The Straits Times
Published on Dec 08, 2012

Practical to keep Mandarin for in-train service messages


THE in-train service messages in Mandarin should be viewed holistically, within the context of Singapore's position as a tourist hub ("Unfortunate perception of messages in Mandarin" by Ms Jayanthi Govindarajoo; Thursday).

Many visitors from abroad, especially those from Taiwan and some parts of Malaysia, understand Mandarin far better than they do English.

So, one should not jump to the conclusion that the service is aimed at helping new immigrants who cannot understand English.

Even among Singaporeans, there are many Mandarin-educated seniors who had little chance to learn English, and depend on the train for their transport needs.

We should not deprive them of the convenience of being able to hear the announcements in Mandarin.

Keep the use of Mandarin for in-train service announcements.

Ada Chan (Ms)