Chinese Signs Cause Consternation in Canada

Fears are growing among English and French-speaking residents in Richmond, British Columbia, that the city will soon become one very large Chinatown. Canadians have called on the local government to prevent the city from losing its cultural identity, by ensuring that the spread of Chinese signs is brought to an end.

Fifty five-year-old Kerry Starchuk, a lifelong resident of Richmond, said: “Three years ago I started to see the signs [literally]. I went to Dairy Queen and outside there was a parking sign that had absolutely no English on it. I had no idea what it was trying to tell me.”

Ms Starchuk added that many Chinese-only street signs had been erected throughout the city. English and French signs, it seems, are on the decline in the city, whose official languages are English and French.

More Chinese signs appearing in Richmond should not surprise anyone. A recent census found that 50.2 per cent of the city’s population are ethnic Chinese. Business leaders in Richmond, however, are drumming up support for a new policy aimed at preserving the English and French languages in the city.

Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we feel that signage should appeal to everyone. In Richmond, that could mean the introduction of trilingual road and shop signs.