Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Follow up on Flushing signs

Funny stuff in this morning's Daily News. Remember the op-ed about Flushing's signs not being in English? According to the Chinese, blame the Koreans. According to the Koreans, blame the Chinese.

Why the signs in Flushing aren't in English - and should they be?

Then there are the rest of the people who blame them both. Hey everyone, this is supposed to be a melting pot, not a chunky beef stew.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Undoubtedly the view on that street is one of the most visually jarring in the city.

georgetheatheist said...

"Wer keine fremde Sprache kennt, weisst nicht von seiner eigenen." - Goethe

[Who doesn't know another language, does not know his own.]

Anonymous said...

Its a free country craphead. You don't have to learn English if you don't want to.

Anonymous said...

I used to live near this block - there's something oddly charming about it. And a few signs are in English like "Learn to Dive Here" (one of my favorites, with the scuba diving duck) and the Mommy Pretty Pet Salon (the owner clipped my dogs nails for free - I never had any work done there though.) The shoe repair and florist's signs are in also in Spanish.

Anonymous said...

The signs give character to the area. Definitely not Queens Crap.

Anonymous said...

Those signs are an eyesore and it makes you feel as though you live in a foreign country instead of in America.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I don't see why we translate everything for the benefit of people who refuse to learn the language that this country's business is conducted in. The amount of money we pay for translation can be doing so much more in our schools, on our streets, in our police stations. Example: you need to know how to read English in order to become a citizen, and you need to be a citizen in order to vote. So why do we need election materials and ballots in multiple languages?

Anonymous said...

exactly. why do we have to translate for them if they won't translate for us? it is a two-way street.

Anonymous said...

I find George's Goethe quote ironic. It can be read to apply to most US citizens, who only speak English and no other languages, a weakness in our increasingly international economy. When I go on vacation and meet people from other countries, especially European countries, they often speak their native tongue and also English, but many times they also speak many other languages. It's actually kind of embarrassing that most US citizens only speak one language.

New Americans are learning English and faster than ever before. You just have to look at how overcrowded ESL classes are. Many of the children of these immigrants are often highly educated professionals.

Just remember that the State English sign law was passed in the early 1900s to address the Germans, Italians, Jews and other immigrants at that time that the people already here did not think would learn English and had signs in their native languages.

Also, when the first Europeans came here, there was no effort to learn how to speak Mohican.

Anonymous said...

Actually, after the first europeans came here, they went back home.

Anonymous said...

"When I go on vacation and meet people from other countries, especially European countries, they often speak their native tongue and also English, but many times they also speak many other languages."

Done for tourism's sake. A lot of Americans visit their countries on vacation so they speak English to accommodate them. That's a business decision, not a cultural decision.

Kim said...

"Just remember that the State English sign law was passed in the early 1900s to address the Germans, Italians, Jews and other immigrants at that time that the people already here did not think would learn English and had signs in their native languages."

Except that they did learn English. In fact, my grandparents forbid my parents from speaking Czech in the house, even though it was their native tongue and they themsleves struggled with English. "We are in America now, we speak the language of this country." If you immerse yourself in the language, you have no choice but to learn it. If you are coddled and surround yourself only with people who speak your native language, you are given every reason not to.

Anonymous said...

This is true. I remember a girl from Poland who spoke practically no English when she came here in 4th grade. By 5th grade she was fluent in English.

Anonymous said...

I took French in school for 6 years and never even came close to being able to speak the language. All I remember now is how to say "Hello" and "Do you want to sleep with me?"

So I have a lot of respect for recent immigrants who are able to pick up English just like that when they come here. They must be very intelligent, at least compared to me.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the people who can speak workable english in one year. But in order for the Gov't to pass an English signs law shows that many people in the 1900s did not pick up english right away and that it was a problem.

It is the european tourists in places like south america and the carribean that often speak several languages, not people working in vacation locations. Europeans take learning a second or third language a lot more seriously than we do.

It's also harder to learn a latin based language when your native tongue is not latin-based. Not an excuse, just a fact.

Anonymous said...

I went to Europe, the people in the countryside could not speak a lick of English. The people in the cities where the American tourists stayed did. The reason you forgot French after leaving high school is because you never used it. The people who work in tourist areas, no matter where they are, use more than one language on a regular basis, make their livelihood off of it. If people here were forced to speak English in order to earn their living, things would be a lot different.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason for an American to learn another language just to learn it. American culture is exported around the world and it is more than just our language that is adopted by other countries.

Anonymous said...

Actually, by not pushing people to speak the language of this country, we are putting them at a disadvantage. What immigrant success stories include not learning the language?

Anonymous said...

The machine doesn't want immigrants to learn English. It's easier to control them when they can't understand you.

Anonymous said...

"So I have a lot of respect for recent immigrants who are able to pick up English just like that when they come here. They must be very intelligent, at least compared to me."

