BC handles language issue in a constructive way

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NorthReport
BC handles language issue in a constructive way
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I think that government signage (including road signs, wayfaring signage in hospitals, schools, universities, malls, government offices and such) and what I'll just call "warning" signage (including "Danger: High Voltage" or "may contain peanuts" and such) should be in both official languages.

But a private business should be free to put up a sign that I can't understand, if they don't care about my business.  Really, what's it to me?  Should I feel all insulted that they're not "assimilating"?

Maybe I'm just too used to shopping in Chinatown.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This is Richmond BC.  Why would they put up signs in French for the less than 7% of French speakers most of whom also speak English. Like Quebec and unlike NB we are not a bilingual province. If we had bilingual signage on public buildings it makes more sense that they are in English and Pinyin because they are the languages of the people who live here. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Why would they put up signs in French for the less than 7% of French speakers most of whom also speak English.

For the same reason they would be expected to make official forms available in both languages.  That's pretty much how an official language works.

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If we had bilingual signage on public buildings it makes more sense that they are in English and Pinyin because they are the languages of the people who live here.

Native pinyin speakers?  I thought pinyin was just a transliteration of Chinese.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

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Why would they put up signs in French for the less than 7% of French speakers most of whom also speak English.

For the same reason they would be expected to make official forms available in both languages.  That's pretty much how an official language works.

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If we had bilingual signage on public buildings it makes more sense that they are in English and Pinyin because they are the languages of the people who live here.

Native pinyin speakers?  I thought pinyin was just a transliteration of Chinese.

All federal buildings have signage in both official languages. WTF cant' you read. BC only has one official language so there is little to no signage in French exxcept in federal government buildings.

Where did I say anything about someone speaking Pinyin. You are an asshole for trying to derail almost every conversation with ridiculous statements. I did not envision any talking signs in government offices or on buildings.

About Pinyin

Hanyu Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Mandarin Chinese sounds into the Roman alphabet. It was invented in 1950s, and adopted as a standard in mainland China in 1958. Pinyin is used for several purposes, such as teaching Chinese, transcribing names and places into the roman alphabet, and used as an input method for typing Chinese characters.

Pinyin is not the only system devised to transcribe Chinese sounds into roman letters. An older system called Wade-Giles was used in the first half of the 20th century, and it has left its mark on the English language. For instance, 功夫 is romanized as "kungfu" in Wade-Giles, but "gongfu" in Pinyin. Also, 北京 (the capital of China) was in the past romanized as "Peking", but is "Beijing" in Pinyin. It is a common misconception that the city changed names, but the sound never changed, only how we spell the sound with letters.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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BC only has one official language so there is little to no signage in French exxcept in federal government buildings.

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BC only has one official language so there is little to no signage in French exxcept in federal government buildings.

That's pretty much all I suggested.  I'm not demanding that Bob's Hardware also feature "Le Hardware de Bob" on their storefront.

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Where did I say anything about someone speaking Pinyin.

You said:

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it makes more sense that they are in English and Pinyin because they are the languages of the people who live here.

I should think that the languages of the people who live there might be Mandarin and Cantonese.  Again, pinyin is just a transliteration so we don't have to look at all those squiggles and drawings, yes?  Or else why don't they just speak or write pinyin in China?

To put it another way, are we transcribing Chinese languages into the Roman alphabet for the benefit of Chinese Canadians?  Is that what pinyin is?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The written languages you asshole.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Super.  But pinyin is not an attempt to help Mandarin speakers understand written Mandarin.  Do you think that Chinese Canadians, before moving here, wrote in pinyin when they lived in China?

Aristotleded24

Mr. Magoo wrote:
But pinyin is not an attempt to help Mandarin speakers understand written Mandarin.  Do you think that Chinese Canadians, before moving here, wrote in pinyin when they lived in China?

Do you not think that the City of Richmond took into account the langauge and needs of the community before deciding what language to post the signage in?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

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Do you not think that the City of Richmond took into account the langauge and needs of the community before deciding what language to post the signage in?

Did the City post that signage?

Or do you mean that the City took into account "the language needs of the community" and decided that even English speakers have a right to know that century eggs are on sale?

Pogo Pogo's picture

The sign law only encourages 50% English (a compromise to the small group of complainers).  Businesses can still make a conscious decision to put up whatever you want. Go to the businesses on the east side of #3 Road and between the Cambie and Landsdowne stations and it is hard to find any signs with English. I can't say I go there frequently, but other than my barber I rarely go to any mall.  However, when I have gone there it has for the most part been a pleasant shopping experience. Funny but the lack of English signs increase the need to have one on one communication.

One day I will figure out what is so great about bubble tea.

Also yes if you go to the Service Canada office or YVR you will get a dose of French. If you want a full serving you will need to go to Mallardville.

NorthReport

There appears to be more than a bit of wisdom in Richmond, BC

NorthReport

Chinese 'ethnic economies' alive and well in Metro Vancouver

 

http://theprovince.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-chinese-ethnic-ec...