August 4, 2013

Arches National Park's five languages

At the visitor's center in Arches National Park, just outside Moab, Utah, there are touch screens to help you plan your visit. 

The first question that comes up on the screen is which of five languages do you want to work in. Can you guess which four languages are offered to tourists besides English?

Answers after the break:

German
French
Italian
Japanese

But not Spanish.

But, Mexicans do like the great outdoors.

Germans love hot, empty American deserts.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Were you on vacation there this past week? Is that why you were posting irregularly?

Bryan Bell said...

They're out of date, Italian, should be replaced by mandarin.

x said...

they dont go to there because illegals are scared of arches as they remind them of gates. they go to backdoors national park instead.

x said...

speaking seriously for a minute here, there is a cerain otherworldly surrealness to the landscapes in utah that you don't see anywhere else on earth. the closest might be the strange rock formations you see in the top end of the northern territory and the kimberley in western australia. does anybody know what weather or geological conditions have been involved in producing utahs general weirdness?

i really want to go, though. i think utah will be the next state i'm going to when i visit the u.s again next year.

Anonymous said...

on their website they have a comprehensive Spanish section

MC said...

Based on my last visit to Arches, the five languages should be German, German, German, German and English.

Harry Baldwin said...

I would think it's illegal by now not to include Spanish. Have the Conquistadors been informed?

Anonymous said...

"But, Mexicans do like the great outdoors."

Well, if they're cleaning stuff, maybe they're learning.

When they do good after doing so much bad--throwing shit all over--, they deserve some guarded praise.

Mike said...

MC, that was certainly the case at the Grand Canyon last summer.

Prof. Woland said...

Been there twice. One of the nicest places I have ever seen. Both times however I went in July. The last time it was so hot I thought my kid was going to have sun stroke. What is the best month to go?

Auntie Analogue said...


What! No Arabic! Do you infidels not know how INSULTING this snub is to Moslems and Islam! No wonder that this weekend you had to shut your embaassies!

John Cunningham said...

I went to the Moab area 5 or 6 times inthe 90s, awesome hiking. Dec to Feb is ideal, sunny, highs upper 40s to 60 or so, relatively few visitors. summer is heinously hot plus hordes of Kraut tourists.

elvisd said...

Camping gear tends to have instructions in English, French, and German.

ironrailsironweights said...

Directory signs outside of Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn have an odd choice of languages. In addition to English there's Spanish and Chinese, which make sense, along with French and what I'm almost certain is Haitian Creole. It's the French that's perplexing. Brooklyn has many, many Creole-speaking Haitians, but very few people from the French-speaking Caribbean islands such as Martinique.

Peter

DanJ said...

Middle-aged Germans have grown up with comboys-and-indians adventure books by Karl May. They were hugely popular and retain a hold of the German imagination. I'm a Finn and read them all as a kid.

Don't know if it is surprising to you Americans, but Northern Europeans will cross oceans and continents to visit your national parks. I went to see the Olympic peninsula and Cascade mountains in Washington State. Most beautiful place I've seen.

Whitehall said...

I've been looking for an updated Kubelwagen from Germany for ages!

I also love those Wehrmacht baseball caps with the long bill - so practical.

That said, I was camping at Capitol Reef a few years ago and my next site neighbors were a lovely retired couple from Dresden in their custom Daimler RV they had shipped over. My VW was a great ice breaker.

Unknown said...

I live in Salt Lake City and have been to Arches several times. It is spectacular. There are many interesting things to see in southern Utah, including some that are not in national parks but are just as much worth seeing, and they're on BLM land and free. Wind and water erosion is the short story of how they're formed. Come in April-May or September-October when it's not so hot.

Ted Plank said...

Every time I've hiked across the Grand Canyon (3 times), at the bottom the ratio was 50% German. The more remote parts of Death Valley (Saline Valley, Eureka Dunes, the Racetrack) are also infested with Teutons. It's very odd, but nice. Germans APPRECIATE these places like no one else on Earth!

Another amusing anomaly in Greece, is that in the north the second language is German, but in the south it's English, EXCEPT when you climb up on the ruins. Then all signs are in Greek and German only. Most Brits, Americans, Canadians and Australians are getting drunk on the beach, with the Germans will actually climb up and try to get the history of the place.

Whitehall, if you truly want a wartime vintage Kubelwagen, there's a guy in Albuquerque who takes Beetle frames and makes PERFECT copies. I've been to his shop, he's a fanatic! Now he even does the amphibious Schwimmwagen.

Here's his link:

http://www.kooblekar.com

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there no Armenian signs. Armenians love mountains.

Rohan Swee said...

I've always been intrigued by the distribution of furriners in the national parks. It changes over the decades with the economic/political tides, but the Germans are steady visitors. In fact I don't think I've ever run into any foreigners but Germans on back-country trails. NP axiom: the farther away you get from vehicle-accessible points of interest, the higher the percentage of Germans among the foreign tourists.

