2018 | Group 2

Group 2 Blog 4 – Attitudes and Language Choices - 11 April 2018

Moore Park Markets

The area of attitudes around multilingualism and languages choices is a complex one, and requires a certain amount of focus and attention to have a reasonable conversation about. Because of this, I decided to direct my interest to the Moore Park markets, instead of the previously discussed Sydney markets as the environment was simply too hectic and crowded to be able to talk to any stall owner for more than a couple of sentences.

At the Moore Park markets the crowd seemed to be ethnically mixed, but to a lesser degree than the Sydney Markets. Aside from the takeaway food stalls, most of the stallholders appeared Western-looking.

I spoke to the owner of the Ethiopian food stall about his language choices. While his mother tongue is Amharic, his opinion was that a monolingual society makes sense for Australia. I found this to be an interesting opinion because Ethiopia itself is known for being home to dozens of prominent languages. However the owner also stated that he and his Ethiopian peers tend to switch between Amharic and English, simply because that is what they are used to – high school is taught in English in their country. This may be why he doesn’t believe multilingualism would be appropriate for Australia – there is only one national language here. He also reported that he had never experienced any sort of aggression from speaking Amharic in public.

Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 11.28.02 pmThe stallholder of “A Taste of Ethiopia”, taken with permission

I also spoke to the owners of the Dim Sum stall, the French bakery stall, and one of the produce stalls, and all of the stall holders agreed that they would use English to interact with their customers here, because it would cause the least confusion and trouble.

Additional photos from Moore Park markets. Left: produce stall, Right: French bakery stall

(Post by Elizabeth Morley, z3424703)

Paddy’s Markets (Haymarket Area) 

This week I visited the Haymarket area to interview people on linguistic diversity. I interviewed two shopkeepers on their linguistic background and the sociolinguistic features of the area, as well as their language choices both at home and at the workplace. Phoebe is of Chinese descent and works as a phone case retailer in Market City, while Henrique is a Portuguese shopkeeper at Paddy’s Market selling Aboriginal creations. Unfortunately, a few people I talked to did not feel comfortable signing the ethics form, but my conversations with them revealed some unexpected facts about the languages spoken in the area as well, I will quote some of them anonymously.

Interview 1: Phoebe

Note: By pure coincidence, I and Phoebe both spoke Cantonese as our native language, so I conducted the interview in mostly Cantonese, I have translated the following interview from Cantonese.
What languages do you speak on a daily basis?

I speak English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

What languages do you speak when you work here?

English, Cantonese, and Mandarin.

Why would you choose a specific language to communicate when you know the other person is proficient in more than one language?

I usually choose the language the other person is most comfortable in, especially at work because retail is a consumer industry and it is really important to make people feel comfortable. At home, I would use usually use Cantonese as the main language to communicate because I am most fluent in Cantonese, as is my family.

When you converse with someone who is fluent in your heritage language, do you switch between English and your heritage language? Do you have any specific examples?

Yes, occasionally we incorporate some slang words from English into our daily conversations, as most people speak at least a little English, it is quite common to substitute some Cantonese words for English words in daily conversation, sometimes it is even unconscious. We also include some Mandarin sentences when speaking to other people in Cantonese, for example, when discussing a sensitive issue about China, sometimes we would jokingly and mockingly say: “這個好敏感!(This is very sensitive!)” in Mandarin as a joke, and then go back to discussing in Cantonese.

What is your attitude towards linguistic diversity?

I think it is quite a good thing as it brings different cultures together and creates a vibrant society.

What do you think about monolingualism?

I think if the society tended towards monolingualism, it would be a very bland place and boring to live in.

Have you ever experienced aggression for not using English?

No I have not, I think this is because Cantonese and Mandarin are both very common languages here in Australia so that is not an issue.

Why do you only display your signs in English?

This is because we are in Australia, and English is the main language spoken here, even though a large amount of people speak Chinese and Cantonese, English is still the best choice to convey a message as more people can understand it.

Interview 2: Henriques

What languages do you speak on a daily basis?

I speak English and Portuguese.

What languages do you speak when you work here?

English only, I never had to say anything in Portuguese, English is just always the best choice when communicating with customers.

Why would you choose a specific language to communicate when you know the other person is proficient in more than one language?

I choose it because it is my native language, and that is what we are most comfortable with.

When you converse with someone who is fluent in your heritage language, do you switch between English and your heritage language? Do you have any specific examples?

No, when I speak in Portuguese with my family, I rarely switch between English and Portuguese, we have some load words from English but I think that’s about it.

What is your attitude towards linguistic diversity?

I think linguistic diversity is beautiful, it symbolizes a modern society.

What do you think about monolingualism?

Never, I think monolingualism is a very negative thing, especially when people have misconceptions of the dominant language. For example with English some people think it is cool to curse and swear a lot, and that it is a sign of power, I think there is so much more to a language than that.

Have you ever experienced aggression from not speaking English?

      No, I have not experienced that before.

Why do you only display your signs in English?

This is because Australia is an English speaking country, and most people will understand English. I consider the Aboriginal symbols displayed here another language. As each one of these artworks tells their own unique story and it is a part of the visible culture in Australia.


Picture Caption: Sign of Aboriginal symbols at Henriques’ store.

Additional Conversations

In a few conversations with people around the fresh food area of Paddy’s Market, I discovered that actually a majority of the shop keepers there are actually Malay, this is revealing of how the language you use cannot really define where you are from, as I was told a lot of Malaysians are fluent in more than one dialect of Chinese, in addition to speaking English and Malay fluently. Another shopkeeper I spoke to had been in Australia for 10 years, She only spoke fluent Cantonese and she had persevered in an English speaking country till now knowing only basic English.

Speaking with the people of the area revealed a lot more when compared to just making observations. Although Haymarket is a linguistically diverse area, with people speaking many different languages, the shops who sell things targeted at tourist still mainly use English as the lingua franca. While food stores still have signage in English, they tend to use a more diverse array of languages when communicating with customers. In the two interviews conducted, both were quite positive about linguistic diversity, and felt that monolingualism would have a negative effect on society.

