Thursday, August 4, 2011
Asian pols want signs in English
From the NY Times:
Flushing, Queens, is one of New York’s most polyglot immigrant neighborhoods. But a member of the City Council, who is known by some as the unofficial mayor of Flushing, is railing against the dominance of Chinese, Korean and other foreign languages on storefronts.
The council member, Peter Koo, is no would-be Archie Bunker. He is a Chinese-American who grew up in Hong Kong and is proud of his Asian roots.
Mr. Koo said that diminishing the proper role of English on signs threatened to alienate non-Asian customers and residents. He is proposing a measure that would require all storefront signs to be at least 60 percent English. Businesses would face fines if they did not comply.
“This is America, no? If I go to a Polish neighborhood and only see Polish signs, I would not be comfortable,” said Mr. Koo, a Republican. “New York is a city of immigrants, and English is a way for different ethnic groups to communicate.”