“Hey Taxi – Leve-me para o Estádio Olímpico, I think”

It’s not just Japan where taxi drivers are challenged by English. Brazil, which will be hosting the international sporting lovefest known as the Olympics in the summer of 2016, will also have to figure out how to communicate with the non-Portuguese speaking hordes who will descend on Rio de Janeiro next August.

It’s such an issue that a Brazilian newspaper saw fit to do an article on a company marketing a language program called “Hey Taxi”, a course designed to teach taxi drivers how to effectively communicate with foreigners in English.

The project is run by a company called Meritus Partners, and as one of the company partners explains, the Brazilian taxi driver needs help. “Since May, when I started conducting research with the cab drivers in Rio, I have learned that they have very limited understanding and awareness of their role in the hospitality sector yet they are the host of the city, the first impression of a foreign tourist.”

Fortunately, not all taxi drivers in Brazil need help. This fellow not only gets the passenger to his destination in time, he does a fantastic rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.