Today, travelling is necessary and accessible to more and more people.
This increased mobility exposes millions of travellers every day to new cultures, customs and languages. Without education, dialogue can be difficult and misunderstandings can arise.
You can get yourself into all sorts of trouble in other countries if you don't have an understanding of the cultural language. Much of our behaviour can mean other things in other countries, some of it amusing, some of it extremely offensive. One gesture, or movement, or expression, may have many different meanings, just as our verbal language has words which may have different meanings.
Some people, when travelling to new countries, may forget to consider the different behavioural norms they are likely to encounter and behave exactly as they do at home. In such circumstances, even minor cultural differences can become major barriers to communication and cooperation. This project aims to demystify these cultural differences and encourage visitors to embrace them.
The beauty of Europe lies in the fact that even though there is a firm movement towards standardisation for the sake of efficiency, there is a strong will to cultivate and to promote the diversity of languages and cultures of the different states. With our project we would like to contribute to this important philosophy and extend it to the ‘global village’ that is our world today.
More generally, and perhaps a little less pretentiously, we would simply like to put the idea in the minds of the passengers that it is useful and fun to learn about cultural differences.
The objectives of this project are:
The first episode (Fasten Seat Belts 1: Europe) was funded by the European Commission's Socrates-Lingua department.The second one (Fasten Seat Belts 2: Europe - Asia) was supported by the European Commission’s Life Long Learning Programme.
For the first episode, we produced 35 clips explaining Do's & Don'ts in the different countries of Europe, as well as language programmes for 20 of the languages of Europe.
Since its launch in September 2007, Fasten Seat Belts 1 has been aired on all the screens of Brussels Airport, on all the fleet of Thomas Cook Airlines, Air France, Heathrow Express, TAP Portugal and the Berliner Fenster as well as in various media and exhibitions.
Fasten Seat Belts 2, designed for travellers going to Asia, combines various « Dos and Don’ts » (gestures, traditions, manners…) relating to the following countries : Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, India and China, as well as practical expressions in the official languages of these 6 countries, spoken clearly and supported by on screen text and transliteration + translations in French, English, Spanish, German.
Fasten Seat Belts 2 is screened by all Air France planes and iPhone users will be able to download a Fasten Seat Belts application in the near future.
We hope to be able to produce more content in the future, extending our research to cover all the continents of the world.