UK Foreign Office now speaks in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi
The Foreign and C'wealth Office is on the lookout for ways to better its consular services to reflect the changing diversity of the UK.india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 23:18 IST
The British Foreign Office now speaks in Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu as well as Punjabi.
For travellers to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, it offers tips in these languages under a new initiative—besides, of course, in English.
Baroness Symons, the foreign office minister for consular affairs, said: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve its consular services to reflect the changing diversity of the UK and to encourage all British travellers to enjoy safe and trouble-free trips abroad.
"We know from our contacts with ethnic minority communities in the UK that they would welcome moves on our part to provide consular information material in minority languages.
"To this end I am pleased to announce the launch of these travel tips which offer essential information in the relevant ethnic languages of the Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani communities in the UK."
Trevor Phillips, chairperson for the Commission for Racial Equality, welcomed the initiative and said it reflected an inclusive and supportive approach towards the ethnic minorities.
The 'Travellers' Tips' provided on the foreign office website are written by British embassies and high commissions overseas, and advise British travellers on what they should and should not do in each country.