Bilingual Blues

A commenter on this post about the ailing Highland Park Farmer’s Market brought up an interesting point in regards to making the Latino community feel welcome to the point where they will support the farmers market. They said: “Hire a Spanish speaker or someone familiar with the Latino community to work at the information booth.”

That is an obvious, and very good idea. For some time now I have felt that part of the tension of so-called gentrification is due in part to language. I get the impression that when Spanish speakers see signs written primarily in English they assume that the thing advertised is for the gueros, and alternately, when an English speaker sees a sign written in Spanish, they tend not to feel welcome.

I guess in LA it is easy to forget that not everyone is bilingual, and even if they are to some degree, they would prefer to operate in their native tongue. Only natural.

I think in the case of the HP Farmers Market(and many others), a little bilingual advertising would go a long way…

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