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Moscow Metro to Test Out English Language Announcements

The old signage will be entirely replaced in 2015, the metro?€™s deputy director Yury Degtyarev told city news agency Moskva in December. S. Nikolaev / Vedomosti

After decades of mystifying foreign tourists, the Moscow metro system will test out announcing the names of stations in English, news agency Interfax cited the metro's head as saying Thursday.

English announcements will be tried out on just one line, the metro's head Dmitry Pegov said, without clarifying which one.

While the metro's glittering collection of often palatial stations is one of Moscow's main tourist attractions, its limited use of English has long been a nuisance to foreigners.

Although maps posted within metro cars provide English transliterations of the stop names, much of the signage at the stations does not, and the train announcements can prove incomprehensible to non-Russian speakers.

The metro has begun to address the issue, last year replacing some Soviet-era signs with new ones that offer information in both Russian and English.

The old signage will be entirely replaced in 2015, the metro's deputy director Yury Degtyarev told city news agency Moskva in December.

The metro's makeover comes at a time when tourism to Russia, never a top choice for American or European Union citizens, has sunk even lower due to tensions between Russia and the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

Tour operators have seen demand for trips to Russia fall by up to 40 percent in 2014, U.S. broadcaster CNN reported recently.

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