Why it will be easier for English speakers to travel around Japan

A massive translation operation is underway in Japan to help English speaking visitors find their...

A massive translation operation is underway in Japan to help English speaking visitors find their way around. (Sean Pavone/shutterstock.com)

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, Last Updated: 10:04 AM ET

English speakers in Japan will find it easier to navigate their way around the country now that the transport ministry has mandated that street signs be translated into English.

In response to visitor complaints of poor, inconsistent or the complete absence of translations, the Japanese government has made it mandatory for signs to include English words for important reference points.

Words like station, airport, city hall, hospital and river, for example, will be written out in English, reports The Japan Times.

Likewise, instead of relying on the catch-all phrase 'dori,' streets will be identified as avenue, street or boulevard for clarification.

The exception to the rule will be the word 'onsen,' the Japanese word for hot springs, which will remain unchanged as the Japanese government figures it's a universal word understood by all.

Translations in multiple languages are also being considered for museums, parks, tourist sites and public transportation.


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