(Post by Matthew Chi Hang Lau, z5163566)

Parklea Markets

The following four interviews were conducted at Parklea Markets. Only four interviews were conducted because stall owners either didn’t want to be interviewed, or they did not want to be interviewed because they had poor English literacy levels.

The first interview was with an Indian man; the second with an Italian couple; the third with a Chinese lady and the fourth with an Afghani lady.

Interview 1: Indian stall owner:

What’s your background/nationality/ancestry?


Where were you born?


What languages do you speak daily?

English. Because I live here by myself, I have no one to converse with in Hindi. However, I speak Hindi when I am with my family in India

What languages do you speak when you work here?  


Why would you choose English even when you are interacting with people who are proficient in their heritage language? Or why do you choose your heritage language?

I choose to speak English because it is easier for me and more comfortable for me in this environment. However, when I do come across customers that speak Hindi, I converse with them in Hindi.

When you converse with someone who is fluent in your heritage language, do you switch between English and your heritage language? Do you have any specific examples?

I do use some English words. I would say that 70% of the conversation is in Hindi and the remaining 30% is in English.

What is your attitude towards linguistic diversity?

I think it is very important, especially because Australia is such a multicultural country.

What do you think about monolingualism?

I have nothing against it.

Have you ever experienced aggression from not speaking English?

No I have not.

Interview 2: Italian couple:

What’s your background/nationality/ancestry?


Where were you born?


What languages do you speak daily?

We both speak English and Italian everyday

What languages do you speak when you work here?  

We mostly speak in English, but when we come across Italian customers, we speak to them in Italian.

Why would you choose English even when you are interacting with people who are proficient in their heritage language? Or why do you choose your heritage language?

We speak to our Italian customers in Italian because it is more comfortable for us and for them. And it gets the message across easier and quicker.

When you converse with someone who is fluent in your heritage language, do you switch between English and your heritage language? Do you have any specific examples?

Most of the time we speak in 100% Italian, but sometimes we do use English words and home when conversing with our children.

What is your attitude towards linguistic diversity?

It is very important, because so many people speak so many languages in today’s day and age, and you don’t know who speaks what language anymore. We believe that it is very important for people to be able to speak more than one language.

What do you think about monolingualism?

It doesn’t matter.

Have you ever experienced aggression from not speaking English?

No, we have not. Because everyone loves Italian people and everything about Italy.

Interview 3: Chinese stall owner:

What’s your background/nationality/ancestry?


Where were you born?

China. I have been living in Australia for 16 years.

What languages do you speak daily?

Mandarin. I speak Mandarin at home with my parents, my husband and my daughter.

What languages do you speak when you work here?  

I speak English at work.

Why would you choose English even when you are interacting with people who are proficient in their heritage language? Or why do you choose your heritage language?

Most of the time I converse in English with Chinese customers, but if I am conversing with elderly Chinese people who don’t know much English, then I speak to them in Chinese to get the message across easier and to make them feel more comfortable.

When you converse with someone who is fluent in your heritage language, do you switch between English and your heritage language? Do you have any specific examples?

I do use English words sometimes, especially with my husband and daughter at home.

What is your attitude towards linguistic diversity?

I believe it is a very good thing to be able to speak another language. For example, when I am walking around the park with my family, I have young kids come up to me and practice their Chinese because they are learning it at school. I find this very interesting, and I am pleased to see that so many people are learning Chinese, because it is a very difficult language to learn.

What do you think about monolingualism?

I feel that these people can only speak one language because they haven’t been given the opportunity to learn another language. For example, my mum came to Australia when she was 60 years old, so she was too old to learn how to speak English. However, she is learning English through my daughter; she teaches her the things she learns at school, for example, colours, basic words etc. It is very difficult to learn a new language, so I have nothing against people who speak only one language.

Have you ever experienced aggression from not speaking English?

No I have not experienced racism personally, but I have seen it happen, and it is hard to avoid, because it happens everywhere.

Interview 4: Afghani Lady:

What’s your background/nationality/ancestry?


Where were you born?

Afghanistan. I came to Australia 14 years ago.

What languages do you speak daily?

I speak English and Farsi. I speak in 100% Farsi with my parents, but I mix between English and Farsi with my siblings.

What languages do you speak when you work here?  

English. If I encounter Farsi speaking customers, then I converse with them in Farsi.

Why would you choose English even when you are interacting with people who are proficient in their heritage language? Or why do you choose your heritage language?

It all depends. If I am conversing with an older person, then I will only converse in Farsi, but if I am conversing with someone younger, then I usually use English. 

When you converse with someone who is fluent in your heritage language, do you switch between English and your heritage language? Do you have any specific examples?

I mix.

What is your attitude towards linguistic diversity?

I find it impressive to see people being able to speak so many languages.

What do you think about monolingualism?

I don’t think it’s good. I believe it is because these people haven’t been given the opportunity.

Have you ever experienced aggression from not speaking English?

No I have not.

The other members of my group would have included two more questions in their interviews:

  1. Why do you write your signs in _____ and _____?
  2. Why do you write your signs in English?

I did not include these question in my interview, as these questions do not apply to this specific area, and the reasons for this have been discussed in the previous blog posts.

I would also like to note that when I asked the interviewers to sign the ethics form, they all said that they did not feel comfortable signing it, and they did not want their names and signatures uploaded. Even after being informed that the interviews would be anonymous, they said they wanted to remain completely anonymous without having to sign anything.

Additional Data Collection:

In addition to the physical interviews undertaken at the markets, I created a Google Forms survey containing similar questions to the ones above, as well as additional ones that apply to the markets domain. I created this survey to obtain additional information about the diverse linguistic contexts within the area, and I the data obtained further highlights the linguistic diversities within different areas of Sydney as well as the market domain.

From the survey, I was able to obtain more information about what languages people speak on a daily basis, their level of engagement with code-switching daily as well as when they go to markets, and their attitudes towards linguistic diversity.

Around 25% of the people who completed the survey said that they spoke English as a child, and that they continue to speak English on a daily basis in their home and work environments. The next most spoken language as a child was Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese, around 15%), and this percentage of people continue to speak Chinese on a daily basis in their home and work environments.

