Traveling Lessons – Language Snobbery

I am traveling this week, but can’t resist breaking away from all the fun to share an observation on today.

Workplace safety has always been important to me, and I first started blogging on that topic here. This week’s vacation is on a cruise ship, and I found myself going through the emergency drill today with a strong assurance that while the law was being obeyed, and the mandatory drill was held, that did little to prepare us for the possible need to actually assemble and get in the life boats.

Part of the process included watching a video that started with an instruction that non-English speakers could watch the video in their rooms in one of several languages. This message was then repeated in each of seven languages, and then the video was shown in English. At the conclusion of the video, the message about seeing the video in another language was repeated, and when the second warning started, in Italian I believe, there was a collective groan from the crowd.

Really? You can’t sit through another 40 seconds of this video in order to assure that EVERYONE on the ship knows how to get the same instruction you just did on what to do in emergencies?

Language snobs. Another indication that we have so far to go in appreciating the true diversity of the world.

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