The Straits Times
Published on Dec 07, 2012

Keep it in English or in all four official languages


I BECAME aware of the Mandarin in-train MRT service announcements on Monday.

I have reservations against this for two reasons. First, it gives the impression that Mandarin takes precedent over the other official languages.

Second, the translation appears to have been a hasty job. For example, "Kallang" is translated literally to mean "colder". Translating the name to one that sounds similar to a station's English name would make it easier for commuters to identify the stations, but it would risk ridicule among Mandarin-speaking foreigners.

SMRT should make such announcements in English only or use all four official languages.

Kimberley Lim (Ms)