Week 1: Asian Languages around Berkeley

Berkeley, comparing to the most of the state and country, has quite a diverse range of language present in the city, showing up on commercial signage, banners, and more. This is not to say that there’s no other places with diverse languages on signage. California, being one of the most diverse states, have a bunch of cities with similar phenomenon. The fact is particularly apparent in commercial areas near UC Berkeley campus, such as the multiple food courts and restaurants on Durant Ave. The presence of Asian languages in some restaurants on Durant even earn the name “Asian Ghetto” among the students. This should be partly caused by the presence of students in Berkeley. Since the student population is very diverse, including Americans from different ethnic backgrounds as well as international students, the demand for different ethnic restaurants and shops soon formed this interesting presence of multilingual signage. Signs in languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even a bit Hindu can be seen along the streets of Telegraph, Durant, etc. Being a person who lived in Taiwan before, the presence of some Chinese text is quite familiar with me. I would not find a language invisible or missing, but there may be certain language that might not be present despite the people’s presence in the city.