Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Record numbers of Brits holidaying in Jordan – but Middle Eastern languages could present challenges for tourists…

News this week from an online flight operator in the UK, announced that the number of British tourists visiting Jordan in 2012 had hit new record highs of 69,845; revealing that some UK travellers are indeed getting more adventurous when choosing a holiday destination.  Of course, certain historic events may have had something to do with the sudden rise in popularity of the location - 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the rediscovery of the ancient city of Petra and the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic film Lawrence of Arabia (shot for the most part in Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert).

It’s encouraging to see more Brits venturing away from the comfort zone of the Mediterranean and dipping their toes into the waters of the Dead Sea instead.  The appeal of new cultures, epic landscapes, ancient lands steeped in history, not to mention the guarantee of plenty of sunshine, are all likely to be contributing factors to the recent flourish of UK visitors.  But travelling in a region where there are so many unique languages and dialects spoken could present some very real challenges for British travellers.

The most common languages in the Middle East are Arabic, Farsi and Turkish.  For Jordan itself, Arabic is the official language, but the spoken language is Jordanian Arabic.  Modern Standard Arabic is learnt at public and most private schools, but Caucasian languages such as Circassian and Chechen are also understood and spoken by some small communities residing in Jordan – add to that the fact that in many areas of the Middle East the local dialect is mixed up with one or more foreign languages.  For example in Lebanon, French and English are often mixed with the local Arabic dialect so when it comes to language barriers, you may find you’re spoilt for choice!

Aside from the language barriers, visiting the Middle East can also be a real culture-shock for many people with new laws, traditions and customs to consider.  Thankfully, affordable, personal telephone interpreting services like i-interpret4u mean that British travellers can continue to explore these ancient sites and enjoy the rich, historic tapestry that countries like Jordan have to offer, safe in the knowledge that if they do need to communicate, choices of relevant, Middle Eastern language options are available in real-time via a live, experienced interpreter..

No comments:

Post a Comment