Seoul to add Japanese, Chinese on street signs by 2016
Published : 2013-01-09 15:37
Updated : 2013-01-09 15:38
The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced a plan Wednesday to redo the city‘s street signs in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese and standardize their design by 2016 in a move to boost convenience for foreigners and improve the city’s environment.
Under the envisioned plan, the city‘s 144,134 signs of 50 different types, including traffic signs and direction boards for major tourist attractions, will be written in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese by 2016, with the 80,888 signs located near major tourist destinations such as Myeong-dong and Itaewon to be changed within this year.
As of 2011, Chinese made up 37.4 percent of the total foreign tourists in South Korea, and Japanese accounted for 22.3 percent, according to the data by the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute.
Currently, the signs are written in Korean and English.
The municipal government has also decided to standardize the romanization of 14 major types of names such as administrative districts, places, and facilities for traffic and cultural activities, to resolve confusion caused by different English versions of a single name.
The design of the signs, including their size, color, and font, will also be unified, to help people recognize them easily even from afar, the city said.
A total of 48,416 line maps and other signs located in subway cars and stations, and route maps in the city’s 7,530 buses will also be redone in the four languages in phases to be completed by 2016, the city added.
“A survey by the Korea Tourism Organization in 2011 showed that foreign tourists chose street signs here as one of the major inconvenient factors for travel,” said Seo Jung-hyup, a city official in charge of tourism policies.
“Street signs are the most fundamental tool to provide tourists with information. By renovating them, we hope the quality of the city‘s tourism is improved,” he added. (Yonhap)