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Old 04-12-2013, 05:49 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,054,732 times
Reputation: 11862

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I had this conversation with my mother awhile ago. There used to be this Korean supermarket here (in Perth, Australia) that had all kinds of Korean packaged products, and none of them were labelled anywhere. None of the packages had any English writing on them whatsoever, so sometimes you had no idea just what the product was, or the instructions on the back. I told my mum that they should have labelled the products, at least telling people what the product was. My mum didn't see a problem with it, but I said that by not labelling they were effectively excluding the vast majority of Australians - who do not read Hangul - and catering only to the Korean clientele, which were mostly students (there aren't even that many Korean residents in my area).

I've nothing against them opening businesses that cater towards their own people, but since they live in a country where English is spoken, I think they should help to make it at least a little accessible for non-Koreans. Of course not like translating everything written on the packaging but at the very least telling us what the thing is. I'm not Korean, but I enjoy trying Korean snacks or things and in some cases it basically prevented me from doing that. I know they figure the percentage of non-Korean patrons is small (which I've observed to be largely true) but I still don't like the feeling of being kind of excluded in a way from a place in my own country.

Having people who aren't fluent or in some cases can't even speak English is also a problem, although I rarely encounter it nowadays here. In Singapore, however, it's still not that uncommon, especially among older people. Young people in Singapore universally understand/speak English.

Anyway, that grocery store closed down and a new one opened...in this one all the products are labelled, and the shop owner, although her English is not fluent, is friendly and helpful. She can usually understand just enough, but she also makes you feel welcome, whereas the previous store-owner would simply ignore you.

Do you have places in your country - any type of shop - that seems to cater exclusively for a certain immigrant group, that is totally not friendly to customers who speak English or whatever the language is in your own country? I mean I just think if you open a business here, there should be laws, regarding signage etc (there is one business in the city that doesn't even have English signage! I figured that was against the law, frankly) that make it accessible to most people. What do you think?
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:55 AM
 
25,021 posts, read 27,930,716 times
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We have a lot of these here. I've never had a problem shopping in a Korean, Chinese, or Mexican business before. As with all businesses, they take what they can get. Here in the US, it's illegal for any business to discriminate against customers, except if your business has an 18/21+ age requirement
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:59 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,054,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
We have a lot of these here. I've never had a problem shopping in a Korean, Chinese, or Mexican business before. As with all businesses, they take what they can get. Here in the US, it's illegal for any business to discriminate against customers, except if your business has an 18/21+ age requirement
I generally don't have a problem. I guess with most products you can tell what the thing is, but it was just the fact that nothing was labelled which sort of annoyed me. Also when I asked they didn't seem very fluent in English or helpful.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:05 AM
 
24,533 posts, read 10,859,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I generally don't have a problem. I guess with most products you can tell what the thing is, but it was just the fact that nothing was labelled which sort of annoyed me. Also when I asked they didn't seem very fluent in English or helpful.
How fluent is your Korean? On the business side - why bother with a browser?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:06 AM
 
Location: SGV, CA
808 posts, read 1,878,516 times
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Tons of Asian grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, etc here in California. Some are reasonably accessible for English speakers, some aren't. I feel like every store should at least have a prominent English name alongside its native language so that firefighters/paramedics/police aren't delayed if they need to respond to an emergency. As far as English speaking staff and English translated products, that's a business decision for the owner to make. The free market economy will determine whether such practice is justifiable or not.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:07 AM
 
25,021 posts, read 27,930,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
I generally don't have a problem. I guess with most products you can tell what the thing is, but it was just the fact that nothing was labelled which sort of annoyed me. Also when I asked they didn't seem very fluent in English or helpful.
I think that's because the vast majority of products sold in these stories are directly imported from their home country, rather than made in country. I went to a World Food Store in Kirkwood, MO and the aisles have products from all over the world in indigenous packaging. Everything is imported, of course
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Texas
44,254 posts, read 64,358,815 times
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Yeah. Most asian shops around here have tons of products only labeled in the language of the country it came from.
You can always just ask what it is.

I don't have an issue with it because I used to live in asia and have an idea what most of the stuff I like is.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:11 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,054,732 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by red4ce View Post
Tons of Asian grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, etc here in California. Some are reasonably accessible for English speakers, some aren't. I feel like every store should at least have a prominent English name alongside its native language so that firefighters/paramedics/police aren't delayed if they need to respond to an emergency. As far as English speaking staff and English translated products, that's a business decision for the owner to make. The free market economy will determine whether such practice is justifiable or not.
How would you feel if immigrants from x country opened up a bunch of shops in an area, and none of the shop-owners or staff could even speak basic English? Sure you could just not give them any business, they probably after you're business anyway, but I don't like the idea of there being businesses in my country that exclude me.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:13 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,544 posts, read 56,054,732 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Yeah. Most asian shops around here have tons of products only labeled in the language of the country it came from.
You can always just ask what it is.

I don't have an issue with it because I used to live in asia and have an idea what most of the stuff I like is.
There are lots of Asian grocery shops here, but the one I mention was the only one that I seemed to have a problem with. Most other places at least tell you what the thing is.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:17 AM
 
35,095 posts, read 51,236,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
How would you feel if immigrants from x country opened up a bunch of shops in an area, and none of the shop-owners or staff could even speak basic English? Sure you could just not give them any business, they probably after you're business anyway, but I don't like the idea of there being businesses in my country that exclude me.

In the very small town I live in currently there are about 12 businesses that are open and carry items that have only Spanish on the labels. The clientele here is more Hispanic so they are more catered to than others in the area. I just ask what it is however, I am familiar with a lot of the items just from site because I cook a wide variety of food that require items from different countries.
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