Sunday, March 21, 2010

Latino Culture Night Poster

A few days ago I noticed this poster for an event celebrating the Latin American cultures. I find it interesting that the title of the event ("Noche de Cultura") is in Spanish, even if not all Latin American countries use Spanish. Perhaps there's some irony in the fact that an event with the theme "transcending borders" uses a visual motif that relies upon borders and national flags...or maybe the little red ribbons (mountains? hills?) are reaching across borders? I tend to over-read these things.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Census 2010 Awareness Campaigns (Federal and DC)

For a while now US Census Bureau has been running a campaign to remind people to fill out their census forms. Above, a sign in Metro Center adopts the appearance of a handwritten census form: "When you answer 10 simple questions, you can help our community for the next 10 years."

Here, a similar sign in Spanish (McPherson Square metro stop). The message is slightly different, though: "Tómese 10 minutos para ayudar a nuestra comunidad durante los próximos 10 años" [take 10 minutes to help our community for the next 10 years].

Other ads are judiciously placed at bus stops (this one near Farragut North metro).

Here's a similar ad on a bus stop (somewhere along K Street, NW).

For more about the census, see the previous post.

P.S. [added April 28, 2010] The campaign to encourage DC census participation has its own posters as well. These posters (below) combine elements from the English and Spanish posters discussed above, compressing "10 questions, 10 minutes" into a single slogan. Eastern Market metro.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Census is Coming!

Just received this notification from the US Census Bureau that the census 2010 forms are coming soon! The letter directs readers to the census website, where you can find directions in a bazillion languages. The languages on this form are English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified characters), Vietnamese, and Russian.

I wonder how they decide which languages to include on this letter? And does the same letter go out to all regions of the US?

It seems a bit inefficient to send out forms to everyone to them know that another form is going to arrive - but I suppose anything to increase awareness is a good thing.

(For more on the census campaign, see the next post).

Monday, March 1, 2010

More Bilingual Signage (Canadian Embassy)

Some time ago I posted about bilingual inscriptions at the Canadian Embassy. I've been meaning to post something related to Canada or English/French bilingualism since the beginning of the Vancouver Winter Olympics but somehow I never got around to it...

Above, English and French banners encourage businesses to invest in Canada. The design of these posters is clearly in line with the Vancouver Olympics material (below).

Here's a screenshot of the top corner of the English and French versions of the official Vancouver Olympics website. Note that the slogans (English: "With glowing hearts" and French: "Des plus brillants exploits") are phrases from the English and French lyrics of the national anthem, "O Canada." The differences between the English and French versions of the song are intriguing as well.

Above, another sign I saw at the Canadian Embassy earlier today. Isn't calling the Secret Service to round up skateboarders just a bit hostile and unwelcoming? Seems very un-Canadian to me.