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  #81  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:43 PM
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Originally Posted by memememe76 View Post
I was watching Global News last night and they did a report on this. About 97% of the signs they showed had some form of English on them. Surely, they were looking for Chinese-only signs. So, is this really a problem? I am Asian but not Chinese and I have no problem wading around the city.


Two signs on the board have no English! The Chinamen are taking over!
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  #82  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
Yeah, Aisling said there's still a region where Gaelic dominates and always has, officially or not, but for the rest of the island, it's long gone.

She said you can choose Gaelic at ATMs in Dublin, but wonders if anyone ever has.
Dublin has persistently enjoyed a strong subculture of Irish speakers.

There are about 85 000 native speakers of Irish outside of the education system, as per the Irish census.
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  #83  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:50 PM
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Dublin has persistently enjoyed a strong subculture of Irish speakers.

There are about 85 000 native speakers of Irish outside of the education system, as per the Irish census.
What do you mean by "outside of the education system"?
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  #84  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:51 PM
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They all learn Irish in school - the 85,000 number is those who actually know and use it outside of that setting.
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  #85  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
Surprisingly, Vancouver has a mentality that is different from the rest of Anglo Canada. There are some White Vancouverites who feel that this is just a symptom of a broader problem, and compare the situation in Vancouver to the Quiet Revolution in Quebec. In Quebec, it was a substantial Anglo minority that had all the wealth and power. In Vancouver, some White Vancouverites feel that the Chinese constitute that wealthy and powerful minority.

I think such a view is utterly stupid and bizarre, but the growing anti-Chinese sentiment in Vancouver is difficult to miss.

It's sad, really.

Back on the specific topic, I think even beyond the principle / theory (whereby I think that the government should not dictate private signage language), as a practical matter, this is not something worth spending tax money on. To establish a Quebec-style language police in BC would be the stupidest way to spend taxpayer money. There are so many substantive issues; if I were a taxpayer in Richmond or BC and such proposals were floated around, I'd be pissed about how my taxpayer money is going to solve a non-issue (and that's a polite characterization).

Canada's two official languages are English and French. When you immigrate to a country you should understand that participating fully in that country and taking on its values is part of the package. Having a sign only in one, non-official language, sends an exclusionary message. it's not only Caucasians who can't read it, Hispanics, Turks, Syrians, Indian etc etc are also excluded. A core tenet of multiculturalism is inclusiveness, not exclusion.

By all means have the sign in Chinese AND French or Chinese AND English.

BTW, the "spending tax dollars" argument is extremely weak. City councils are meant to debate issues of concern to the public. Publishing a new bylaw is a minimal cost and municipalities all have bylaws officers already to enforce such things.
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  #86  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
They all learn Irish in school - the 85,000 number is those who actually know and use it outside of that setting.
OK, so people who learned it in a family setting.
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  #87  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:53 PM
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Canada's two official languages are English and French. When you immigrate to a country you should understand that participating fully in that country and taking on its values is part of the package. Having a sign only in one, non-official language, sends an exclusionary message. it's not only Caucasians who can't read it, Hispanics, Turks, Syrians, Indian etc etc are also excluded. A core tenet of multiculturalism is inclusiveness, not exclusion.

By all means have the sign in Chinese AND French or Chinese AND English.

BTW, the "spending tax dollars" argument is extremely weak. City councils are meant to debate issues of concern to the public. Publishing a new bylaw is a minimal cost and municipalities all have bylaws officers already to enforce such things.
The government is the one with official languages. You and I (or our businesses) can use whatever language we like in our private lives.
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  #88  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:56 PM
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BTW, the "spending tax dollars" argument is extremely weak. City councils are meant to debate issues of concern to the public. Publishing a new bylaw is a minimal cost and municipalities all have bylaws officers already to enforce such things.
I haven't given my general view on the issue but agree this argument is a bit weak.

