Written by IainB
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Topics: Money, Language

Monday, 2 March 2009

image for New coinage
Pound coins already have Latin on them

The Royal Mint are to bow to public pressure and produce new coinage with the values printed on them in Polish and Urdu as well as English.

"One of the big complaints we have," said Royal Mint chief designer Ted Pounds, "is that the non-English speakers in the country are struggling in distinguishing a ten pound note from a five pence piece. We hope that this new initiative will help bridge that gap."

Two new five pences were the first to be revealed; one with PI?? and one with PAANCH clearly visible on the tails side.

"Being the Royal Mint we felt beholden to continue with the image of the queen on the reverse," said Pounds. "With the increasing pressure to include alternate languages, such as Australian, to write the value of the currency, an alternative may be that we have drop the queen's head in favour of adding Spanish, French, Hindi and Cymru on the reverse to keep the number of new coins down. It may even be necessary to drop the English, and just hope that those people in the country for whom English is a first language can recognise the coins by their shape."

The Mint will not be releasing all the language coins all over the country in one batch, but instead staggering the releases so that Manchester sees the Polish coins, whilst London sees the Australian ones, and Bradford gets the Urdu.

Daily Flail readers are up in arms, but the Mint maintain that this just reflects multicultural Britain.

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