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Robots are on hand to help, and language is no barrier

    Robots are on hand to help, and language is no barrier

    A multilingual map board inside the expo venue’s compound. 
    Multilingual signs and more interpretation device renting spots are some of the efforts expected to help foreign visitors get around during the second China International Import Expo.
    Smart robots in the shape of Jinbao, the expo mascot, will also lend a hand, staff at the National Conference and Exhibition Center said yesterday.
    “I’m here” directions marked in English, Spanish, Russian, French and Arabic are a new feature on map boards in the venue. Directions for entrances, underground garages, public transit hubs, car parking areas and subway stations are also marked in the five languages.
    Distances to the squares and exhibition halls inside the venue are also marked on map and sign boards.
    Around 1,200 signs will be modified and some 600 added with multiple languages, according to the venue’s operation center.
    To guests who don’t speak Chinese, interpretation devices can be rented at about 80 spots in the venue. Last year there were just 16 such spots.
    As last year, students studying foreign languages at Shanghai International Studies University and language experts from translation companies will be on standby to help visitors who speak lesser spoken languages.
    The Jinbao robots, tailor-made for the event, will be in action at about 20 spots, providing navigation and event calendar information.
    Sit down and relax
    This year, the venue will have several rest zones out for visitors with drinking water facilities. Another 600 chairs, where visitors can charge their phones, will be added to the current 400 in the venue.
    Wang Yuxian, assistant to the operation center’s general manager, said an app guiding visitors inside the venue will be upgraded this year. “It will be more accurate and incorporate translation functions, and more importantly, the guests will have a smoother experience finding their way inside the multilayered venue directly from an outside spot,” she said.
    Also, more medical assistance and lost-and-found spots in the venue will be added for the event.
    This year, a showcase of China’s intangible cultural heritage and time-honored brands will be held alongside the expo to present Chinese folk culture to the world and entertain visitors.
    Shanghai as the host city will present its cultural heritage such as Shanghai-style furniture, paper-cutting and Jinshan peasant art, while cultural memories of other parts of China will also have a presence, such as Weifang kites from the northern Shandong Province.
    On the central square, there will be 63 performances from six countries ranging from singing, dancing and dramas.

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