As mentioned above, the Metrocard Vending Machine
s can display information in any of eight language
s. The MTA
has used this ability to actually
make life easier for commuter
The eight languages available are:
all using the proper alphabet
The screen usually has room to display up to six
choices. English and Spanish are always
displayed, since those are essentially the default
languages of New York City
. The other language choices are programmed in depending on the neighborhood
that the machine is in (i.e. the machines in heavily Korean neighborhoods like Flushing
would show Korean as a third choice, and the Russians in Brighton Beach would find Russian as a menu item
To make life easier for the hapless commuter that selects the wrong option, the screen layout is always the same, and the Go Back and Cancel buttons are always in the same place, set out from the rest of the screen. (For the confused or lost in a foreign font, the buttons are on the lower right of the screen. Go Back is the white button, Cancel the red). In fact, once one gets used to the layout, one can just press any language button and still have a successful transaction.
The machines can also be used to reinforce language training. Since one always has the option to cancel in case of an accident, one can select a language that s/he is practicing and try and get a MetroCard using only that language.
Keep in mind that this may be an expensive experiment. This noder assumes no responsibility for any harm, financial or otherwise, that comes from this practice. Thank you.