Jan 9, 2010

One small problem when transiting Narita airport

There's one small problem when transiting Narita airport: you get off your first flight, walk over to the connections board, only to find...

...everything's written in gibberish!

I actually said this word, gibberish, for comedic effect when I was there. There were about twenty people looking at the board, and I walked over from behind, and proclaimed in a booming voice, "What's going on here, I need to figure out my connecting gate information, but everything's written in gibberish!"

Turns out, you can just wait thirty seconds and the board will redisplay in English, but I just had to make a joke that only would be funny to me. One other American passenger gave me a chuckle. But really, no one else recognized the situational comedic genius taking place before them. Oh well.

Language students may be interested to learn that although Japanese borrows many characters from Chinese, they don't make use of Chinese characters to spell out the city names on this flight screen. I believe that what they're using in the leftmost column is a Japanese phonetic alphabetization of the cities.


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