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Immigrant-flooded Sydney simplifies train announcements because passengers can’t understand words like “alight” and “terminates”

Sydney Trains will update station announcements to use simpler language due to concerns passengers in the increasingly multicultural metropolis cannot understand words like “alight” and “terminates”.

A test group of more than 1,200 public transport users from a range of demographics were interviewed as part of the Customer Language Program, and found that the present “technical language” was not easily understood, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Instead of “alight”, new announcements will use “leave” or “get off”, while “ends” will replace “terminates”, and “extra” will be used rather than “additional”.

“Sydney Trains is working to improve the information we provide to passengers to reduce the use of technical language and make it easier to understand,” a spokesperson said.

“We have been undertaking passenger research into the most effective ways to communicate to people about their journeys.”

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data, in the 20 years from 2001 Sydney’s population grew from 3,455,110 to 4,698,656.

In 2001, 63.3% of the population spoke English only at home, but by 2021 that number was just 53.9%. Over the same period the overseas-born population went from 40.3% to 45.8%.

Since 2021 Australia’s Liberal and Labor governments have brought in more than 1.16 million immigrants, mainly from India, China and the Philippines, the majority of whom have settled in Sydney and Melbourne.

30.7% of Australia’s population is now foreign-born, the highest since Federation, and recent polls show a majority of Australians want immigration wound back.

One survey from April showed that three in four Aussies think immigration is too high and 49% want a drastic cut, while another two weeks later found that large majorities think cities are already too crowded and that mass immigration is making it harder for young Australians to buy homes.

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