Ran into a good number of Italians and French in the SW parks in recent years; Yellowstone was PRC Disneyland on my last visit there.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it German tourists who rescued that guy played by James Franco that cut off his own arm?

Peter the Shark said...

I just walked by a sign for a public park in Brooklyn in all 4 major world languages - English, Spanish, Mandarin...and Polish.

Anthony said...

At all the tourist spots in Chicago, the unusual language was Polish.

Grumpy Old Man said...

When anyone speaks to me of "culture," I reach for my Baedeker.

Anonymous said...

Ive made the Kubelwagen link into, well, a link:

www.kooblekar.com

Paul Mendez said...

I think that while Hispanics certainly do like being outdoors, they're not into "hiking." They like strolling around landscaped gardens, city squares, shopping malls, etc., It's the paseo concept. A nice, slow, social walk, not a strenuous death march through the wilderness.

Evil Sandmich said...

Reminds me of the 'start' screen of Japanese video games that have been ported by a European game developer...

Anonymous said...

"Don't know if it is surprising to you Americans, but Northern Europeans will cross oceans and continents to visit your national parks. I went to see the Olympic peninsula and Cascade mountains in Washington State. Most beautiful place I've seen."

This doesn't surprise me at all. I think there is a complementarity between America and Europe. We look at Europe and see proto-America with lots of cool history, and Europeans see America as Europe with wide open wild spaces.

Of course, this complex relationship is facilitated by a shared heritage. I wonder whether Abdullah will have as much interest in America's wild frontier as Hans. I also wonder whether Jose will have as much interest in Northern European history as Henry.

I guess we'll find out soon enough.

We'll find out soon enough

jody said...

when i go to national parks on the west coast i notice there are japanese people there. they like these places.

when i go to leadville, colorado for the 100 mile run in the rocky mountains (coming up this month once again) there are germans there, often wearing vibrams, where i get into my usual discussion with them. "Why are you wearing Vibrams on a 100 mile run in the mountains?"

but there are mexicans at leadville too. however they are mexican mexicans, who are there to run, then after the race they go back home.

Anonymous said...

"Don't know if it is surprising to you Americans, but Northern Europeans will cross oceans and continents to visit your national parks. I went to see the Olympic peninsula and Cascade mountains in Washington State. Most beautiful place I've seen."

When I visited the Redwood National Park and Crater Lake last year, over half of the other tourists were foreign- mostly German and assorted Northeast Asians. The ratio of foreign-to-American was much higher at the Redwoods than Crater Lake. Apparently Americans don't care too much about the Redwoods.

theo the kraut said...

OT, @Steve

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/08/indian-it-firm-accused-of-discrimination-against-stupid-americans/

Indian IT firm accused of discrimination against “stupid Americans”

Infosys has about 15,000 employees in the US "and approximately 90 percent of these employees are of South Asian descent (including individuals of Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi descent)," the lawsuit states.

...whistleblower Jay Palmer claims that another Infosys employee wrote “Americans cost $,” and “No Americans/Christians” on a whiteboard," the lawsuit states.

pat said...

I just bought a new video card for my computer (an ASUS 7750). It came with a thick instruction manual. But it was only thick because it was printed in 23 different languages. The outside of the box was printed in only 12 languages.

Jared Diamond wrote that we are losing something like another language every 4 days. I'd like it to go faster.

Albertosaurus

MAtthew said...

Haven't read the answers, but my guesses are Japanese, German, and Spanish.

I've been to Arches twice, and Japanese and German tourists are thick on the ground - the Germans/Aussies/Swiss especially recognizable by their general good decorum, good manners, and good looks. The other is maybe French or Chinese. Now off to check my answers...

Matthew said...

So I was right about Japanese, German and French. I just assumed Spanish was de rigueur these days. Shocked it isn't. When I've been at Arches or other national parks I've never especially noticed lots of French or Italian speakers, but maybe I just don't pay attention. You can't miss the Germans and Japanese, though.

In my experience, Spanish speakers are non-existent as park visitors. There are probably more of them actually from Spain than from Latin America. Even on casual, easily accessible trails along the Wasatch Front you're unlikely to find many Hispanics. When I hike on popular trails I'll typically pass a lone black guy (usually hiking with whites) and a few Asians, but seldom will I see any Hispanics.

Matthew said...

"Infosys has about 15,000 employees in the US "and approximately 90 percent of these employees are of South Asian descent (including individuals of Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladeshi descent)," the lawsuit states."

In 2007 eight of the top ten users of H-1B visas were either based in India and/or had Indian CEOs and management teams. Combined, they were issued about 11,500 of the visas. The only two non-Indian companies in the top 10 were Microsoft and Intel. Of course H-1B numbers don't give you any real idea of how dominated by Indian drones those eight companies actually are.

The companies were:
1) Infosys
2) Wipro
3) Satyam
4) Cognizant
6) Tata Consultancy Services
7) Patni
8) US Technology Resources*
9) I-Flex Solutions

* The name for California-based USTR was laughable, given that it's management team was almost entirely comprised of Indian immigrants.