Taxi translation assistance in Colombia

Perhaps you meant to spend a little more time studying Spanish before your trip, or if you did, your mind just happened to draw a blank the second you got yourself and your bags into the taxi.

¿A dónde quieres ir?

Uh… where’s that phrasebook?

Nothing’s better than speaking the language—even if you can’t do it perfectly. But for those who need a little prompt, taxis in Bogotá, Colombia, are ready for you.

Last week, on my ride from the bus terminal to the airport, I spied a green card hanging from the passenger seat in my cab. On it were English-to-Spanish translations of phrases that might be needed by a passenger.

I don’t frequently get around by taxi when I’m traveling, so this may be more common that I think. But if not, it’s a pretty cool idea.

Have you seen something similar elsewhere? Let us know in the comments section.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | July 19, 2011
Category: Languages and Culture, South America

3 Responses to “Taxi translation assistance in Colombia”

  1. Nicolaï Says:

    In Taiwan, cabs are linked by radio to an English-language call station which then translates for the driver.

    On a related note, taxis there are surprisingly affordable. In Taiwan I usually go by scooter or public transport, but in a pinch the taxis are a great value. Cheap and fast!

    “Nothing’s better than speaking the language—even if you can’t do it perfectly.”

    100% right on

  2. Jill Says:

    I’ve been to Colombia twice in the past three months, and haven’t had one problem, in terms of friendliness. But then, I haven’t been all over the country–so my experience is still limited. Cost-wise, I’ve noticed that things are pretty reasonable. I’m already planning another trip there.