Yea, the machine has plenty of stories on 'I was a loser until an immigrant changed my life' but after studing German, Russian, and Japanese and getting nowhere, its not a matter of intelligence, but necessity.

You learn a language (if you want to) when thrown into the adopted culture and country. Real fast.

Anonymous said...

The machine likes to keep people fighting with each other (look at all the rumors to divide the community they spread when the folks in Astoria or Sunnyside try to organize without the clubhouse)

By not forcing immigrants to interact within the broader culture but supporting enclaves(look how much tax money is poured into things like Thalia theater) makes them easier to control.

Anonymous said...

English...... "craphead" poster,
happens to be the business language
in many foreign countries.

For example, in Japan it's the second language taught in school!

You're insularity betrays your ignorance!

I take it that your about 18
years old judging by your syntax!

P.S.
I can make myself understood
in both Cantonese and Mandarin,
with a smattering of Japanese, Italian, Spanish
and French.....though, admittedly,
far from fluent.

(I have difficulty with the intonation
of those Chinese dialects....but I'm learning) .

As my "homeboys" might say....
"you're just talkin' shit"

Anonymous said...

So...... those signs give "character" to the area.
Is this another euphemism
for low class..... huh?

Those smells emminating from the sewers
and the vermin scurrying about in the wee hours
also contribute "character"......I suppose ? !!!

I think that, perhaps, you're really ashamed
of where you live and are over-compromising!

Welcome to roach-a-ria row!

Anonymous said...

This country isn't going to make
Chinese, Korean etc. our official language.

To get a leg up on the socioeconomic scale
in any country.....you've got to learn the tongue
of that nation.....or else be confined to remaining
an ignorant peasant in a local ghetto!

I would have to do the same if I wished
to make a life for myself anywhere else in the world.

Anonymous said...

Once again (ad nauseum).....
it's a public safety issue that signs contain English
so that emergency responders
can find their way to your door.
That's why that 1906 (?) state law is on the books.

You will appreciate this simple truth the next time
that your house or business (G-d forbid) is on fire!

Anonymous said...

Remember a time when somebody in grade school suddenly "passed wind or cut the cheese"?

Gag.... pew!

One was always quick to blame the other for the stink!

Just so with the Chinese vs the Koreans
blaming each other for a lack of English on their signs!!

Anonymous said...

There's one English sign for Allstate.

Anonymous said...

ahahahahaha once again I am laughing so hard my pants are falling off. are you the same person who said "some asshole got married on maurice avenue, maybe they took a walk through the graveyard?

hahha :-) i love this site

Queens Crapper said...

Speaking of jokes...

Below is something about Nutrition that is interesting, it is the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat tons of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

6. The Indians never drank wine, beer or any kind of liquor and didn't eat sausages or fats, they spoke their own languages before foreign people came and there is no record that they had heart attacks.

CONCLUSION: Well there you are..... Eat and drink what you like.

Speaking English is what kills people.

Anonymous said...

Laws should be enforced. Signs in English are for safety purposes. Businesses should be fined if they don't comply. The government should take all the money they spend on translating documents to various foreign languages and use it for English classes for immigrants. If they don't want to learn our language, they can go back home. Assimilation is the key and foreigners should not be coddled by our government. Business is conducted in English in this country. The first presidential candidate who makes English the official language of the United States gets my vote. By the way, Clinton and Obama opposed this. Food for thought in the next election.

Anonymous said...

we all came here to live in AMERICA, if we had wanted to live in china korea we would have moved there !!!
God Blees AMERICA and anyone who embraces it language, culture, and Constitution .

Anonymous said...

Life in Queens is becoming so crummy that I'm not so much looking to extend my life as shorten it.

Anonymous said...

No.....I'm not that Maurice Ave. poster.....
but I peed myself laughing at that one also!

georgetheatheist said...

You'll have to really only worry when American CURRENCY, the Greenback -except for "E Pluribus Unum" and "Novus Ordo Seclorum"- no longer has English as the sole lingo...Have you ever been to Canada and used their bi-lingual bux? - Two Dollars Deux - Va a Napoli!

Question. For an American English speaker, what should the 2nd language be? Spanish? Chinese? (Mandarin or Cantonese?) Urdu? Egyptian Hieroglyphs?...No problem for a non-native-English speaker in the world: the second language universally is English, the new Lingua Franca (Domage, Lac Winnipesaukee Sarkozy.)

BTW How many of you have seen Chinese take-out menus with Chinese, English AND Spanish written on them? Gotta hand it to Go-getters!

Anonymous said...

Americans should just learn to speak any other second language. It makes no sense to focus on one language because of Bush's "foreign policy" or lack of it, just about every other country hates us. One of our problems in the war on terror has been the lack of native Arabic speakers.

On to a lighter point, some of my favorite restaurants are the Chino Latino restaurants in Manhattan where they serve fusion Chinese/Spanish food and the waiters speak Spanish, English and Chinese fluently.