When asked about interacting with people who are proficient in the same heritage language as them, 86.4% responded with yes, they do. Additionally, when asked about whether they converse with these people in English or their heritage language, all 86.4% said that they converse in both English and their heritage language, and that they all engage in some form of code-mixing. An example of this would be, as provided in one of the responses, that when discussing Korean food, culture or areas in Korea, it is easier to talk about them in Korean rather than in English. This provides more evidence towards individual’s engagement in code-mixing, as it highlights the social focus associated with code-mixing, where language choices are made and linked with cultural identity.

In regards to attitudes towards linguistic diversity, all of those who responded expressed a positive attitude towards linguistic diversity. Some expressed how linguistic diversity creates more opportunities for people, as they can speak more than two languages while others expressed that linguistic diversity is necessary to facilitate communication between different people who may live in the same society.

In contrast, when asked about their attitudes towards monolingualism, majority of those who responded expressed that it is a form of ‘narrow thinking’, and that individuals should strive to learn other languages to increase their social and cultural understandings of the environments that they are a part of.

This is just an overview of the data collected from the survey. If you would like to have a look at the individual responses collected, the link has been provided below:


(Post by Isabella Nancy Losco, z5112855)

Sydney Fish Markets and Glebe Markets

At the Fish Markets, my goal was to interview one of the people who worked in the fish shops or restaurants, preferably one who had been there for a long time. This proved challenging as most of the fish shops were extremely busy with long queues. I thought about interviewing the coffee shop employees but decided against it and approached a couple sitting and eating.

They told me that they were a married couple accompanying the husband’s visiting family from China on a tour of Sydney. Their first language was Mandarin and that was what they spoke to each other; they spoke English well and had lived in Australia for a long time.

When asked about the Fish Markets they said that they were infrequent patrons due to the distance of it from their homes. However, on occasion they would come here to have lunch when they were nearby or purchase fish for special occasion. The man told me that the Fish Markets were extremely popular with Chinese tour groups due to prevalence of Mandarin and Cantonese speakers and Chinese signage. He also said that is why they took their family here, who speak little to no English, as it makes them feel comfortable.

At the Glebe Markets I found it much easier to interview one of the stall holders, due to the lower rate of purchase and lesser amount of work (they didn’t need to handle fish and wrap it etc.) I thought they would be much more willing to talk.

I interviewed a young woman who sold badges. She told me that English was her first language but she also spoke a bit of Thai. She was born in Australia but her parents are from Thailand and they had moved here shortly before she was born. When she was growing up her parents tried to speak to her both in English and Thai; they were afraid of her developing an accent and not seeming ‘Australian’ enough. I told her about the practice of code-switching and asked if she noticed herself or her parents doing it at all. She said that she does it a lot when speaking to her parents in Thai but doesn’t when she is speaking English.

I asked her about Glebe markets’ linguistic makeup; she said that it was primarily English, but sometimes older Chinese people would visit a certain stall which was run by Chinese speakers (she wasn’t sure if it was Mandarin or Cantonese). I told her about the fish markets linguistic diversity and their proximity to Glebe and asked why she thought that it wasn’t like that here. She told me that Glebe Markets were hosted mostly young people in their 20s-30s who came here as an activity rather a necessity and she thought that those demographics wouldn’t require linguistic diversity. Finally, I asked if she thought that having bilingual signage could make something look ‘cheap’ and less cool. She said that although she didn’t think that, it’s possible that a lot of other people did harbour that view.

(Post by Nikita Podlasov, z5062838)

Fairfield Markets

Gal, 1987, p.287: “A speaker’s choice between varieties is also structured. It is systematically linked to social relationships, events or situations”

This week I revisited the linguistic landscape of Fairfield markets to analyse the factors that influence one’s choice to use, or not use, any given language. Interestingly, I attempt to synthesise my blogpost with the current statistical research in my previous posts, and pull from literature in an attempt to justify the responses of my interviewees. At the heart of my discussion lies the statement from Gal that delineates how one’s language choice is a factor in a much larger equation; it can impact relationships with interlocutor, the transactions at a marketplace, and the status quo of the social situation. I also reinforce the hypothesis that attitudes individuals hold with their language can perpetuate their choices in language.

Interview One: John

Located on the right-wing of the marketplace was a Korean stall that sold socks in all fabric types (e.g. cashmere, cotton etc) and was managed by an elderly Korean couple. When I approached the stall with my partner- Isabella, we were able to interview an elderly Korean man- John. John had grew up in Korea and had moved to Australia over 30 years ago. His dominant language is Korean yet he was able to converse the “basics” in English. Interestingly, John was an experienced market stall-owner who ran the store as a local business every Saturday for the past 30 years.

When questioned about his proficiency in English, John was quick to reply “only business English”. He was quite happy to admit that he had limited proficiency in the dominant language of the marketplace, giving off a laugh after his comment. Notably, John recognised his achieved identity, and wished for those in the marketplace to view him as someone from Korea. Whilst John’s stall exhibited only English signs, he capitalised on the prestige of Korean products- renowned for high beauty standards- with a blatant label: “Made in Korea”. What’s even more interesting is that John and his wife had decided to scribe this caption on all the price signs. Additionally, the same, below photo captures a phonetic error in “sox” which authenticates his limited English proficiency, and may also be evidence of John’s attempt to pull from his linguistic, Korean repertoire to supplement his spelling of English words.


Picture Caption: Misspelt socks in sign of Korean sock stall
Date: 17/03/18
Language: English
Domain: Markets

Expressing the same sentiment is Jenny who owes a very similar sock stall in the middle of the marketplace. Jenny is originally from Korea and has arrived to Australia almost 18 years ago. Whilst she has experienced no racism since her arrival, she makes a firm choice to speak English to customers, and to exclusively switch to her dominant language- Korean- only when interacting with Korean customers. In a way, we observe Jenny’s multilingualism to be an “interactional resource” allowing her to use “one particular language…at home or with close friends…another language…for commerce and trade” (Fasold, 1990, as cited in Qawar & Dweik, 2015, p.4). And exploring this phenomenon of “business language” is Piller (2004, as cited in Qawar & Dweik, 2015, p.4) who states that using the community language can bring benefits to the speaker as they are able to expand social networks and therefore, in some cases, achieve economic success. It is interesting to tie this discussion back to Gal’s quote (at the beginning of this blog) on how the social situation of the marketplace – the distinct roles of seller and buyer and the desire for economic success – has influenced language choice.

