Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Saint Paul Sight

Possibly only in Saint Paul could you see this billboard:

Billboard for lawyers with headline Injured? Raug Mob?
In case you aren't aware, Raug Mob is in the Hmong language. Minnesota, and Saint Paul in particular, has the largest Hmong population in the U.S.

I have a general familiarity with the language, but this billboard still brought me up short for just a second. I think it's because Mob is a word in English as well.

If the translation had been in a different writing system -- say, Thai or Cambodian -- I don't think I would even have paused. But the Hmong had no written language before the last 50 years, and so their words are written in the Latin alphabet.

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