Croc warning

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I took a picture of this sign during a family holiday in Cairns. My then-six-year-old daughter noticed the German “Achtung” and so asked why it didn’t say “Warning” in her third language, Persian. Her father, the designated Persian-speaker in our family, quipped “because Iranians have enough common sense to stay away from crocodiles anyway. They don’t need a sign.” The same could presumably be said of the speakers of all the other languages that haven’t made it onto the sign … And what does this mean for the speakers of the three represented languages? I might be wrong but I do get the impression that British and German tourists are more likely than anyone else to be eaten by crocodiles and sharks or to get lost in the Australian wilderness … Chinese and Japanese tourists seem to be a more sensible lot, though …
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
PublisherLanguage on the move
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2009


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© 2018 Language on the Move. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
  • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)

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