Portuguese & TfL

MQT on 2014-11-19
Session date: 
November 19, 2014
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Turkish, Spanish, Arabic, Tamil, Punjabi, Italian, German, Greek, Chinese & Hindi are languages used by the TfL ticket machines. However they are spoken as a main language by less people than those who speak Portuguese, which is the 6th most spoken (non-English) main language in London. Why are Portuguese speakers being ignored by TfL?


Answer for Portuguese & TfL

Answer for Portuguese & TfL

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I can assure you that TfL is not ignoring foreign language speakers of any kind.

In addition to English, sixteen other languages are offered at the ticket machines.

This is the maximum number that can be supported by the present software, without extensive and expensive redevelopment.

The supported languages are: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Punjabi, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu.

These languages were selected on the basis of their prevalence of use amongst Londoners and visitors. 

As a result of this extensive provision, TfL rarely receives complaints from customers on this issue.

Expanding the number of languages beyond this is possible, but would require significant changes to the software used by the machines.

TfL is assessing the implications of providing additional languages as part of continuing work to improve the ticket machines.