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You speak T3?

Announcements can now be made in 11 languages at the Delhi terminal. But the fact is it doesn't matter.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2011 23:37 IST

If you understand Hindi, English, Arabic, Japanese, Dutch, Spa-nish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Russian, no longer will you miss your flight from Delhi's T3 international terminal for not understanding what that voice over the public address (PA) system is saying. The first of its kind in India, the automated PA system can now announce in any of the 11 aforementioned languages. For a country that understands the problems involved in communicating across various languages, this system may be just what the air traveller ordered.

But in the true spirit of a professional whiner, we wonder whether flight announcements made in English and Hindi will be comprehensible to a non-Hindi, non-English-speaking travelling bunch from South 24 Parganas or Kozhikode. While the Delhi International Airport Authorities have explained that Arabic is the most spoken language after English and Hindi among T3 travellers, the choice of Malayalam could be bunged in going by a large percentage of folks travelling between India and the Gulf countries. As for the Afghan gentleman with two shadowy figures covered from head-to-toe walking ten feet behind him in T3, a Pashto announcement would go a long way to help him calm down.

But here's the fact of the matter: no matter how many languages you add on your magic box for individual airlines to avail of, in an increasingly globalised world, the chances of non-German speaking Turks and non-English (or Hindi) speaking Britons are high. We just have two requests in this imperfect world: one, can we cut out the British or American accent that the voice over the PA is dunked in; and two, can someone please change the horrendous carpet that spreads across the T3 terminal like a fungal growth gone hard?