Visitors to London during the summer weeks will notice tight security measures and plenty of information on hand to guide them smoothly around the capital. But one train company has made a rather embarrassing faux pas with an attempt to translate a security poster into Arabic, by printing badly written characters back to front.
The posters were displayed in several key travel hubs, including Blackfriars, King's Cross, City Thameslink, Farringdon, St Pancras International, Luton and Stevenage, but are now being taken down and replaced. They were translated into seven languages from their original English and warned passengers not to leave baggage items unattended, but the Arabic version was completely indecipherable to native speakers.
A spokesman for First Capital Connect stated that the posters were translated by professionals and published in good faith but admitted to the BBC that: “Our supplier substituted one font for another so that the wrong alphabet was used for the Arabic message, rendering it meaningless.”
Unfortunately the gaffe has taken place in the same week that security company G4S came under the spotlight for not delivering enough guards for the Olympics with authorities having to step in to cover the shortfalls.
Organisers will now be focussing on a more positive build up to the Games and ironing out any last minute issues ahead of the Opening Ceremony on 27th July, to ensure a safe and secure festival of sport.
Prime Minister David Cameron is clearly keen to spread the message that he’ll be enjoying the Games along with everyone else and intends to travel to the Open Ceremony on the London Underground. He was quoted in the Telegraph as saying: "I will be using public transport and that is how I recommend (everyone) should travel. I now use the Tube, I drive my protection team mad in London by saying why on earth are we in the car, the Tube is quicker."