Brazil launches massive English language crash course for World Cup

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Before Brazil’s preparations for the World Cup began, the safety doors at São Paulo’s Sacomã metro station asked passengers waiting on the platform to allow for the “alightment” of those in the train before entering.

For those who could read the Portuguese version of the sign, it was easy to see that something had been lost in translation. Clearly the metro system in the largest city in South America wanted people on the platform to let passengers exit a train before pushing their way in.

Just a couple years ago, those confusing yellow signs on the glass safety doors were covered by new, corrected ones. And now that the World Cup is just days away from kicking off in the city with a population that surpasses 11 million, new signs written in six languages have appeared in several stations letting visitors know that they can ask metro workers for help.

Whether they’ll get an answer is the question.

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By Jill Langlois

Originally published on on June 11, 2014.


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