Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Linguistic Landscape 7 Workshop in Berkeley. Part 2

As promised in the first part of my Berkeley notes, I now share some of my perceptions about the town and the nearby metropolis, San Francisco. I was lucky that I could spend some time before and after the conference with sightseeing. The organizers were also very nice and organized a bus trip to the Muir Woods National Monument; there we could spend great time with a handful of participants. Of course my ears and eyes were wide open for linguistic experiences during my whole trip, especially because it was my first time ever in the States.

Golden Gate Bridge, the ultimate symbol of the Bay region – and probably the inspiration behind the LL7 logo.

Unfortunately I can't reproduce here the audible linguistic diversity that surrounded me, but I can share a couple of pictures about various languages, scripts and semiotic practices that were interesting for me. I also liked the nature, and meeting the Pacific Ocean was a stunning moment of my life. So, let's see the pics!


Yes, we're in the States! Flags, flags and flags wherever you go. (Downtown Berkeley)
There are so many dangers you should be aware of before ordering... Warning sign next to the entrance door of the restaurant of my hotel.
Yes, toilets are more interesting than you could think. English–Spanish bilingualism in another restaurant.
And another toilet: sign as part of a campaign targeting the conservation of natural resources – a vital question in the Bay Area. 
And now we can continue with a couple of 'no'-s. Actually, you can hardly do anything in the BART (= Bay Area Rapid Transit) station...
 This one is quite sad since it tries to keep homeless people invisible (Berkeley City Library).
Yes, it's funny, but being funny couldn't prevent it from being challenged... This sign originally prohibited smoking, but somebody (a smoker, maybe?) made some corrections: instead of cigarette smoke, now we can blame the car's exhaust gas for health hazard.
Needless to say, you can't eat or drink you own stuff in this café. What I found interesting was the 'Merci' at the end of this monolingual English sign. In general, French was used for marketing purposes here: the advertisements of the place and the menu contained numerous French words and expressions. However, the staff spoke mainly in Spanish.
I liked how local history was retold in the form of these paintings and short biographies. I guess this metal box could be an electronic transformer – quite an unexpected surface for this kind of narratives. 
Notice board on the campus. A real challenge for those who want to count signs as part of their LL study – especially because it changed a lot within an hour, approximately. New advertisements were stick onto the older ones, ruining all statistics...
Yes, it was the campus fashion, so I also bought a shirt with the university logo. 
And finally: an exotic street view from a street close to my hotel.

Excursion to Muir Woods

Huge trees and nice paths with a great company – and yes, you could find really calm and relaxing moments in the woods. 
Telling the story of the tree, the place, and human history... quite a complex venture.

San Francisco

Maybe I can start with the Golden Gate Bridge. I very liked the park close to it. There were hands-on models of the bridge that helped to understand some questions of construction, and there were tableaux telling the story of this great work.
English–Chinese–Spanish trilingual sign in the Muni Metro light rail stop.
Visible, audible and tactile signs incorporated. I liked that I could see Braille letters quite often in public spaces (Muni stop).
Chinatown in SF. Quite nice! ...and quite unintelligible for Chinese-illiterate visitors.
Sometimes I took pictures of landscapes without any sign in close proximity ;-)
And yes, it was huge to meet the Pacific Ocean! 

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