How German contributes to the Linguistic Landscape of Auckland

Jason Brown & Jackie de Pont 

There has been a recent surge of interest in linguistic landscapes – the visible uses of language in public spaces.  This project presents data from landscapes in Auckland, and describes the ongoing development of a database of photographs of stickers around the central business district.  Beyond the obvious influence that German has on these landscapes (e.g. the appearance of an umlaut in other languages, presumably for marketing appeal), there is a striking finding: aside from English, the next highest represented language by far is German.  This stands as a counter-example to the idea that local languages contribute the highest representation to linguistic landscapes, and raises several questions, such as where these stickers were imported from, what the circumstances are around their use, and why the proportion of stickers is higher than the proportion of German-speaking individuals (or any other sticker-language) in the city.