2020 Olympics in Japan to Be Free from Language Barriers

Tokyo (in Japan) is going to host Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. Thus, the country is hoping to eliminate language and cultural barriers, in order to attract almost 40 million inbound tourists (annual).

Reports say that within the next three years, the country is expecting to bridge both the cultural and language gap in similar proportions. Keeping this vision in mind, hundreds of students are preparing themselves to welcome their foreign guests and provide them with complete linguistic support. This implies that the students will serve the foreign visitors as tourist guides and interpreters throughout the international festival of peace & sports.

Apart from this, the government is also taking some initiatives – the standard pictograms used to represent public facilities may be replaced with those which follow the international standards. However, few people are resistant towards this move, as they believe that some pictograms or signs should not be changed as they are quite easy to understand.

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The Organizing Committees of Tokyo 2020 Olympics is hoping to recruit more than 90,000 volunteers or nonpaid workers for the games. According to this committee, there were almost 78,000 volunteers for the 2012 London Olympics and approximately 50,000 volunteers for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

As per a committee official, there has been an increase of interest among college students (who learn foreign language) to work as volunteers. Hence, this would be a great and memorable experience for the students. Not just this, medical students are also looking for opportunities, so that they could linguistic support during the Games.

To fulfill the volunteer positions, special classes would be conducted in summer 2018 and the applicants should have good language skills and sports knowledge. Further, to make sure that the students are ready for the volunteer designation, seven language schools have joined forces, viz. “Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Kansai Gaidai University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Kanda University of International Studies, Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies and Kobe City University of Foreign Studies”.

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Additionally, the lectures would be undertaken in five languages: Korean, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. Looking at such preparations, it can be said that the 2020 games might bridge the linguistic and cultural gaps.

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