According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, the Sydney Local Government Area – that includes the Haymarket region surrounding Paddy’s Markets, has more than 200,000 people. The most recent available census data (2011) indicates that more than 56% of these people were born overseas; 9.1% in North-West Europe, 9.6% North-East Asia, 8.2% South-East Asia.
Paddy’s Markets certainly seems to represent this diversity of national and linguistic origins. There is a wide variety of cultural and ethnic food and ingredients available at Paddy’s Markets, the greatest diversity of visual representations of language occurs in this linguistic space, typically the names of food and ingredients are translated and/or written in Standard English.
There are two main client bases for Paddy’s Markets the first is tourists who flood the market daily in search of souvenirs and the second is local resident who come in search of fresh produce at bargain prices. With the geographic proximity to Chinatown, many consumers are speakers of one or more Chinese languages/dialects. Also common are languages like Indonesian, Malaysian, Japanese, Korean and Thai. Other tourists languages, predominately from Europe are also frequent at the markets, although anecdotal evidence suggests that these consumers are also more likely to be multilingual with English.
Many stallholders also use this to their advantage by employing multilingual signage.