Interview Two: Couple speaking Urdu

Another stall owner I interviewed was a couple whose native language was the lingua franca of Pakistan: Urdu. Both husband and wife had Pakistan and Indian backgrounds. We approached the wife- Mary- and after a few words of exchange, we were directed to her husband who sat on the other side of the stall to complete our interview.

Interestingly, she acknowledged her limited proficiency in English, and communicated to her husband in their native language. What was said excluded me and Isabella from the conversation, and created a social distance between us. The husband- David- continued to state that whilst the marketplace was multilingual, all stall owners and customers spoke English. There was some unspoken rule that English was the language of trade. When asked whether he used his native language, he stated that it was very rare and that within his chats with his wife, only 5% of English would be used on average.

Interview Three: Ishmael

Lastly, in the last row of the markets, I interviewed Ishmael. Ishmael is from Lebanon and sells kitchenware and exotic, Arabic canned food products. Ishmael has been the business owner of the store for over a year now, opening on all Saturdays. In his interview, he expressed pride in his products that were imported from Australia and New Zealand, even though most products had little to no English on its labels. The everyday food products had monolingual Arabic in their labelling (pictured below). As a non-Arabic speaker, I was able to make out the product was “tomato paste” by reading the English signage directly above the product. When I questioned his choice in signage, he justified his use in English by stating that all market-goers here were either monolingual, or bilingual, but all had a common language: English. When asked whether he spoke Arabic, he reflected the same sentiment as other interviewees, stating that it was a rare occurrence. He further stated that it was “mainly Vietnamese or Chinese people here” which interestingly is an accurate reflection of the cultural distribution in the Fairfield City Region (refer to Blog Post 1).


Picture Caption: English Signage translating the Arabic cans of tomato paste
Date: 17/03/18
Language: Arabic, English
Domain: Markets



DSC00761Picture Caption: Arabic Tea with no English on the front facing label
Date: 17/03/18
Language: Arabic, English
Domain: Markets

Whilst not in direct answering to a question I proposed, mid-way through the interview, Ishmael was called out by one passer-by who had known him. He waved back and uttered a greeting in Arabic. Interestingly when he turned back to the interview, he stated that he only spoke to people in Arabic when they looked like him, or looked like they spoke Arabic. On a deeper examination of this comment, I pull from Ihemere’s comment that linguistic attitudes characterise a group, and these carry over towards the attitudes of individualised members of the group (2006, p.194). Hence, Ishmael, in recognising those who share the same linguistic repertoire as him, has chosen to use the less dominant language to express more personal messages and breakdown the traditional social distance between buyer and seller.


  • Ihemere, K. (2006). An Integrated Approach to the Study of Language Attitudes and Change in Nigeria: The Case of Ikwerre of Port Harcourt City. Somerville, MA, p 194-207.
  • Dweik, B. and Qawar, H (2015). Language Choice and Language Attitudes in a Multilingual Arab Canadian Community: Quebec- Canada: A sociolinguistic study. British Journal of English Linguistics. 3 (1), p 1-12.

(Post by Cindy Ngo, z5062214)


Group 2 Blog 3 Post – Mixed Language Data - 10 April 2018

Glebe Markets

Picture Caption:Easter Closing sign
Author:Sea Emperor Restaurant
Languages:English / Standard Chinese

In contrast to the previous ‘informal’ sign from Sea Emperor Restaurant, the English is positioned above the Standard Chinese. However, a few grammatical errors are present: the lack of proper tense for the word ‘close’, the misuse of capitalisation, and the use of inconvenient rather than inconvenience. This implies that this sign once again was first written in Chinese and then translated into English. The different positioning of the two languages could imply that the two signs have different authors.

Caption:Shop Sign / No Seafood on Table
Author:Gregory’s Bread
Languages:English / Standard Chinese

This is an upmarket café that had no bilingual signage present in its title or menus. It also had a much trendier look to it compared to the other restaurant/food services. This is for two reasons; one, cafes are generally considered trendier places and have to appeal to this design in their instantiations. Secondly, it could be that this particular café is appealing to the more expensive/up-market visitors of the fish market.

What is notable about the second image is that it is located on the tables belonging to Gregory’s Bread. Here the use of both languages is purely pragmatic – the use of Chinese is antithetical to the cafes ‘image’ and is only employed when its use is required. The ability to stop their customers from having seafood on their tables is higher than their desire to cultivate an English-only image.

Caption:No Smoking / Don’t Feed the Birds
Author:NSW Government / Sydney Fish Markets (unsure)
Languages:English / Standard Chinese

These signs, often found in conjunction around the markets show 2 different vertical institutions attempting to enforce behaviour. The first is the NSW Government, much higher than the second, the Sydney Fish Markets. The ‘No Smoking’ sign is there mostly for regulation and is most likely mandated by law. However, its common occurrence at the fish markets leads me to believe that the markets are considered a ‘hot-spot’ for smoking. This could be due to the belief that the markets mostly Asian clientele are far more likely to be smokers and not know about smoking restrictions.

The second sign was put up by the Sydney Fish Markets. The use of Standard Chinese alongside English is indicative of their acknowledgement of the market’s demographics and of their potential efficacy of including another language alongside English.

These two signs together show that vertical institutions that are much closer, have a larger tendency to use bilingualism to convey their message. This is both due to their knowledge of how effective certain languages could be (due to their proliferation) xut also due to their efficacy (although these two criteria commonly overlap).

Caption:Union Pay Advertisement
Author:Union Pay
Languages:English / Standard Chinese

Union Pay is a Chinese bank card that dominates the Chinese Domestic market. Because of this, the use of Chinese as the primary language on the advertisement is clear; the ad is aimed directly at those who possess Union Pay – Chinese tourists or emigres. In fact, the addition of English could be considered largely symbolic as no local banks would issue Union Pay cards. The location of this advertisement, right before the entry into the main part of the markets, and its sponsorship by the fish market officials indicates just how large the Chinese demographic is.

Most of the hawkers – advertising prices etc. spoke in English. In contrast, most of the customer to salesperson interactions were in either Mandarin or Cantonese. Most of the visitors spoke in a language other than English and the majority of them were of Asian descent.

