Bilingual typography - Paper Papel Papier
 
Dealing with two languages is a challenge for anybody. And making road signs in two languages is no different. I have a thing for bilingual signs (road signs, shop signs, etc). They clearly send the message to people that languages are important.  However, they are not usually great examples of typography. They tend to be pretty boring.
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French and English Canadian stop sign - Image via Visualpop
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English and ? stop sign - Image by Katakanadian via Flickr
Some don't even try and highlight the fact that there are two languages and have two signs next to each other:
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French and Alsatian - Image by Mark Vogel via Flickr
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French and English - Image by Ian Ligget via Flickr
Others do show clear preference by having one language highlighted (by bold for example):
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French and Basque - Image by Gerard de Boer via Flickr
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English and Scottish Gaelic - Image by Alasdair MacCaluim via Flickr
Some are maybe unnecessary:
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Basque and Spanish - Image by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson via Flickr
Some use bilingualism to have a little fun with content (sometimes not on purpose):
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Image via Cybersalt
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When making this bilingual sign, the Swansea Council emailed the office they use for Welsh translations, including the text required. The council received a reply and made up the sign. Translated back into English the text below the arrow says: I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.
Some just get it right though and come up with ingenious ways of saving space, and making something which truly embraces the fact that the two language are equally important. Belgium seems to get it right:
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Image by Petchie via Flickr
Of course that wouldn't always work, but great typography inspiration. Food for thought.
Have you got any examples? Please share.

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