, but that’s just me.

    xD.

  26. bananabrain — on 2nd June, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

    lol@ jai’s ’23.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  27. Sunny — on 2nd June, 2009 at 2:26 pm  

    lol @ Jai!

  28. Jai — on 2nd June, 2009 at 3:00 pm  

    Thanks guys ;)

    Small typo:

    *Jumps on tube and blows kiss throw window as train leaves*

    That should of course be “through” not “throw”.

    Sorry folks…..Hot sunny weather…..flouncy short skirts…..strappy high heels…..Lots of distractions…..You know how it is…..

    *ahem*

  29. Adnan — on 2nd June, 2009 at 3:04 pm  

    “Sorry folks…..Hot sunny weather…..flouncy short skirts…..strappy high heels…..Lots of distractions…..You know how it is…..”

    Must be murder in those heels for you Jai :D

  30. Jai — on 2nd June, 2009 at 3:25 pm  

    You have no idea, Adnan ;)

    Just kidding. I’m not a girly-man. Only pointy-toed flying carpet-style Persian chappals for me.

  31. Amrit — on 2nd June, 2009 at 4:13 pm  

    Jai, somebody ought to install a permanent cold shower inside your work clothes, by the sound of it. :-D

    I must add to those praising Rumbold at 9. Also, Adnan and Jai – hahaha.

    Marvin – I don’t see anyone ‘mocking and deriding’ him, do you?

    There are occasions where ‘political correctness’ is over-zealously applied, but my chief gripe is that people immediately turn it into a left/right thing. The left being reduced to ‘the PC brigade’, as you, Marvin, so helpfully demonstrated above. However, the council that called him racist, Mid Devon, is majority Conservative (17 councillors of 42) and Independent (15), with 10 Lib Dems.

    http://www.middevon.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=2051

    so how can we assume who was responsible for ‘PC-gone-mad’ in this instance, eh?

    (I know you’re not saying who was responsible, but the way people simplify these things really irritates me).

  32. Adnan — on 2nd June, 2009 at 4:54 pm  

    Marvin, aren’t “chav” / “pikey” a racist terms or just class-based ?

    Obviously, poster “chavscum” uses it as a badge of honour (he often rails against the urban liberal elite so may be using it as a class-based term).

  33. Shamit — on 2nd June, 2009 at 5:51 pm  

    Jai @23 brilliant

  34. Rumbold — on 2nd June, 2009 at 6:35 pm  

    Thank you Cjcjc, Douglas and Amrit. But as we can see, the garlands rightly belong to Jai:

    “Arnie: “I’m from Earth in ze year 2029. I am here to terminate you as you will shortly become pregnant with John Connor, leader of ze worldwide Resistance against Skynet and future saviour of mankind”.

    Hot London Girl: “Pregnant ?! Shit, my mum’s gonna kill me”.”

    Priceless. It should also be noted that every one of Jai’s sketches involves a hot Asian girl. Just sayin’.

  35. Rumbold — on 2nd June, 2009 at 7:37 pm  

    Good research (Amrit in #31).

  36. Adnan — on 2nd June, 2009 at 8:56 pm  

    “It should also be noted that every one of Jai’s sketches involves a hot Asian girl.”

    or Cheryl Cole (unless he’s confusing his Geordie and Indian accents).

  37. Shatterface — on 2nd June, 2009 at 10:55 pm  

    ‘Shit, my mum’s gonna kill me’

    Priceless!

  38. Jai — on 3rd June, 2009 at 9:45 am  

    Thanks again everyone.

    or Cheryl Cole (unless he’s confusing his Geordie and Indian accents).

    Well it’s kinda difficult to tell with that tan and those features, especially when she dyes her hair black too.

    You can imagine sneaking her into some Indian wedding and finding lots of smug aunties tweaking her dimples while saying “So cute ! Sharanjit, have you met my son ? He’s a doctor, you know”.

  39. Ravi Naik — on 3rd June, 2009 at 10:13 am  

    Well it’s kinda difficult to tell with that tan and those features, especially when she dyes her hair black too.You can imagine sneaking her into some Indian wedding and finding lots of smug aunties tweaking her dimples while saying “So cute ! Sharanjit, have you met my son ? He’s a doctor, you know”.

    Come on – why would you Indianise Cheryl Cole, when you have Padma Lakshmi? (That picture also contains an eye-candy for the ladies if you like overrated writers). :)

  40. Ravi Naik — on 3rd June, 2009 at 11:12 am  

    More stories like this, please.

  41. Jai — on 3rd June, 2009 at 12:06 pm  

    Come on – why would you Indianise Cheryl Cole, when you have Padma Lakshmi?

    Ravi, did you just use that as an excuse to post a picture of Padma in a suspiciously see-through dress that was barely on the right side of “NSFW” ? You cheeky fellow. Trying to get us all in trouble eh ?

    By the way, I’m sure that Penelope Cruz will be devastated to hear that you’ve transferred your affections elsewhere.

    Speaking of Spanish-speaking/Indian connections, I’d like to take this opportunity to gratuitously plug a Mexican actress called Barbara Mori who is starring with Hrithik Roshan in an Indian/English-language crossover flick called “Kites”. Google her if you’re unfamiliar with her — but be careful if you’re at work, unless your HR dept has an unusually lax internet policy about employees ogling pictures of stunningly gorgeous tanned brunettes in bikinis.

    More desified and PG-rated family-friendly pics of the lovely Ms Mori here: http://bollywoodzmax.blogspot.com/2009/04/barbara-mori-ok-magazine-scans.html

    You see, folks, along with music and food, this is the other universal thing that transcends and overcomes differences and barriers, and brings people from different national & cultural backgrounds together. Of course, sometimes music, food and canoodling all go together in various combinations (some of which are dodgier than others), but I think I’d better stop right there ;)

  42. damon — on 3rd June, 2009 at 12:39 pm  

    I’m probably missing the joke, but I take it there hasn’t been a Richard Littlejohn type ”we’re going to hell in a handcart” reaction to this news.

    News that software (or whatever it’s called) developments can just (at the touch of a screen) translate information on ticket machines into a multitude of languages.

    This is somewhat different though (is it not?) to those Daily Mail stories about hospitals and GP surgeries having advice leaflets and signage in other languages.

    I remember being in Quebec a few years ago and looking at the information plate next to parking ticket machines, and seeing it was only in French.
    I thought that that was wrong, and probably a part of that sectarian French/English thing that goes on in Canada.
    Non French speakers would end up getting parking tickets because they had not understood some of the rules of parking there.

  43. sonia — on 3rd June, 2009 at 1:49 pm  

    Ha ha Rumbold.

    Well there you go, hotbed of socialism eh.
    and thank God for that. people should try living in LA without a car and then they’ll think differently about public transport and socialism :-)

  44. Trish Hunt — on 14th September, 2009 at 5:02 am  

    It’s for tourists you twit, not the immigrants. Only Polish would be crazy enough to settle in such a cold, horrible, wet place like there…because the weather is better than it is in Poland!

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