Most of the food shops had dual signage. Those that didn’t were attempting to look more hip or trendy. They were either coffee shops or restaurants. This look was achieved in part by their choice of signage but also by the emphasis put into decorating the venue.

In contrast, Glebe markets had no bilingual signage. All of the conversations between customers and salespersons were in English and the majority of overheard visitor conversations were also in English. A large majority of the salespeople however were also of Asian descent.

One particular difference in the structure of these two markets could be noted. The Fish Markets functioned by having a number of large establishments within them that hired employees. On the other hand, Glebe Markets mostly had stalls operated by 1-2 people.

(Post by Nikita Podlasov, z5062838)

Parklea Markets and Fairfield Markets

This week’s blog post will be focusing on the use of code-switching at Parklea Markets. However, due to the lack of multilingual signage, in this week’s blog post, I will also be discussing the use of code-switching at Fairfield Markets, coinciding with my team member Cindy Ngo.

While the customer domain at Parklea Markets is very multicultural, due to the large linguistic diversity, all the signs are written in English. This is most likely due to the fact that having such broad cultural and linguistic diversity, using signage in one’s heritage language would not get the message across to those who cannot read and/or speak that language. Therefore, using English only signage appeals to all individuals within that domain, and allows for the interaction between differing linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Whilst walking around Parklea Markets, it is notable that there is a large Indian customer domain, followed by Asians, Arabs and Australians. The most common languages spoke were Hindi and Punjabi, followed by Arabic and Chinese. There was a large handful of individuals speaking Farsi as well as Korean and Thai along with English. The minority languages spoken include European languages such as Italian and Spanish along with some African languages.

Parklea Markets Observation 1: Engagement in polylanguaging and code-mixing:

Upon entering the markets, I came across a stall that sold Indian groceries and delicacies such as herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables and Indian sweet and savoury foods. The stall owner was an Indian man who spoke Hindi. When conversing with other Hindi speaking customers, the conversation was predominantly in Hindi, however there were instances where English was used. For example, words such as “thank you” and “ok”, and in some instances, phrases such as “do you have…” were used as interjections in sentences. This demonstrates that both speakers hold linguistic knowledge of English and Hindi and are thus able to successfully communicate with each other whilst engaging in code-switching. This resonates with the idea that although two languages are ‘on’ during code-switching production, they do not participate equally. In this case, both customer and stall owner consolidate their shared linguistic knowledge of Hindi and English, but consolidate more with their shared linguistic identity as Hindi speaking Indians.

Fairfield Markets Observation 1: Engagement in polylanguaging and code-mixing:

Upon entering the markets, I stopped at a stall run by Koreans selling socks. I was able to overhear a conversation between the male stall owner and a female customer:

Customer: How much is this oppa?
English equivalent: How much is this elder brother?

Stall Owner: Neo mu choeun price today!
English equivalent: Very good price today!

This conversation between the customer and the stall owner is very similar to the one above in the sense that English phrases and words are interjected into the sentences in order to get the message across. The transition from Korean to English is very smooth in both examples, and further demonstrates  a shared linguistic knowledge of Korean and English in both the customer and stall owner. In this case, both the customer and stall owner are consolidating with their shared national identity as Korean people whilst also consolidating with the linguistic landscape they are engaged in, thus communicating in both Korean and English.

Fairfield Markets Observation 2: Mixed Language Data Signage:

Picture Caption: ‘Seacret Skin Care’ Advertisement
Location: Fairfield Markets
Date: 17/03/18
Language: English, Vietnamese, Korean
Domain: Markets

The use of English, Vietnamese and Korean sends the message of the benefits of this brand’s beauty products to speakers of these languages. The translanguaging in this sign engages English, Vietnamese and Chinese monolingual and bilingual speakers to further emphasise the numerous benefits this brand has on one’s skin. This demonstrates that this store is utilising several commonly spoken languages in this area in order to connect with individuals from diverse linguistic backgrounds, and for the receivers to be engaging in the same message.
What is interesting to note is that the message portrayed in each language is different, so for bilingual speakers of either English, Vietnamese and Korean, like myself, reading both signs in the two languages offers two different meanings and engages the receiver in their diverse linguistic repertoires, further enabling them to construct a deeper meaning of the message being sent.

(Post by Isabella Nancy Losco, z5112855)

Fairfield Markets

Today’s blogpost will be focused on my recorded evidence of Mixed Language Data at Fairfield Markets. In close reference to Garcia’s emerging idea of “translanguaging”, I focus my observation on both the purpose and implication of using mixed language data in signage or conversation.

Observation 1:  Overhearing loose conversations between seller and buyer

Upon entering the markets, I stopped at a stall that sold pharmaceutical products including shampoo, soap, deodorants and face-creams. The stall was owned by a Vietnamese lady. I was able to overhear her conversation with a man who had just purchased a bar of soap.

Lady store owner: Thank you, Anh
English equivalent: Thank you, elder brother.

In a similar fashion, I overheard a conversation between a Vietnamese lady and a customer when finalising the transaction. She was the owner of a pet store.

Lady store owner: Ok. Cam on em.
English equivalent: Ok. Thank you, younger brother.

Whilst the conversations between seller and buyer were conducted in predominantly Vietnamese, there are instances- like above- where English is used. The words “Thank you” and “ok” are used as interjections in these sentences, and can be seen to facilitate a calm, and successful transaction. These two speakers share linguistic knowledge and move in and out of English to get a message across with minimal regard for the ‘boundaries’ between Vietnamese and English. This resonates with Cummins (2008) who states that language is used here as a ‘property of the community’. In this case, both seller and buyer consolidate their shared identity as Vietnamese people by accessing their shared knowledge of English and Vietnamese.

Observation 2: Mixed Language Data Signage


Picture Caption: Chinese Massage
Location: Fairfield Markets
Date: 17/03/18
Language: Chinese, English
Domain: Markets

The translanguaging between English and Chinese paints a clear image to the receiver that this massage place has authentic, Chinese roots. The translanguaging in this sign enables Chinese speakers- monolingual and bilingual speakers- to make deeper meaning of the message, and further legitimise the massage service.

