I remember when I first returned to my home country after travelling the world. And I remember seeing signage for the first time with those fresh eyes. I know I am fortunate to speak English and I am grateful that English is the dominate travel language. It makes it easy. So when I am in foreign countries, I have learnt to expect English on the signs. To my wonderful surprise, Brisbane now has foreign language signage in the city center.
The signage is very simple. It contains arrows and names in English to major tourist sites as well as the distance. Having infographic icons are also useful. These are very well known worldwide. Without even knowing how to read any of the languages, most people can decode the bus, stairs, lift and information icons. I’ve always assumed Brisbane’s inner city signage contained these features. It was surprising to see the foreign languages though. I have travelled a lot and have always been interested in languages. This means I know which languages are now on the Brisbane signage. The four foreign language are: (Top-Down) Chinese, Arabic, Korean and Japanese.
Growing up in Brisbane, we are taught our city is multi-cultural. This signage has certainly opened my eyes to this fact. Thank you Brisbane City Council for including foreign languages to welcome international visitors.