Sunday, March 29, 2009

En anglès, por favor

So the local Best Buy has a department of musical instruments now. They've had keyboards for years, which makes sense because they're electronic. Now they've not only branched into electric guitars and amps, but acoustic guitars and drum sets.

In the local store, the music instruments are now in what used to be the car audio department. I'm not sure where all that stuff went, especially because the big-screen TV department is now approximately 40% larger. Maybe there are fewer refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. Those aren't very "sexy", from a retailers point of view.

This Best Buy is also largely bilingual. All of the department tags are mirrored in Spanish and there are probably some Spanish-speaking employees sprinkled around.

It made me laugh, though. Right below "Musical Instruments" is "Instrumentos musicales" (my spelling may be off). For the most part, Spanish and English are separate languages, but they converge in places that allows even non-speakers to get a pretty good idea what's happening.

I suppose this is my first taste of places with secondary language labeling, something that occurs throughout Europe, in Quebec, and (I would assume) the southern United States. With the similarities between Spanish and English, there are bound to be some redundancies. I don't feel that this is a bad thing; the labeling should apply to everything equally.

I just found it funny that if Best Buy had decided to use ONLY the Spanish, above a room filled with musical instruments, I would have known exactly what the sign said. My Spanish is absolutely terrible. I call it "Sesame Street" Spanish, but I don't even remember all the words used on the show. In the Best Buy, I would have assumed that it was a stylistic choice to give the instruments an "exotic" flavor.

1 comment:

  1. Everything down here is in English and Spanish.
    Anywhere I go, I don't understand half the conversations around me.
    Menus in the majority of Mexican restaurants are in Spanish only, too.
    29% of the people here are white, whereas 61% are least that's what Wikipedia says and from looking around me, I'd say that's about accurate.