Effective Airport Signage
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In public places, messages of communication are established through signs and spoken announcements. These messages need to be transmitted to readers and listeners successfully in order to supply the audience with information about where to go or what to do. In the international environment of airports, messages in signage are provided in English and visual signs. So far, research has tended to focus on the design and implementation of signs, rather than on the use of language or visual information in these signs. This study examines the effectiveness of the information, focusing on the varieties of English and use of pictograms. Surveys were conducted at three European airports; one native English airport and two non-native English airports. The participants were passengers or visitors with different first languages. They were asked to assess the language and pictograms in the signs of the specific airports. The results show that non-standard English language were understood and accepted by most respondents but did not achieve a higher effectivity than Standard English varieties; however, some Standard English varieties were less effective than others. In addition, pictograms that were accompanied by text were the least effective, and most effective when the language next to the pictogram was unambiguous and had a connection to the meaning of the pictogram.