In places like Clarence-Rockland, Russell and Dieppe where they have municipal bylaws imposing bilingual signs, what they generally did was grandfathered all of the existing signs (most of which were in English only), and I think that now when you apply for a permit for a new business or a new sign, your bilingual signage is simply one of the boxes that has to be checked off. Like lower curbs for wheelchairs and accessible automatic doors, etc.
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  #89  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 3:57 PM
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The government is the one with official languages. You and I (or our businesses) can use whatever language we like in our private lives.
A business open to the public does not, strictu sensu, constitute a "private life" environment. There is definitely a public dimension to it.
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  #90  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 4:11 PM
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A business open to the public does not, strictu sensu, constitute a "private life" environment. There is definitely a public dimension to it.
It is very much private in the sense that it does not involve the state. If I run a vape shop and sell you an e-cigarette, then that is a private transaction.

It's true that there is a public dimension to business in the broader sense, but the point is that official languages are the official languages of government. Beyond certain compliance requirements carried out in English or French, you are free to conduct language in which you choose. Which is as it should be, if you ask me.
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  #91  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 4:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker View Post
One I'm always curious about... if you wander around old cemeteries here where the dead were buried in the mid-to-late 1800s (yes, this is a thing I do), the dominance of the name Mercedes for women really stands out. I assume it's a German name? Why would it be so popular here at that time?
Names like "Mercedes" and "Dolores" are of Spanish origin. They entered English at a time when Spanish names were fashionable, and given their association with the Virgin Mary, I'd imagine you'd be more likely to find these names in places with large Catholic populations.

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Wouldn't Gaelic be like a language group? So saying someone speaks Gaelic would be like saying someone speaks Germanic instead of saying German or Dutch, or Romance instead of French or Italian.
Linguists lump Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic into the Goidelic or Q-Celtic group - a branch of the Celtic language family (itself a branch of the larger Indo-European family). Gaelic, when used on its own, almost always means Scottish Gaelic. The language of Ireland is called Irish in law and in common use. Even though the Irish word for their own language is "Gaeilge" calling it "Gaelic" in English would almost always be considered wrong.

As far as signage in languages other than English, it seems people only get worked up about it when the languages used don't employ the Latin alphabet. There are plenty of businesses in my neighbourhood with signage in Portuguese (and only Portuguese) that no one really seems to care about.
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  #92  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
It is very much private in the sense that it does not involve the state. If I run a vape shop and sell you an e-cigarette, then that is a private transaction.

It's true that there is a public dimension to business in the broader sense, but the point is that official languages are the official languages of government. Beyond certain compliance requirements carried out in English or French, you are free to conduct language in which you choose. Which is as it should be, if you ask me.
A retail place of business is actually somewhere in between the public and private spheres. I can choose to invite only black people or no black people to my house, but I can't do that with my bar or my restaurant. I don't need an accessible ramp at my house but will likely need one for my business.

It's just your opinion that such requirements that might be related to language are unacceptable. It's not a hard and fast rule written down anywhere.
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  #93  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:17 PM
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Originally Posted by wg_flamip View Post
As far as signage in languages other than English, it seems people only get worked up about it when the languages used don't employ the Latin alphabet. .
Well, then there is Quebec...
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  #94  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
A retail place of business is actually somewhere in between the public and private spheres. I can choose to invite only black people or no black people to my house, but I can't do that with my bar or my restaurant. I don't need an accessible ramp at my house but will likely need one for my business.

It's just your opinion that such requirements that might be related to language are unacceptable. It's not a hard and fast rule written down anywhere.
The examples you mentioned are because those things (human rights, handicapped accessibility) are regulated by government. To my knowledge, the language that companies conduct their business in is not. And for good reason... regulating it would be meddling for no legitimate public purpose (unlike equality and accessibility).

So if there are no such requirements, how can a business be faulted for making a perfectly legitimate choice that it is entitled to make?
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  #95  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:23 PM
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Thanks, wg_flamip!
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  #96  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:55 PM
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
The examples you mentioned are because those things (human rights, handicapped accessibility) are regulated by government. To my knowledge, the language that companies conduct their business in is not. And for good reason... regulating it would be meddling for no legitimate public purpose (unlike equality and accessibility).

