A Lady in Waiting

Besides serving an extremely useful purpose (there are few things more annoying that standing at a service counter while the person who’s behind you in line breathes down your neck), signs instructing one to wait one’s turn behind the line turn out to be surprisingly attractive photo subjects and sources of linguistic entertainment. They also shed light on cultural peculiarities [note, for example, the difference in tone between the Turkish polite entreat to “please wait,” the Spanish imperative command, simply, to “wait”, the German no-non-sense “Please wait here” and the French (with no English translation) long-winded gallantry in thanking you for waiting] and even reveal national linguistic policies. These ubiquitous instructions can be spotted in all the usual places where queues tend to form – from airports and train stations to museums and cinemas. Here is a continuously updated and multilingual collection of moments, as I wait [for] my turn.


In Portuguese and English: Setúbal Train Station and Lisbon Aiport


In Catalan, English and Spanish: Barcelona Airport

In German and English: Munich Airport

In French [and French only!]: Marseille Provence Airport

In Euskara (Basque), Spanish and English: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao


In Portuguese and English: Elevador de Santa Justa, Lisbon

In Catalan, Spanish and English: Barcelona Estacio Nord bus station

In Turkish and English: Istanbul Airport

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