Interestingly, I chatted with one of the store owners, alongside my team member Isabella Losco. In our small chat, the man stated that the massage place was open for a few weeks now, and that the Chinese sign “gets people to come and look”. By virtue of translanguaging, the stall constructs its own cultural identity and that identity establishes connections with people from the same background.

At a closer inspection of the sign, it’s clear that there are direct translations of the English (right) and the Chinese (left). The only part of the sign that is not translated is “NO medicine needed. 100% Free”, which are short, sharp sentences of English. If the receiver was a monolingual Chinese speaker, the mixed language data on this sign allows he/she to pull from their linguistic repertoire and construct deeper meaning of the sign.

Observation 3: Mixed Language Data on Food Products


Picture Caption: Table at a Vietnamese Food Truck
Location: Fairfield Markets
Date: 17/03/18
Language: Vietnamese, English, Chinese
Domain: Markets

At the Vietnamese Food Truck discussed in my previous post, I observed the surrounding set-up of the stall. On plastic covered tables, I found a jar of chilli sauce. On the jar, it includes English, Vietnamese and Chinese. What is interesting is the placement of the languages- English at the top, Vietnamese and Chinese as direct translations beneath. In the same analysis as above, the company of this jar utilises several languages in order to create opportunities for the receiver to pull from their linguistic resources and construct meaning.

Whilst the business may have coincidentally chosen this chilli jar, it speaks volumes on the culture of the surrounding area as items of mixed language data are very common. As a local myself, I use and have seen these chilli jars across multiple restaurants.

(Post by Cindy Ngo, z5062214)

Sydney (Flemington) Markets

This is a continuation of my report back from my trip to the Sydney Markets in Flemington, to explore the presence of polylanguaging and translanguaging.

In addition to the mixed-language signs discussed in the previous blog post, there were several instances of verbal polylanguaging and translanguaging I observed. As mentioned last week, while there was no noticeable dominant culture, ethnicity, or language present at the markets, there were certainly subsets of the markets that were more defined in terms of language and culture. In addition to the Chinese-dominated seafood section of the Sydney Markets, there were certain sections of the markets that were clearly more Middle-Eastern dominated, and others that were more Asian-dominated (a combination of Chinese, Vietnamese, and Laos store holders, among others).


Picture Caption: Wide view of the markets
Location: Sydney Markets
Date: 17/03/18
Language: N/A
Domain: Markets

I noticed that many of the Vietnamese store holders would converse with each other in Vietnamese without any hesitation, and Vietnamese-speaking customers would also identify these stalls as spaces where they could speak the language, but otherwise the default language was English. In interactions between customers and stall holders, customers would determine the language used (English or otherwise), and this would be representative of some underlying assumptions based on perceived ethnicity, pre-existing knowledge about the store, and the type of products sold at the stall.


Picture Caption: Vietnamese stallholders speaking in both English and Vietnamese
Location: Sydney Markets
Date: 17/03/18
Language: English and Vietnamese
Domain: Markets

These findings support the conclusion that I made last week, where an ethnically and culturally mixed environment has lead to English being the lingua franca, but these do not stop smaller enclaves of languages existing, nor does it place a stigma on them.

(Post by Elizabeth Morley, z3424703)

Paddy’s Markets

In this week’s blog post, I examine the presence of polylanguaging specifically in the market domain. The first part of the post will showcase the visibility of polylanguaging insidePaddy’s Market with a collection of photos. I find that a majority of polylinguistic signageincludes Chinese (Traditional or Simplified) as a language on the signs. In the second part of this post I highlight the languages and cultural backgrounds I heard while walking around the market. The languages I heard are much more diverse than the one seen on signs in the market, albeit mostly Southeast-Asian languages.

Part 1: Polylinguistic signage:

Sign 1:


Picture Caption: Caution sign saying “WATCH YOUR STEP” with Simplified Chinese translation. Location: Haymarket
Date: 24/03/2018
Languages: English and Chinese (Simplified)
Domain: Market/Shops
Comment: This was the sign at the entrance of Paddy’s market, it is interesting to not thateven though the market is a renowned tourist destination, meaning it should cater to people from all over the world, only English and Simplified Chinese is displayed on the sign. Could this be due to the majority of tourists being from China? Or because the people who put up the sign only had those two languages at their disposal?

Sign 2:


Picture Caption: Signs indicating “Seafood” with Simplified Chinese translation.Location: Haymarket
Date: 24/03/2018
Languages: English and Chinese (Simplified)
Comments: Once again the abundance of signs with Simplified Chinese and English must be emphasised here. The amount of signs I saw was surprising despite the other languages I heard being spoken.

Sign 3:


Picture Caption: Display saying “touch to begin” in multiple languages.
Location: Haymarket
Date: 24/03/2018
Languages: English, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese (Traditional/Simplified), Arabic, Thai, Indonesian.
Domain: Market/Shops
Comment: This was the most linguistically diverse sign in the Paddy’s Market area. It waslocated in the shopping mall above Paddy’s Market. I suppose in a tourist based area thesign is more of a show of goodwill than actually being practical, just to show that different cultures are being acknowledged.

Part 2: Language use in Paddy’s Market:

As opposed to the relatively monolinguistic data of the signage above, I heard a morediverse array of languages during this week’s visit to Paddy’s Market. There was a slightdifference in the bottom-level markets and the shopping mall located above Paddy’s Market.

In the bottom-levels of Paddy’s Market, I heard different dialects of Chinese being spokenby the shopkeepers, the ones I could clearly distinguish were Cantonese and Mandarin but there were other dialect being spoken as well. The shopkeepers would converse among themselves in another language that was not English, but when speaking to customers they would change to English. This is a sign that English is still the global lingua franca. Other languages that were spoken by shop keepers were English, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, and English with a Singaporean/Malaysian accent. The customers spoke more European languages, in addition to English, I heard people speaking in French, Spanish, and Italian. Some of the other languages I hear among the people browsing the shops were Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Indonesian.

In the shopping mall above Paddy’s Market, there were more people speaking English, evenwhen their skin colour indicated that they were of different ethnicity. However, some languages I heard there were, Taiwanese Mandarin, a dialect spoken in the Philippines, and Indonesian.

