Transcript: Pishon Café, Chatswood

Interviewer: Emily Shen

Interviewee: Young Kim

Emily: I guess to start off with, what languages do you speak?

Young: My first language is Korean, second language is English.

E: When it comes to ordering from a cafe, would having a bilingual sign make you feel more comfortable? Or like a bilingual menu?

Y: I don’t really mind, but I prefer English. Because we’re living in Sydney, I prefer English.

E: When you walk into a Korean cafe and you see English mixed in with Korean, does it give you an authentic feel to that place? How does it make you feel? Or do you not really think about it?

Y: I haven’t really much thought about that, but it depends on how you communicate with others. If the employees aren’t comfortable with English and they prefer using Korean, in that case I might. In my personal opinion, English is fine.

E: So you’d prefer to use English when you order?

Y: Yeah, definitely.

E: When you talk to people you’re familiar with, do you tend to switch between Korean and English?

Y: I use both languages actually. It depends on who I’m with. With my high school Korean friends, I usually speak in Korean mixed with English, but with other people I know in Australia, I speak in English.

E: I guess, if a worker speaks to you in Korean…

Y: That’s fine, but I don’t prefer speaking Korean. I use English first, but they answer me in Korean, recognising my appearance. So if they recognise me as Korean, they speak Korean to me. I don’t really mind, but I prefer English.

E: When you speak Korean, do you feel like you identify more with your Korean background, particularly when it comes to celebrating certain events like Lunar New Year?

Y: Yeah, it tends to bring about my Korean background. But now at the moment, I’m adopting Australian culture, so it’s kind of changing at the moment.

E: Do you feel more comfortable with more Korean people in a cafe or do you feel less comfortable in a cafe where there’s more people who aren’t Korean?

Y: I don’t really mind, but when I’m sitting next to a Korean table, I can listen in on what they’re saying so it’s like…

E: It’s like you can’t help but listen in on the conversation because the language is so familiar to you.

Y: Yeah, that’s how I feel.

Video Interviews (compiled): Chattie’s Komachi, Chatswood:

Interviewer: Emily Shen

Camera Woman: Shajara Khan

Interviewees: James Lin, Sara Komatsu

Link to video

Video Interview: Michel’s Patisserie, Parramatta:

Interviewer: Shanella Madanayake

Camera Woman: Nicole Chuang

Interviewee: Millie Huang

Link to video:

Bilingual Signs/Menus that We Encountered:

Square Cafe, Strathfield (Curiously, the menu is bilingual for some parts, but not all)
Two Two Chicken, Strathfield
The front of the menu at Chattie’s Komachi, Chatswood
Chinese Restaurant Phoenix, Parramatta (online version)
Mappen, Town Hall (This menu’s ‘English option’ is actually the Japanese romaji, with their ‘Japanese option’ being the written kanji/katakana)
Saigon Lane, Town Hall (Interestingly, ‘banh mi’ is written in Vietnamese with an English translation, with everything else in English)
Tim Ho Wan, Town Hall