Norely/ October 29, 2018/ Reflective Essay #2/ 2 comments

Linguistic Landscape

Linguistic landscapes can be found all around us. You may not notice them as often due to the fact that they may be things that you see every single day, especially when live in a location like New York City. Here is a linguistic landscape I discovered during a trip to the manhattan side pier with my niece and other family members.

This linguistic landscape was pointed out to me by my 10 year-old niece while we were in the public restroom for an emergency. This all took place in Seaport, Pier 17, New York, NY. This sign is multilingual meaning it contains several different languages to help distribute an important message to the public.

Every sign that is posted up can have many different meanings and interpretations. In this case, this sign’s purpose it to teach people of this neighborhood how to properly sit on the toilet. I can infer that maybe there have been many unsanitary incidents, where it was noticeable to the employees of theNYC parks, that people were not properly using these toilets. The message of this linguistic landscape states that people should sit on the seats accordingly, and the meta message is that, most people may not have as much common sense as others but for people to please use the restrooms as if they were in their homes, with respect.

By the look of it, this linguistic landscape tells us that the neighborhood around it is pretty diverse. The sign includes the three major languages in the US. We can conclude that people who speak English, Spanish and Chinese live/visit this neighborhood often. This could possibly mean that this neighborhood has a mix of different people in different social classes.

This linguistic landscape is showing that the community of the city of New York can be very complex. It is one of the most crowded places in the US therefore we always find ourselves in awkward, sticky situations like having an emergency and needing to use the bathroom but not being able to because you notice there are footprints on the toilet seat…


  1. Is there another way I can relate this linguistic landscape to the community?
  2. I think I can elaborate more on the meaning behind this linguistic landscape. Agree/Disagree?
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  1. I think you made some great points and you could add which is the dominant language and why they may use different colors for every language. Also I think that there is anther reason why they put this sign, so you could go more in detail about the background of this sign .

  2. Norely, I agree with Lizbeth. First, you need a more detailed and informative description of your sign. Make sure to check the site and the questions on my comment (and instructions too). I think that your sign is very rich and you must delve into the different layers of meaning (for example, the selection of languages, as well as the colors and the dominat language of the sign, as Lizbeth suggested). then, make sure to connect the sign with the neighborhood – check the rubric because I think it could be helpful in order to organize your ideas.

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