(Post by Matthew Chi Hang Lau, z5136566)



Group 2 Blog 2: Public Signage and Visibility at Paddy’s Market and Chinatown – Matthew Chi Hang Lau z5136566 - 20 March 2018

Blog 2: Exploring Linguistic Signage

This week I visited the Haymarket area in person to observe the visibility of languages in the suburb. I found that many stores had signage in both English and another language, these languages were generally either Thai, Traditional Chinese, or Simplified Chinese. I have explored other domains to give a more holistic view of the suburb and not limit myself to the market domain.

Photo 1:

Picture Caption: Stall signage showing prices of milk powder.
Location: Haymarket
Date: 16/3/2018
Language: Chinese (Simplified)
Domain: Market/Shops

The above is a handwritten sign showing the different prices for milk powder. The author is the stall keeper. The message is to inform people of the prices of products that they sell. There is a hidden agenda in the fact that it is written in Simplified Chinese, this implies that the people who are most likely to buy milk powder are people from Mainland China, so it is intended as a tactic to attract customers. It is interesting to note that English is missing from this sign.


Photo 2:


Picture Caption: Public signage showing shopping, dining, and services in the area.
Location: Haymarket
Date: 16/3/2018
Language: English
Domain: Construction area around market.

This is a sign intended for the general public by the NSW government, therefore its language is in English, a point to note is that although some private signage have two languages written on them, the official signs by the government only has English. This may be due to the sign having a generalise template or lack of resources to translate the signage. Time as a resource should be lacking as they must have had to construct these signs in a short amount of time.



Picture Caption: Old road sign of “Ultimo Road”
Location: Haymarket
Date: 16/3/2018
Language: English/Chinese (Traditional)
Domain: Market/Shops

This is a sign intended for the general public to inform of the street they are on, but I am unsure of its author. It is written in both English and Traditional Chinese.  The signs oldness shows that people have been caring about different language communities even in the past. This also signifies that Australia’s multilingualism is not a recently developed characteristic.

(Matthew Chi Hang Lau, z5136566)


Group 2 Blog 1: Introduction and Background: The Demography – ABS - 16 March 2018

Domain: Markets

Our group has chosen to study the domain of markets to explore the linguistic

diversity in the scope of varying linguistic landscapes. Within this study, we aim to examine how multiple languages are used in correspondence with the dominant language in an area where communication is key.

Areas of interest:

  • The function of different languages in varying linguistically diverse landscapes
  • The attitudes towards the use of these languages in environments where the dominant language is more suitable
  • The value of multilingual knowledge
  • The impact of linguistic diversity upon the identity of the market domain

Data collection:

Our initial stage of data collection consists of collecting statistical data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Website in order to investigate which languages are spoken in the council areas of Sydney that the markets are held. This is for us to be more aware of each linguistic environment, and to help us gain more of an understanding of the impact that languages have on the market domain. We have selected ten markets that are held around Sydney in different areas ranging from Paddy’s Markets in Haymarket to the Addison Road Markets in Marrickville. This first blogpost will thus consist of our research on the demographics of the council areas that these markets are in.

In this blog post, I will personally be discussing Parklea Markets, located in Stanhope Gardens. The demographic information I collected from the ABS was more focused on the council area rather than the one suburb, because I feel that this particular market is quite popular and attracts lots of people with different nationalities and diverse linguistic landscapes and backgrounds. Researching the demographic of the council area as a whole will also provide more information about the linguistic diversity in the area, which further accurately reflects the nature of a marketplace as well.

The population of the Blacktown City Council area consists of 336,962 people, with 88,519 families averaging 1.9 children per family.
Based on the 2016 census, the ABS shows that 51.4% of the residents were born in Australia, with the most common other countries of birth being India (7.6%), the Philippines (6.5%), New Zealand (2.4%), Fiji (2.1%) and England (1.6%). From this, the census shows that 56.2% of residents’ parents were born overseas, 28.9% of parents being born in Australia and the remaining having only one parent born overseas.
53.7% of the residents in this council area speak only English at home. The top five non-English languages spoken at home include Tagalog (4.0%), Hindi (4.0%), Punjabi (3.6%), Arabic (3.0%) and Filipino (1.9%).

In regards to employment, 62.7% of the residents work full-time, 25.3% work part-time and 7.3% are unemployed. Following this, the census shows us that 41.7% work 40 hours or more per week, 9.0% work 16-24 hours per week and 8.7% work 1-15 hours per week, with the most common occupations being Professional (19.0%), Clerical Workers (16.4%) and Technicians (12.7%).
(Post by Isabella Nancy Losco, z5112855)

Introducing Market Places: Fairfield Markets

Fairfield City Council General Information

As a regular and local customer of this marketplace, I decided to personally explore the linguistic landscape of Fairfield City Markets. In this post, I make reference to statistics on the demographics of people living within the Fairfield City Council in order to make my own predictions on which languages I would hear and see in the linguistic landscape. Secondly, I discuss my initial thoughts on whether I think these demographics will be accurately reflected in the landscape, noting some key factors that may cause potential deviations. These include the nature of the marketplace to attract people outside the council boundaries, and the council’s attitude towards multiculturalism.

When and where is the market?

–          At the Fairfield Showground from 9am to 4pm, every Saturday

–          Address: 433 Smithfield Road, Prairiewood

Demographics of Fairfield City Council

Prior to researching statistics, I make clear note of the unspoken rule with marketplaces – this social space is not defined by boundaries as it welcomes commuters, within and outside the council boundaries, to visit and shop. It then warrants that my research becomes an overall analysis of the suburbs represented by the Fairfield City Council, rather than an exclusive analysis of the Fairfield suburb. These suburbs include, but are not limited to: Fairfield, Cabramatta, Smithfield, Bonnyrigg and Prairiewood.  The remaining list of suburbs is outlined by the black line in the below diagram.

Diagram 1: Map of the Fairfield City Council region.

According to the 2016 census, the Fairfield City Council region has a population of 206, 426 residents. Of this population, 52% of these residents have birthplaces in countries where English was not their first language. The most common birthplaces were Vietnam (15.5%), Iraq (9.4%), Cambodia (3.7%) and China (2%). The largest non-English speaking country in the Fairfield Council was Vietnam with 30, 805 people in 2016- a 3,364 person increase since 2011.

