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Astoria

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  • For my landscape, I chose to model my research after Cenoz and Gorter’s study
  • English as the official language, meaning that all signs must have English. However, the difference lies in the prominence of each language and its function on the sign.
  • So, for my research questions I explored:
  • No translation or transliteration: English text used as an addition to the sign
  • Top left: Spanish restaurant: font in Spanish larger than English; not translated Right middle: Arab pastry shop: Arabic font larger than English; however, all text translated or transliterated into English Bottom left: Hookah lounge: Name of lounge not translated nor transliterated
  • Transcript

    • 1. Linguistic Landscape Astoria, Queens Sarah Viola LCD 205
    • 2. Cenoz&Gorter’s Linguistic Landscape
      • Studied bilingual communities in Spain and Netherlands
      • Analyzed each establishment on a main block in each area
      • (Each establishment as a unit of analysis)
      • Compared use of the majority and minority languages
      • Counted and photographed each text
      • Observed characteristics of multilingual signs
      • Concluded that majority language was used more in both countries
    • 3. Astoria, Queens
      • Steinway St. between 25 & 28 Ave.
      • Generally Egyptian/ Middle Eastern area since 1970s
      • Known to some as “Little Cairo”
      • Mostly bilingual area: English and Arabic
      • Increasing Latino population in surrounding areas since 1990s
      • English as “official” language
    • 4. Research Questions
      • Which languages are used on storefront signs in Astoria?
      • What are the functions of each language?
      • What are the characteristics of the text on multilingual signs?
    • 5. Method
      • Observed all signs and window text on each establishment
      • Counted and photographed each storefront
      • Each storefront as a unit of analysis (not entire establishment)
      • Distinguished between monolingual and multilingual signs
      • Identified all languages used on signs
    • 6. Factors Considered for Each Unit of Analysis
      • Number of languages
      • Languages used
      • Translation?
      • Transliteration?
      • Neither?
      • Relative size of font
    • 7. Data: Monolingual Signs Monolingual signs 55 English only 53 Arabic only (English alphabet) 2 Spanish only 0
    • 8. Data: Multilingual Signs Multilingual signs 27 English and Arabic 24 English and Spanish 2 English, Arabic, and Spanish 1
    • 9. Data: Translation and Transliteration Translated 11 Transliterated 7 Foreign language says something different than English 10
    • 10. Data: Relative Font Size Same font size 5 English larger 13 Arabic larger 7 Spanish larger 2
    • 11.  
    • 12. Findings
      • English the dominant language overall: more frequent in monolingual and multilingual signs; more prominent font size
      • Non-translated Arabic texts appeal to the Arab community, i.e. designation of a restaurant as “Halal” using Arabic script
      • Use of English transliteration makes Arabic more accessible to non-speakers or tourists
    • 13. Findings, Cont.
      • Two out of the three signs with Spanish text: Spanish in larger font (Other with equal size)
      • Spanish having an increased influence in the area
      • Spanish texts used to appeal to the increasing population
    • 14. Conclusion
      • Generally, the multilingual atmosphere in Astoria is created to appeal to various groups of people
      • Although English is dominant, other languages help to welcome others to the area and create a foreign atmosphere