picture of the day

Sign of the times

16 Comments

In a pinch? During office hours? We can help. Otherwise, you're on your own. Photo taken at Hirosaki Station in Aomori.

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16 Comments
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You removed the picture of the Princess for this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it's rather pathetic that they only offer this service for eight hours a day, and not during the times the trains are in operation, including year-end holidays. Reminds me of how hospitals operate only during business hours -- as though trouble takes time off for vacation as well, instead of most problems occurring while people rush to take holidays or during off hours. Granted, with the trains there's not going to be many problems they can help you with when the trains are not running, and this is better than nothing, but it's still not adequate enough.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

"in a pinch"? Many non-native English speakers may not understand that expression.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think it's rather pathetic that they only offer this service for eight hours a day

Damn your James Dean spontaneity, sir!

All pinches must be planned within a socially appropriate schedule, and reported three months in advance - in triplicate - to the most local shiyakusho to where said pinch is forecast to occur.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

well its a start maybe in a couple decades they will expand hours of operation, hell hopefully by then we will see more 24 atms, lord knows its taking forever to even do that LOL!!!

But hey we don't want to cause any confusion!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

hopefully by then we will see more 24 atms

I've been banking with Shinsei for a decade - 24 hour ATMs with no service charges in every 7-11 in the country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"in a pinch"? Many non-native English speakers may not understand that expression.

"In a pinch" is a decidedly British thing to say, so I could see even some of my American compatriots getting a bit confused as well. The alternative we usually use is "in a bind". I know they're the same thing, but no one has ever accused us Americans of thinking outside of our own little corner of the language.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Nobody picked up the typo either? 'Operaton'... Why don't they have signs proof read by native speakers or at least use a spell checker?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

What actually is this service for? No indication given other than some random idiom that the guy who wrote it must have found in a knackered old English dictionary propping up the table in the smoking room, and tried to impress his mates with.

Is it a phone line for emergencies when on a train? For financial help? What?!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why don't they have signs proof read by native speakers or at least use a spell checker?

So you've never seen a spelling mistake in your own language at home? Come on, keep a sense of proportion about it.

As for the times of operation, it is a start. How many countries offer three non-native language services for their train services via remote service? Usually it's just English at a few ticket windows at major train stations, whether or not that's the native language. In the UK you can find remote services like these but they're only available in English.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why don't they keep it simpler and write the sign in Chinese and Korean as well? A word or phrase like 'Trouble?' or something unambiguous. No point having help in 3 languages if native speakers of 2 of them cannot read it...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is an excellent services compared to back home in England.

Try getting information, even in English, out of some of the surly bastards who staff the stations there.

I once took a train with information in four languages: English, Welsh, German and Japanese. Goodness knows who their target customer was.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Amazing the need for something like this, whatever it actually is, when everyone is carrying a multi-core touchscreen computer in their pocket at all times.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Too many assumptions not enough real homework. Using the "In a Pinch"... come on any normal thinking English speaker would tell them to not use that phrase. It might have worked well about 40 to 50 years ago.... but not now. Which leads me to believe this sticker was originally first printed a few decades ago or the person that developed it was in his 50's or 60's.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't see why so many people have a problem with the use of 'in a pinch' -- it's still perfectly common in English, and I hear it enough (more than "in a bind", I might add). Agree that a Chinese or Korean speaker who might be 'in a pinch' won't understand the sign, per se, but the idiom is not the problem. The problem is that you can only be in a pinch during set hours or you really will be in a pinch, or a pickle, or a bind, or between a rock and a hard place perhaps.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Is it a phone line for emergencies when on a train? For financial help? What?!!

For the clueless tourists.

I think it's pretty nice that it offers such service in three languages.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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