Following this, it makes sense then that 56.1% of residents were born overseas. Interestingly though, 95.5% of residents who were born overseas were also from Non-English speaking backgrounds. This then raises questions on language proficiency: 21.6% of residents admitted to have spoken little to no English. In a notable contrast, 48.9% of residents stated they were proficient in both English and another English, and only 24.8% of residents stated they were monolingual English speakers.

The choice of language within households also raises interesting points. The dominant language choice at home, other than English, was Vietnamese with 20.4% of residents, or 40, 492 people.  This was followed by Assyrian/Aramaic, Arabic, Cantonese and Khmer.

As mentioned previously, marketplaces are not defined by geographic boundaries but rather one may argue that the requirement to spend or have money may act as a potential barrier to those who attend the marketplace. As such, I have included research on employment status: 71,906 people in the region were employed, with 63% of residents working full-time and 34% part-time. On the other side of the coin, 10.5% of residents were unemployed in 2016. Based on these statistics, I make the prediction that the linguistic landscape of the marketplace will have differing findings to thelanguages listed above. I justify this prediction with the fact that the market is open only on a Saturday, which may cause restrictions for local commuters.

Quick note on limitations of this research on exploring Linguistic Landscapes

–          Nature of Markets:

  • Undefined boundaries
  • Motives for visiting a marketplace: purchase fresh produce, adopt pets, find bargains, roam for leisure
  • Open space
  • Open to the public/ outside commuters
  • No cost for entry
  • Parking available directly outside the Marketplace
  • Opens only on Saturdays- potentially a working day for residents

–          The deeply entrenched values for multiculturalism within the Council may contribute to the linguistic diversity and open-mindedness to use languages other than English at the market place. A clear indication of this is the Council’s slogan: Celebrating Diversity.

(Post by Cindy Ngo, z5062214)

Sydney Markets:

Within our chosen domain of markets, I have decided to focus on the Sydney Markets in Flemington/Homebush, and Moore Park markets in the Eastern Suburbs. Homebush is a large suburb in Western Sydney and is a relatively multicultural area, while Moore Park is a suburb that is mainly taken up by Centennial and Moore Parks, but the markets serve the wider population of the Eastern Suburbs. Sydney Markets are Sydney’s largest markets [picture attached] and operate on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, while the Moore Park markets operate on Wednesdays and Tuesdays

According to the ABS 2016 Census, the wider Homebush area is comprised of 13.6% Mandarin speakers, 7.9% Tamil speakers, 7.7% Korean speakers, and 7% Cantonese speakers. Additionally, only 20.8% of people speak English at home, which is a considerably small percentage. Although I have yet to visit the Flemington markets, it could be safe to guess that these markets will not be mono-cultural or mono-lingual, particularly with a large portion of Chinese market operators as well as customers. I will be interested to see what kinds of other people make up the populations at these markets.

In stark comparison, a large 65.4% of people in the Eastern Suburbs only speak English at home, and I believe that this will be reflected at the Moore Park markets too. I am looking forward to noting the differences between these two markets going forward.

(Post by Elizabeth Morley, z3424703)

Glebe Markets:

For our group project I will mainly be researching the Glebe Markets. Glebe is in the Inner West and the Glebe Markets are considered a trendy venue. They are open on Saturdays from 10-16.

Data from the ABS 2016 Census shows that the top ancestries in Glebe are English 22.0%, Australian 16.0%, Irish 10.4%, Scottish 7.0% and Chinese 5.9% with 65.6% of people speaking only English. This leads to the conclusion that although English only speakers form the majority in Glebe, there is a considerable population of non-English speakers. The other languages spoken at home included Mandarin 3.9%, Vietnamese 2.4%, Spanish 1.8%, Cantonese 1.6% and Thai 1.3%.

This leads to a conclusion that Glebe Markets have the potential to be widely multicultural, but altogether focused on English speaking customers. The large influx of non-local residents to the markets is expected, due to the areas accessibility and popularity.

Other factors are of note in Glebe. One of the oldest Chinese temples in Australia the Sze Yup Temple was set on fire by arsonists in 2008 just before Chinese New Year, racism was suspected as motive. A housing estate put in during the Whitlam years has recently been demolished and sold to private contractors.

While neither of these are linguistic phenomena, they are signifiers of the social relations that take place in Glebe, those in which language is spoken and found. By analysing both linguistic and social factors, a broader picture of language choice can be uncovered.

(Post by Nikita Podlasov, z5062838)

Paddy’s Markets:

For our group project on Markets in Sydney, I’ll be mainly researching Paddy’s Market at Haymarket. Haymarket is located south of the Sydney central business district. Haymarket includes most of Sydney’s Chinatown. The demographic is mainly made up of Southeast Asian ancestry,

Data and Observations:

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2016 states that 31.9% of the population in Haymarket are of Chinese ancestry, 18.3% of the population are of Thai ancestry, with Indonesian, Korean, and English being the next top answers, each taking up about 5% percent of responses. An overwhelming 80% of responses stated that their parents were born overseas. Spoken languages aside from English include Thai, Mandarin, Indonesian, Cantonese, and Korean. It is important to note that although a larger percentage of people were of Chinese ancestry, the number of people who spoke Thai was about the same as Mandarin.

Referring to previous visits and observations made at Paddy’s Market, a majority of the people at Paddy’s Market are Asians, with some Anglo-Saxons. The main languages heard are Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.


Analysis and Predictions:

The data stated above shows that Haymarket is a moderately diverse suburb, but within that diversity, most of the people are still of Asian descent. With the number of immigrants and Australia’s proximity to Asian countries, this is to be expected in a busy suburb like Haymarket. An interesting statistic would be the disparity in the difference the top language spoken and top ancestry, which is Thai and Chinese respectively. This could be because the people of Chinese ancestry are second-generation immigrants who do not necessarily speak Mandarin or speak other dialects like Cantonese.

Referring to the data and observations, I predict that in addition to English, I may see/hear Chinese dialects, Thai, and some Korean in the Haymarket area. As Haymarket is near the central business district, I expect to hear different languages aside from those mentioned above as well.

(Post by Matthew Chi Hang Lau, z5136566)

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