Language barrier

Zaarc

Well-Known Member
picked up a young woman in an urban part of Trenton. She was real quiet and listening to her phone. Drove to the pin about a mile away. When we get there, there is no affirming house number to be seen but it was clearly the right area. I stop to let her out and she starts making some spanish sounding noises to indicate that she does not recognize where we are. I try to ask her where she is going, but i get "no English". OK. so when pantomime and speaking louder had no affect, I pulled up Google Translate to ask here where she is going. She repeats the address that Uber thinks I am at. I then ask her who she is going to see and if she can call them. That didnt really help.

I ended up asking a nearby pedestrian if she spoke both spanish and english and if she could help us out. They conversed, but none of this helped. I try driving up and down the street in both directions, to no avail. The address was 72, and finally she indicates that maybe we are looking for 702. I drive more to find that, and that doesnt satisfy her either. I couldnt just kick her out of my car in the middle of the hood, so I start looking around for a cop, figuring they probably speak spanish around there and maybe they could help.

But before I get that far, the pax decides I should take her back home, which i did. All this took 15 or 20 minutes, turning a minimum 3.79 into a whopping 8 bucks. Yay for me. I felt bad for her because she...or somebody...paid for nothing. But oh well. Not my problem. I was trying to do the right thing and get her where she wanted to go.

My question is, what would any of you have done in a situation like this when you have a severe language barrier?
 

Seamus

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately Google Translate won't give you an address no one knows!

I took a Russian women who spoke little English to Brooklyn. The address she put in was wrong. She called her friend who she was visiting who spoke no English and had only been in the country for a few weeks who gave her a different address which was also wrong. Call again....different address....also wrong. While she had her friend on the phone again I said "you are Russian, its got to be Brighton Beach or Coney Island" (I know, stereotyping). Brighton Beach she recognized so now I now what section of Brooklyn! Told her to ask her friend what the closest restaurant is to her apartment. That finally worked, dropped her at the restaurant. Aggravating but the ride paid well and the lady gave me a $20 bill for not dropping her off at the wrong address which was a pleasant surprise.

Too bad there isn't an app for "unknown destinations"! LOL
 
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amazinghl

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately Google Translate won't give you an address no one knows!

I took a Russian women who spoke little English to Brooklyn. The address she put in was wrong. She called her friend who she was visiting who spoke no English and had only been in the country for a few weeks who gave her a different address which was also wrong. Call again....different address....also wrong. While she had her friend on the phone again I said "you are Russian, its got to be Brighton Beach or Coney Island" (I know, stereotyping). Brighton Beach she recognized so now I now what section of Brooklyn! Told her to ask her friend what the closest restaurant is to her apartment. That finally worked, dropped her at the restaurant. Aggravating but the ride paid well and the lady gave me a $20 bill for not dropping her off at the wrong address which was a pleasant surprise.

Too bad there isn't an app for "unknown destinations"! LOL

Job well done. I can see a lot of drivers here will just kicked her out.
 

BikingBob

Well-Known Member
Smart call on Google Translate. But I am confused as to how the address was wrong. I get the GPS getting it wrong. But wherever she copied it from and how she entered it into the app, it would be the same.

'123 Main Street' is '123 Main Street' in Spanish.
'897 Ridge Ave.' is '897 Ridge Ave.' in Spanish.

As for not leaving her in the middle of Trenton, you did the right thing. Just curious how she mistyped the address.
 

DriverMark

Well-Known Member
Would have done about the same as you. You took the extra effort to find out where she was going.

Question, could the address been a different city? Occasionally here I get folks entering the address without checking it's the right city and we start heading the wrong way. Or I verify where we are going and we then sort it out. But I have gotten to an address and they are like: "Um, this isn't right." ..... well, I guess if you didn't have your face in the phone for the last 15 minutes we would have figured this all out sooner lol.
 

TomTheAnt

Well-Known Member
I was trying to do the right thing and get her where she wanted to go.

This is also what I strive to do. Yeah, it sucks that you go through all the trouble for little money and usually for no tip, but I'm not going to kick people, especially a woman, out of my truck in the middle of nowhere without at least trying to figure out where they really were supposed to be going to. Especially if it is dark.

You did good, OP. :thumbup:
 

Ballermaris

Well-Known Member
Being that I work in an area which has any number of nationalities, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, and other mixes from Europe I have the Google Translator handy in case I need it. Taking the extra step can help in a customer service situation that will benefit all drivers.
 

BigBadBob

Active Member
I had one the other night. App said weber road or street. I start the trip, one of the pax says i'm going the wrong way. other pax checked and correct address was weaver st or road. opposite side of town. Yes he used google voice. Quite funny in a way
 
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