TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Passengers yesterday (Aug. 11) began hearing Japanese being broadcast in trains at certain Taipei MRT stations, confirming a previous announcement by the Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) that Japanese is being added to the four existing languages broadcast on Taipei Metro trains at 13 stations.
Currently, passengers taking elevators, escalators and riding trains will hear Mandarin, English Taiwanese dialect and Hakka, at least for station names. Instructions in Mandarin and Taiwanese dialect tend to be longer and more detailed.
Yesterday, netizens on the popular Taiwanese online forum PTT reported hearing Japanese instructions being broadcast in the trains at the Taipei 101/World Trade Center MRT Station. They reported hearing languages being broadcast in the following order: Mandarin, English, Taiwanese dialect, Hakka and Japanese.
Many netizens were excited to hear the news, while others complained that having five languages made the announcements drag on for too long.
The TRTC in May announced that it would add Japanese to its system broadcasts by Aug. 10, starting with a trial period at 13 stations near tourist hotpots, including: Taipei Main Station (Tamsui-Xinyi Line and Bannan Line stations), Shilin Station, Dongmen Station, Taipei 101/World Trade Center MRT Station, Tamsui Station, Ximen Station, Longshan Temple Station, Jiantan Station, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station, Beitou Station, Xinbeitou Station, Zhongshan Station, reported China Times.
The TRTC in May explained that it had decided to add Japanese because of the 3.47 million Asian tourists who visited greater Taipei last year, 47 percent were from Japan, according to statistics from TaiwanStay.net.tw. The next largest group of tourists were from Southeast Asia at 14 percent, followed by Hong Kong/Macau at 11 percent, and South Korea at 8 percent.
Currently, the Taipei Metro website provides information in Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean. Taipei MRT station ticket machines provide services in 11 languages, including Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, German, French, and Spanish.