Signs displayed in foreign languages have increased significantly in the past few months particularly in Koror State, Palau’s commercial center.
Beginning in July, the new Koror State law on signage will require individuals, businesses and corporations to translate signs written in foreign languages to Palau or English. “It is important to retain the cultural heritage and integrity of our language and therefore any sign/signage in Koror State should be translated into either Palauan or English,” states the announcement published in local newspapers. It further cited Palau’s official languages under the nation’s Constitution as Palauan and English.
According to the announcement by Koror State Planning Commission’s Building and Zoning Office, anyone found violating the new signage law on and after July 1, 2015 will be subjected to a $500.00 fine.
Since the introduction of new flights connecting Palau to larger cities such as Macau and Hong Kong, which provides continuing influx of Chinese visitors, more local businesses have adapted Chinese-language written signs in attempt to attract customers.
The new state law also prohibits signs that exceed four feet by six feet in size, “so that they are not too large as to obstruct or be a distraction to drivers as well as to assist the general welfare by ensuring the readability of all signs and the size limitations will ensure that signs are not overly intrusive.”