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Drive Through English

Today my wife’s driving school, Al Ahli in Al Quoz, signed her up for the RTA traffic sign test.  This is a multiple choice answer theoretical test, taken on a PC touchscreen and is over in one minute.  The actual time allocated is one minute per question, ten questions total, but it’s very straightforward and (should) often takes much less time.  A sample of the test is hosted on Emirates Driving Institute website.

My wife was given a study guide by her driving instructor, in preparation for the test.  It is hilarious. Here follow samples of the text within the guide:

Section title: Compulsory Qustions (failed from first mistake)

Q1. Near Schools, hospitals and residential areas driver SHOULD NOT USE?

A. UNNECESSARILY HORN so they don’t disturb the public

Q3. When you face the school bus using STOP SIGN, what should you do?

A. Come to a COMPLETE STOP and let the children cross road

Q4. On the CONJESTED JUNCTIONS the moment signal turns GREEN, What should you do?

A. DO NOT ENTER THE YELLOW area unless your path is CLEAR

Q5. When you see a car running with HAZARD LIGHT IN, what should you do?

A. Access the RIGHT most lane.

Q8. When the STOP sign is seen, what should be the driver do?

A. Make a complete STOP, make sure the road is COMPLETELY CLEAR and then enter the road.

Section title: Non-Compulsory Qustions (Failed from the third mistake)

Q4. If a driver is driving at speed 80km/hr. what should be the HEAD DISTANCE?

A. The head distance SHOULD NOT BE LESS THAN 25 METERS.

Q7. When the driver’s BRAKES FAIL what should he do?

A. Warn other vehicles using HAZARDS LIGHT and putting warning TRIANGULAR SIGN at the back of the car.

(MH: WTF?? My answer would have been: wish he had bought a manual instead of an automatic so he could engine brake.  And how do they propose to put the warning sign at the back of the car while it’s in motion?)

Note: all formatting and spelling copied as is from the leaflet.  I will scan it tomorrow and upload it, but I couldn’t wait.  Handing the copy to a natural English language native / speaker would have produced a more professional result, even without going to the expense of hiring a translator.  I’m sure there are many more instances of this, waiting to be discovered.

Having said all of the above I must praise Al Ahli for the speed with which the process is moving.  My experience was much more frustrating (vide previous posts).


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