So if there are no such requirements, how can a business be faulted for making a perfectly legitimate choice that it is entitled to make?
Some people still see all of that stuff as unwarranted nanny state-ism. As I said, it's just a question of opinion as to what is acceptable control and what isn't.
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  #97  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:58 PM
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This is how I feel about it.

If you want to isolate yourself from two million potential customers in Metro Vancouver, it's your right to do so, but from a business standpoint, it's pretty shortsighted.
This is what I was going to say. You're cutting out a lot of potential customers but if you want to do that then go for it. I also it makes Richmond a unique and more authentic place than your stereotypical "Chinatown" anywhere else in North America.
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  #98  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 5:59 PM
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Not to split hairs but another issue that has been raised in Richmond is how Chinese only signs can affect emergency response times, given that (unlike signs in Italian and Portuguese) they use different characters that mean nothing to non-speakers. So if you get a call for Wei Kee Dim Sum but you don't see it on any sign because you can't read it. The issue is further compounded I suppose by the fact that many businesses these days don't seem to display their street address number very visibly. (It's always there but often very small.)

Maybe modern GPS systems make this a moot point anyway... or maybe not.
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  #99  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 6:26 PM
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I'm so glad this topic has finally made its way onto SSP as it's one that I have felt very strongly about for years. There are too many posts already that I want to reply to so I'll just write my own. This is a serious problem in Richmond and it's good to see it's finally being addressed.

It is absolutely wrong to have Chinese-only signs throughout the city. I grew up in Richmond, and you honestly feel like you're being excluded from your own city when you walk by a store and have no idea what's in there. We have had ads at bus stops and bus wraps that were exclusively in Chinese that the local population can't read. You shouldn't be allowed to move to a different place and completely ignore those who already live there, and I'll go as far as to say push them away. I know some people think businesses should be able to do what they want, but I as a Canadian English speaker should be able to understand what I see around me.

And for the record, I fully support Quebec's Bill 101 and I'd love for us to copy it here. I have absolutely no problem with Chinese people, I just think everybody should be able to navigate their city.

As far as those who say the signs are for old people and the kids will assimilate, well, they don't. I only graduated high school 2 years ago, and I can honestly tell you that 75% of the Chinese kids there spoke Chinese to each other. Sure there are quite a few like people have mentioned that don't even speak Chinese, but the majority don't look like they're planning on living their lives in English any time soon, and I'm not exaggerating.


http://memebee.com/vancouver/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=53056


http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/03/c...-in-vancouver/
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  #100  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2014, 6:35 PM
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I'm so glad this topic has finally made its way onto SSP as it's one that I have felt very strongly about for years. There are too many posts already that I want to reply to so I'll just write my own. This is a serious problem in Richmond and it's good to see it's finally being addressed.

It is absolutely wrong to have Chinese-only signs throughout the city. I grew up in Richmond, and you honestly feel like you're being excluded from your own city when you walk by a store and have no idea what's in there. We have had ads at bus stops and bus wraps that were exclusively in Chinese that the local population can't read. You shouldn't be allowed to move to a different place and completely ignore those who already live there, and I'll go as far as to say push them away. I know some people think businesses should be able to do what they want, but I as a Canadian English speaker should be able to understand what I see around me.

And for the record, I fully support Quebec's Bill 101 and I'd love for us to copy it here. I have absolutely no problem with Chinese people, I just think everybody should be able to navigate their city.

As far as those who say the signs are for old people and the kids will assimilate, well, they don't. I only graduated high school 2 years ago, and I can honestly tell you that 75% of the Chinese kids there spoke Chinese to each other. Sure there are quite a few like people have mentioned that don't even speak Chinese, but the majority don't look like they're planning on living their lives in English any time soon, and I'm not exaggerating.


http://memebee.com/vancouver/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=53056


http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/03/c...-in-vancouver/
Just curious: if you share these views do you get roundly accused of being racist, intolerant or backward by people who've got the "groupthink" in Vancouver or is there a legitimate debate of ideas taking place?
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