Anonymous said...

That photo truly depicts how the Asiatic business owners in Flushing want nothing to do with the non-Asiatic population in Flushing. Flushing is no longer a multi-cultural community. It is a multi-Asiatic community.

Anonymous said...

People hate us abroad for our leadership
not our country.

I was greeted with respect and warmth
during my recent travels.

I wore an anti-Bush button for all to see
(in the native language of the country I was in).

I love my country...... but dislike its current president.

Anonymous said...

As proprietors begin to lose additional
(out of culture) customers
because of a lack of English on their signs......
they'll be forced to make an adjustment
or eventually go belly up .

Some of that is already begining to happen.
With increasingly high rents......
most businesses cannot make enough money
by exclusively serving their own kind.

Markets have to be expanded for anyone to survive
in this extremely competitive area.

Anonymous said...

Poster #4.........

If you find huge water bugs
in the rest rooms of some restaurants "charming".....
then I'll be glad to catch you a few
and hand deliver them to your home!

georgetheatheist said...

"People hate us abroad for our leadership not our country"

How do you know? You're a pollster? You travel with questionnaires on a clipboard?

Better, "LEFTISTS hate us abroad for our leadership not our country."

Where did you travel? Poland, the Czech Republic?

Did you wear a Che Guevara t-shirt with your anti-Bush button?

Anonymous said...

being hated by other countries is no big deal anyway. Everyone always hates those who are more powerful and better off than they are. So America will always be hated by loser nations around the globe who are envious of our great country.

Jealous bastards be damned.

Anonymous said...

George.....I could suggest a better bush to stick your nose up !

Anonymous said...

I was traveling in Rome !

Anonymous said...

George....you're the self proclaimed "atheist"......
recently arrived, perhaps, from one of those former Godless "LEFTIST" Soviet states?

Did you bleed for America 40+ years ago ?

georgetheatheist said...

Nah, I gave up on travelling to Europe years ago! One of the reasons was the western end of the continent is full of anti-American intellectual effete snobs and their American running-dog tourist lackeys. I'll take the Grand Canyon and Mt. Rushmore over La Tour Eiffel and the Brandenburg Gate anytime.

[BTW,I was born in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan and grew up putting bubble gum in bottle caps for "scully" games on the hot concrete pavers of Astoria.]

Why didn't you go to Tirana, Albania? Don't you know "those" Europeans in the eastern end of the continent LOVE President Bush. (Read the papers!) that was my point with the Poland- Czech Republic mention. The problem is not that the former "godless leftist soviet states" were "godless" (Puleeeze leave Him [Her?] out of it) but that they were LEFTIST, i.e. collectivist in nature.

The European Left (Sartre, Habermas, Gramsci et al.)hates America for- dare I say it?- being the Philosophical Good.

Anonymous, see the USA in your Chevrolet. AMERICA IS THE GREATEST LAND OF ALL!

Anonymous said...

...or on a Harley, better yet, equipped with a blonde babe.

Anonymous said...

I think that George needs another bootie call
from "Trixie" to cool off his "onions".

A"shock jock"also deserves his own radio show.....
not just a spot on a blog!

P.S.
I was raised in the South Bronx
where the real tough guys played catch
with dead rats.

Wanna "rumble ?

Anonymous said...

baseball with a dead rat might be even more interesting. Someone would pitch one to you and you'd swing away at the rodent with a bat, sending its guts flying all about the infield in all different directions, requiring the combined efforts of the whole team to catch all the guts and smear them onto the hitter to get him out.

georgetheatheist said...

There's a hold-up in the Bronx.
Brooklyn's broken out in fights.
There's a traffic jam in Harlem
That's backed up to Jackson Heights.
There's a scout troup short a child.
Khruschev's due at Idlewild.

Car 54, Where are you?

Anonymous said...

No.....the rodent remains wind up
in the Flushing blue plate special....
deep fried or steamed !

georgetheatheist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"...or on a Harley, better yet, equpped with a blond babe".

Douching with Dee ("Hot!Hot!Hot!)Richards?

Anonymous said...

I was thinking more like Jean Harlow or Fay Wray. They sure were some hot tickets, unlike these modern-day emmaciated types.

Anonymous said...

"Douching with Dee" Richards doesn't seem emaciated to me - because she's always fressing at some function.

Anonymous said...

They don't want the whites to shop in their stores.

They cater to their own kind, so, no need to learn English.

We are doomed!

Anonymous said...

What is going on!

Why are every where and everything that the 1st wave of European immigrants that had built this great county being torn down piece by piece?

Why the chidren of 1st wave of European immigrants are are so weak in upholding what is right?


Do you think by moving/running away to white areas will make the recent immigrants go away?

People complain about the Asians ruining this and that, but we are to be partly blamed for this mess.

Due to greed and selfish reasons we started this descent into 3rd world neighborhoods.

I regret to say, the will and strength is not present to make things right.



God help us all.