03 October 2010

Multilingual Signs

Here is a sign I saw in a restaurant in Kuala Lurah, just over the border from Brunei in Sarawak (Malaysia).Not only are there three different languages (English, Malay, Chinese) together with some helpful pictures, but there is also multiple cross-linguistic borrowing: pai kut ('pork chop') is borrowed from Hokkien into English; and sotong ('squid') is borrowed from Malay into Chinese as 苏东. (The first character is not written quite right − but never mind, people can understand it just fine.)

I love the chaotic profusion of languages, borrowings, and drawings.