Last Updated on 2022-11-06 , 6:09 pm
Singapore is one big multi-cultural family and having four main languages in this little red dot is already quite a feat.
But SMRT has taken it up a notch and currently gives safety announcements in Cantonese and Hokkien too.
Some MRT Stations Now Have Hokkien & Cantonese Announcements
A 73-year-old Bishan resident recently noticed the Singapore public transport reminding citizens to hold on to railings for safety in Cantonese and Hokkien.
This is on top of the regular announcements made in the other main languages, English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.
Apparently, these new announcements have been around since May 2022 at Bishan, Bedok, Clementi, and Outram Park stations, most likely because there are more people who speak the dialects there.
Mr Lam Sheau Kai, president of SMRT Trains, wanted to ensure that elderly commuters are able to travel safely as some might not understand the announcements made in the other four main languages.
It’s not confirmed if they will be doing the same for other stations yet.
SMRT isn’t the only one doing this though. SBS Transit has been broadcasting Hokkien and Cantonese safety announcements regarding escalator safety in Chinatown MRT Station since August 2020.
I guess they were the OG for the dialect announcements.
They’ve also made escalators slower which reduced the number of fall incidents.
But that’s not all: signs with larger fonts and directions indicated with numbers instead of letters have been put up to assist commuters further.
Despite it helping some seniors, not all commuters find the new arrangement necessary.
A 70-year-old senior mentioned that Mandarin was already commonly used among Chinese, most, if not all, commuters would have the basic knowledge of at least one of the four main languages in Singapore to survive.
Having announcements in more dialects would mean a longer announcement time too.
Imagine not knowing each language except the last one and having to wait ages for it to come up.
Featured Image: SMRT
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