Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Albertville mayor wants signs to include translations

The mayor of Albertville, Ala. wants the city's sign laws to require all signs in Spanish to include English translations.

As much as it irritates me to see signs in Spanish everywhere, I have to disagree with the mayor. Government--even local government--should stay out of the business owners' way. He claims it's a public safety issue:

Because police officers and firefighters cannot read Spanish, he said, it could take them longer than necessary to answer a 911 call at a Hispanic business if its sign is only in Spanish.

Well, if that happens, maybe next time the owner will have a translated sign, or perhaps one that's entirely in English. It's a similar principle to consumers voting with their wallets. For example, I refuse to patronize businesses that advertise primarily in a language other than my own.

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