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Sunday, 1 September, 2002, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Taiwan learns rubbish English

A Taiwanese city has come up with a novel way of teaching its citizens to speak better English.

The rubbish trucks in Tainan used to announce their arrival in every street by playing music from Beethoven over their loudspeakers.

But from Sunday, the mayor is getting them to blare out the message "Let's talk in English."

Three hundred separate sentences have been recorded for the trucks to play. Most are conversational phrases like "How are you? I am fine thank you," some less common, like "How much does a pound of cabbage cost?".

The mayor hopes that after a few months of putting out the rubbish even Tainan's grandmothers and grandfathers will have a basic grasp of English.

It was, he says, his wife who came up with the idea.

But he is hopeful it is Tainan's first step towards becoming an international city.

See also:

11 Jun 02 | Country profiles
13 Feb 02 | Europe
18 Sep 00 | Education
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