Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Sign Not in English and Other Scavenger Hunt Controversies

When I put Item #16 ("a sign in a language other than English") on the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt list this year, I knew it would be pretty easy for me. I live in such a diverse, multicultural area. I figured I would grab some signs in San Francisco's Chinatown or one of the signs down in the Harbor directing Japanese tourists where to get various types of fresh fish. So, I was a little surprised when I stumbled upon a different response. One I found yesterday when I went to vote.
All the voting signs in California are printed in English, Spanish and Chinese. This is a little controversial as many people think that, if you're an American, you should learn English. I have a different take on it. I want educated voters. People who have studied the issues and know their rights. If a significant number of these people only understand Spanish or Mandarin (or Cantonese), then I want materials available to them in a language they can read. In addition, as citizens and taxpayers, they are just as affected by the outcome of elections as anyone else. They deserve to have the franchise available to them in a way that is accessible. Anyway, I know this is a bit controversial, but I would be interested in other people's respectful responses.
In other potentially controversial scavenger hunt thoughts . . . 
Gnomes! Who knew they were so popular? It's probably the item I have seen posted most often this first week. I included the item because there was a sleeping one in the event badge I took. But now that I see them, I'm sorry to say that I think some can be a bit . . . um . . . creepy. Are gnomes universally loved? Or do others find them a bit creepy?
Sunrises! Amy has posted a pair of gorgeous sunrises already. It was relatively easy for her to capture because her sunrise is occurring around 7:00 a.m. Others have said the sunrise is impossibly early right now. I had never thought of that! So, I'm curious . . . what time is the sun rising where you are? Here, in El Granada (near San Francisco), it's rising around 7:00 a.m.

25 comments:

Amy said...

I don't agree with you that it is controversial or perhaps that is because many public service signs are printed in several languages here - particularly electoral ones, healthcare information and even some signs on some beaches (we have tourists who die here each year because they are not familiar with the ocean and nor can they read the safety warnings).
I don't take a second glance at signage in another language ... having said that, it's more a city situation. You are unlikely to see a sign in another language in regional areas and rarer still in the outback - barring some signs in local indigenous dialect.

Gnomes ... never been fond of them, creepy little critters!

Lesley G said...

I think our sunrise is around 5am or earlier :O
I haven't got any photos yet and I agree with the gnome thing, they scare me too!

helena said...

totally support public information in lots of languages - when I worked in elections in NZ we provided info in 21 languages, based on census data. I think everyone should be assisted in participating in elections.

Gnomes are very popular around here - I wouldn't want one in my garden but I think they are funny

sunrise here at 4.30 am but will manageable by September

Jimjams said...

Having lived as an expat for years in several different countries I agree that it's good to have explanations available in several languages. I could converse in the local lingos, but reading large amounts of text was slow going and harder to absorb.
As for gnomes - they are hideously awful and very creepy. I shall have to go further afield to find one as there are NONE in my garden :)

scrappyjacky said...

I respectfully suggest that if you live in an English speaking country you should attempt to learn English....just as I would expect to learn the local language if I chose to live in another country....but having said that I do think that when it comes to important things like voting or healthcare other languages should be available....and sometimes for tourists as well.
Sunrise here is at about 5.30 so may be a little difficult to capture!!
Some gnomes are definately creepy....though some are also quite cute.

Ladkyis said...

Sunrise here is at stupid o' clock so unless mr M calls me when he is on a morning shift that might be the picture I have to substitute. There is something seriously sinister about gnomes... as a long term fantasy role player I have to say that I am wary of gnomes. They draw you in with their cute beards and fishing gear but...
~shudder~
you never can trust someone who wears a hat like that.

My not so simple life said...

I agree gnomes are very creepy!!

EG CameraGirl said...

I like you openness to signs being written in languages other than English.

Becky said...

I actually agree with Jackie here although if a person hasn't learned the language then better to have it in their language so they are fully informed. Gnomes - hate them! A trip to a garden centre to photograph I think! Sunrise is at 4.30am here at the moment, so I think that one will be last on my list later in the summer!

debs14 said...

