Would you accuse someone of being racist over this?

@pilbara (1436)
Australia
April 2, 2007 12:23am CST
This occured in Australia, and the accepted national language is English. We were in a part of the city and all of the signs, were in another language, so of course we couldn't read what they said. One of the group said that they thought there should also be at least some signage in English, another person went right off at them and called them racist. I must admit that I agreed with the first person, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect some information to be available in english since that is our national language. By all means have all of the other signage as well, in whatever language you like but there should be some english present as well. I don't think holding this point of view can be seen as being racist.
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5 responses
• Canada
2 Apr 07
If the national language is English, then there should be English signs. If I was in Turkey where the national language is Turkish, I would EXPECT to see signs in Turkish. If I was in Australia where the national language is English, I would expect the signs to be in English. There is nothing racist about voicing your opinion that there should be signs in English.
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@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I do fully agree with you, that there should always be signage in thge countries "national language" Here in the US there are signs at the airpot, etc in many other languages, but ALWAYS signs exist in English. For the person horrified at Disneyland for not posting precautions in Spanish, while I do agree if they had Japanese, they should have Spanish, but where do you draw the line ? I fully understand that there are people who vacation in the US and do not speak English, but then one could argue that signs should therefore be posted in EVERY language spoken. If you are in a Spanish speaking country, expect signs in Spanish, Arabic country = Arabic signs etc. If Australia has English as a national language, then by all means, the signs should be in English.
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@LadyLeene (584)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I think you're right. When I was at Disneyland one day, I noticed a place on one of the rides where there were safety precautions written in English and Japanese, but no Spanish. What with the high Latino population in Southern California, that absolutely shocked me. I can make a defense for the Irish gaeltachts, where few non-Irish-speaking people usually spend much time, but I think that a major city should always have signs in whichever language is the national one.
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@lpipe0240 (1161)
• United States
2 Apr 07
I agree with you. If the national language is English, then everything should be posted in English. If people are unable to speak or read English, then they should learn it. After all it is the National language (not the optional language)
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• United States
2 Apr 07
I think that there should always be signs posted in other languages which are fairly common in the area, as well, simply for safety's sake. That thing at Disneyland where there was a ride with no safety precautions written in Spanish simply horrified me.
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@lpipe0240 (1161)
• United States
2 Apr 07
The fact that Disnland did not post them should not horrify you. This should be up to them if they want to post such things or not. What should be horrifing is people who goto a country not able to speaking or write in the native lanaguage. If I travedl to a foreign land or moved there I certainly would do what I could to learn the native langague to survive. Not expect everyone to cater to me becasue I cannot speak the native lanaguage.
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@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
2 Apr 07
Thanks for your comment. This is what the person meant and I agree with that.
• United States
2 Apr 07
That doesn't sound racist. It sounds like the person was just curious about what the signs said. They probably weren't written for him or her, though. In Chicago, there are signs such as the one on an attorney's office written in Polish. This attorney probably specializes in representing Polish-speaking clients. There are plenty of attorneys who speak English, so there's no need for an English translation on the sign. In Newark, there is a whole section where all the signs are in Korean. The ones on places like restaturants have English translations. The ones that don't are probably places that wouldn't interest non-Korean speakers anyway.
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