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|作者：英语点津 文章来源：China Daily 点击数：43 更新时间：2017/2/26|
Language barriers can be a real struggle when traveling. But never fear, Japan has a clever solution for its English-speaking visitors.
Officials in the Iwate Prefecture have developed a lineup of tourism signs that display info about menu choices, payment options and locker room etiquette in simple, illustrated form.
The signs are already on display around the city of Morioka, a regional development director, Takefumi Shimomukai, told The Japan Times. They’re intended to make English-speaking tourists feel more welcome in the area, he added.
Twenty-six images are available for businesses to download online. Many of the signs have to do with dining. But they also provide advice for using onsens, Japan’s popular hot spring baths.
Shimomukai says they wanted to do something simple but fun to attract people's interest. The area is less of a draw for foreigners than tourist hubs like Tokyo and Kyoto, and communication troubles have made some locals reluctant to reach out to visitors. "Until recently some owners believed their profits from serving only locals were sufficient, and due to the language barrier, they may have left foreign visitors with a feeling that they were not welcome," he says.
Slightly more hi-tech approaches to dealing with communication problems have been rolled out elsewhere in Japan, as the number of foreign visitors grows. Last year, a new app was trialled that translates rail announcements into a visitor's own language, and some regions offer 24-hour multilingual hotlines for advice on everything from finding a doctor to sending luggage home.
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