Apparently sunrise here is 4.42 at the moment (unlikely to capture that until it's later!)
Rarely see street signs or road signs more than one language here, although leaflets etc in doctors and hospitals are multi lingual.
Gnomes! I'm not a fan! I got my picture when I was walking through town and as I rushed past a store I saw a display of gnome tables, stopped in my tracks, ran in, took a photo and ran out!

Eileen T said...

Sunrise is at 4:35am at the moment so I'll be waiting until the end of August when it should be about 5:30am.

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

I don't mind one way or another about the language signs are printed in, and I think it's ridiculous that some people get worked up over junk like that.

As far as gnomes go, I am really surprised that some people don't like them! Really? I love the whimsicality of them and how they are like little garden sprites. Hm...learned something new today...

Our sunrise is around 5:15 a.m. right now, but I'm up at 5:00 every morning so I don't think it will be much of a problem for me. I just want to wait until there's a pretty one to photograph. :o)

Have a great weekend, Rinda! xo

orchid Miyako said...

Oh, that's fun, isn't it♡♡♡ I loved to see Japanese Kanji Characters!!!

Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Karen said...

Sunrise today was at 5:32. Since I would need to drive some distance to get a good shot, it means getting up pretty early. May do it when it warms up a bit. It's been pretty cool here the last few mornings. Interesting controversy; not something I can get worked up about!

Melissa said...

I've always felt that American citizens should learn English, however I always think it's important that we have important/legal/information available to people in their native language (which they can understand better as they are learning the language here). We have a huge Hispanic population here in Texas & I've always wished I had learned a second language . . . hmm, maybe it's not too late! :>)

I've never been fond of gnomes & honestly I rarely see any - I think it will be one of the harder items for me; I'll definitely have to be on the lookout.

I think sunrise is around 7ish here . . . I'm usually not out until a little later! :>) But I'll be sure to catch at least one sunrise this summer.

Amanda Jane said...

I do think that immigrants should learn the language of the country they moved to, but at the same time, important information should be available in other languages. Sometimes you can learn to speak enough of another language for day-to-day matters, but reading it can be much harder, especially where a different alphabet is used.

Sunrise here (UK, near London) is 4.45 at the moment. I'll be leaving that photo til near the end; it should be a more civilised 6.30 in September.

As for gnomes, it depends. Some are quite cute, and yes some are creepy. I'm not sure why they vary, maybe something in the eyes.

alexa said...

Sunrise here is currently 4.42 a.m. :). And we don't get many gnomes here - it'll be a challenge!

Cheri said...

When I woke up at 6:20 this morning it was fully light out. Checked Yahoo Weather - they say sunrise was 5:29 a.m. I am NOT a morning person!

Julia said...

The sun rise is about 4.30am in the North of England so I'm leaving that one til Septemebr when it should be about 6.30am. Gnomes are definitely a little odd. Not spotted any on my travels yet though

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Sunrise is about 6:30ish here now, closer to it than 7am anyway. Which means I need to get that sunrise photo in the next 4 days as after that school will be out and I will not be up that early anymore.
Though I do attempt to see the sunrise on the solstices so it could happen on the 21st.
I have yet to see a gnome but given where I live lawn ornaments are usually things like live cows and goats that got out of their pasture. I'll probably need to go to Lowes to see gnomes. But as Havoc has informed me I can get a sign in Spanish there because 'they are all over the place at Lowes' I told him we were going to hold out for some other language than Spanish because Lowes made it too easy. :)

Miriam said...

Sunrise is around 5:00 am here. I plan to be up on the longest day for it. I know where I can photograph as many gnomes as you like! there is a house a few miles away that has the most amazing Christmas lights and a garden full of gnomes all year long. No gnomes in my garden though.

Sian said...

Sunrise here is about 4.30 at the minute, so no, I'm not rushing to tick that one off my list just yet!

Fiona said...

Sunrise is about 4.30 here at the moment, so not rushing to take photo at the moment. I think having important signs is just part of the global world we live in nowadays.

marshaleith said...

I lucked out with the sunrise...my dog wanted out at 5:15 one morning and the sun was just rising, with beautiful colours....

Gail said...

Sunrise here right now is around 4:30 and to get a good view of one I'd have to drive somewhere so it will wait till later in the summer. I can't say I'm a fan of gnomes so I'll have to pay a visit to a garden centre I think to get one. As for signs - everything here has to be in English and French at least.