Thursday, May 9, 2024

I no understand

Transport for New South Wales, TfNSW, is changing its in train announcements. There was only mention of three I read about in the Sydney Morning Herald but there could be more. It could be argued that the change would help some tourists with very limited English, but I doubt there would be many. Often train and general noise is too high to hear the in train announcements anyway.

"This train terminates here", (sorry if you don't understand that) will be replaced by "This train ends here" (what brought about the train's demise?). The former is apparently technical railway jargon and not clear enough for public consumption. Really?

If there is a train disruption of some kind, you will be advised to, "Allow extra time", rather than "Allow additional time". That one is not such a bad change in my opinion.

This last one is just plain ugly. Customers Passengers will no longer be advised to "Alight here to change...", but "Get off here to change...". GET OFF!

Maybe even young people educated in Australia don't understand the words 'terminates', 'additional' and 'alight'. 

Maybe I'm just an old grump. Who  cares? By the hundreds of comments on the newspaper article, many do. 

W'dya reckon about the changes?

Hmm, two weeks today since....

37 comments:

  1. Clear English is good but saying that a train "ends" here is worse than saying that a train "terminates" here. Besides, shouldn't it be "your train journey" rather than "this train"? Since? Since Ray of Sunshine alighted.

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    1. YP, I prefer "your train journey...". I detest the 'the get off'.
      Ray did indeed alight two weeks ago (insert sad smile emoji).

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  2. How much money do you think they spent discussing these minute changes? Silliness really, when there are bigger issues that need addressing.

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    1. Debby, most of the management of Australia's public transport systems are extremely top heavy. The middle management will find ways to justify their own jobs and employ my staff under them. Their are staff shortages of workers actually doing their jobs.

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  3. I am with Debby. Public transport has important issues that need addressing eg overcrowding, costs, frequency and reliability of service, extension of suburban services, pollution from buses etc.

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    1. Hels, the only positive I can think of is more and more electric buses are appearing on our roads. I think the life of a bus is fifteen years, so it will take a while, assuming only electric suburban buses are now being bought.

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  4. I, too, agree with Debby. What a crazy world. Be well!

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  5. What about "Exit here?" which is pretty standard I would think. Here we have to do French and English. Ireland was Irish and English - yeah I filled in at a busy Cork bus terminal because of my voice in the summer time. No recordings then. LOL
    XO
    WWW

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    1. That's way to obvious and simple, WWW. No one would ever think of that. Did you have a nice autorotative bellow to your voice?

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  6. Possibly someone six or eight levels above who has no clue about what goes on down among the minions has decided some sort of change is necessary jsu to prove to HIS/HER boss that he/she does actually do something for his/her hefty pay packet.

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    1. So cynical River, but you're right on the money.

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  7. "jsu"?? "just" dammit. I have numb fingers from sweeping up leaves.

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    1. Better to use a broom than your fingers.

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  8. They lost me it became "customers". I don't like "train stations" either.

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    1. Tasker, technically passengers are customers, but why not passengers? That is the common world usage. You prefer railway station over train station, I think.

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  9. I dont mind the changes but I find them unnecessary. People who didn't already know the old terms figure out meaning from context but I guess the decision makers assume everyone is as silly as they are

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    1. Kylie, it is just pointless dumbing down. I only read a few of the comments on the SMH website and most thought it was unnecessary.

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  10. Alight would confuse many English speakers. Exit would indicate leave the station.

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    1. Really TP? I am surprised. Exit is better.

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  11. I understand everything, as I read all different English languages from the Queen's English on to the New Zealand, plus those who speak English as a foreign language, but you don't know where they have learned it ! I think in your case they changed because the words are shorter. I wouldn't understand the new German if I didn't watch the German TV, the language has changed so much, that those who never learned English (the older generation) would never understand a 30 year old ! In German you "chill"out instead of the German word, for example. I think the most important is that we all understand each other, even in Chinese !

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    1. Gattina, I often wonder about immigrants who have fond memories of their homeland and return to find it is nothing like they remember, including the spoken language.

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  12. My that time has passed rather quickly Andrew.
    Well I never, why change to simple words well easier words maybe. How stupid. Doesn't make much sense to me. I can't stand it when people say they are going to 'pick' something, I prefer the word 'choose', choose is a longer word, nothing to do with trains..lol

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    1. Margaret, my brain is telling me I would say choose something. Pick or choose are one syllable, so both are easy words.
      Yes, two weeks will become two months and then two years, should I live that much longer.

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  13. Oh, somehow this post didn't show up in my feed. I expect I am now a little late to comment but anyway .... I dislike this current trend to change perfectly good English phrases and words in order to dumb down to the lowest common denominator. (Grumpy Old Woman here...)

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    1. JayCee, that's what it feels like. If someone doesn't know what terminates means, they soon will.

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  14. Messing around with the little things conveniently shunting real problems under the rail;)

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  15. Interesting and I do wonder what brought it about. I like that you caught all the nuances of the English language. Have a grand one.
    Sandra sandracox.blogspot.com

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    1. Sandra, no doubt done after much 'community consultation'.

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  16. It seems unnecessary. However I would have said that which YP said. The train doesn't end. The journey ends.

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    1. That's true Graham, so fix that up with careful thought.

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  17. I have trouble understanding what the announcements are saying so my issue would be to have them speak clearly and people will know what they mean. "Get off" is rather gruff. It makes you wonder who wasted time figuring out these changes.
    Time marches on. Hugs.

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    1. Pat, the auto generated announcements are usually clear but they do depend on general noise levels. Thank you.

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  18. HMMM now I will have to pay attention the next time I'm on the subway!

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    1. I think she says "Change here for Line Number".

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    2. Jackie, that's very clear to me. I think our auto tram announcements are the same. "Change here for route number 58 to Toorak".

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