Dan From Optus Politely Schools Racists On Facebook

In the face of unrelenting racist evil on social media, Dan from Optus is a shining beacon of hope.

In response to a barrage of complaints on Facebook about Optus using multilingual signage in multicultural regions, Dan's responses are nothing short of legendary.

Cheers to Age of Aquarium for collating the best of the bunch.

And the finale:

Bravo, Dan.

If you'd like to join me in giving Dan a virtual high five, he's responding to his sudden intake of new fans on Facebook.

Optus, give that man a raise.

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    The signs should be in English though.

      .....I think I need Dan to help me reply to this.

        Be careful who you lionise, we all have our issues, and he did not ask be be made some super-oracle.

        You might want to check out his public tweets.

      As I recall, the signs simply said that the store had Arabic speaking staff. Why would they print them in English? No real need to have signs saying they have English speaking staff, it's pretty much a given.

        A good way to gauge someones intelligence is by seeing how racist they are.

          ...and how they go about being racist...

            yep. "White people so dumb." - public tweet from Dan, 17December.

        People who say these signs should be in english have clearly never travelled to a foreign country.

        When you travel through Asia, and businesses are attracting tourists, the menus and signs are in english aren't they? It wouldn't make sense to have a restaurant on the beach in bali and have every menu item in indoensia. In jakarta, it would make sense.

        Actually having the sign in Arabic and English and maybe even Farsi and Malay saying the same thing would be a super idea - not all Arabic speakers can read Arabic. I am fine with the sign, though not so fine with all of Dan's stylings - each to their own, but as a long term Optus customer their customer service staff are something I am allowed to have a view on, and his frank dissing of the important role of the English language does not impress me - I am not sure it is the role of a public representative of a Singaporean multinational to do anything but simply explain the facts politely - what the sign said (Arabic spoken here) and the logic for its presence (to help some Arabic speakers). The Optus public account is hardly a personal blogging platform. This probably does however tally with social network practice, which is presently all about appealing to the demographic of "engaged" users.

      "Should a sign in Australia be in a different language to assist with people from that language background?",

      let's flip that around and ask

      "Do you want to see a sign in Japan/China/France/Any-Other-Non-English-Country written in English when you travel/live there?" - I say yes.

        If you had any culture or visited Japan you would know they have english on most of their signs.

          ...Yeah he knows, that's what he is saying and that is the point he was illustrating.

      Extremely poor trolling, student needs to show dramatic improvement in order to graduate. 0/10

        It might not have been clever, but did still get some bites. I'll give it a Pass with the hope the student puts in more effort in the future.

      You want to speak English? Piss off to England. We don't want you here.

        As an English man in England: We don't want them either. (The racists that is.)

      Not necessarily, it should be written in any f*cking language... English is not the only spoken language on this planet... If you were abroad, or lived in a different country, they too would put up signs in other languages.... Don't be a racist and stop discriminating people, based on their background.... People like you sickens the f*cker out of me.

      What good is a sign in English saying "Arabic-language customer support available here"? If they could understand the sign, they wouldn't need customer support in Arabic.

      I'd give it a perfect 5/7 would troll again...

    "trusty Australian racists attack communications company for making communication easier"

    QI run with that one. Name the countries were English is the official language.
    UK? Wrong
    USA? Wrong
    Australia? Wrong.
    You will hate this, English is an official language in NZ, Canada and drum roll!
    Go Dan THE MAN!

      wow, that is quite interesting. I would have sworn Canada would have been French, NZ wouldn't have had one (much like Australia) and India would have been Hindi
      well you learn something every day.

        India has something like 20 official national languages, english being one of them. Generally, it's considered to be more frequently spoken in the south as common language between different linguistic groups than hindi which serves a similar purpose in the north.

        Canada has 2 official languages, English and French. With most countries it isn't necessary to even have an official language.

        correct, that's why i wrote "an official" not "the official"
        Canada, NZ and India all have more then one official language.

        Why would you thinks Canada's would only be French when only a small percentage of people living there speak it?

        Last edited 10/01/16 6:36 pm

      https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/settlement-and-multicultural-affairs/programs-policy/a-multicultural-australia/national-agenda-for-a-multicultural-australia/participation/language-and-communication "English is our national language and it is critical - for the individual, for society and for our collective prosperity that every Australian be given the opportunity to master it"

      "Official" or "National" means all of the following are under taken only in English:
      1. the law - all legislation is in English, and all Judges and advocates must speak it. Testimony in other languages must be translated, and is recorded only in English. Police charge and interview in English, and witness statements must be in English.
      2. Government paperwork - while guidance is given in other languages, all paperwork is in English, as an example tax returns and immigration records.
      3. Government signage may include other languages, but must be in English primarily
      4. Parliament and Council meetings are conducted in English only, Hansard is recorded in English
      5. National and State education standards require English as the primary language for all non-language subjects, examinations and in English for all non-language subjects
      This the "definition" of an "official language". In Canada, French and English together are required in certain provinces.

      In commerce, frankly whatever,But Dan got it wrong when he said "English is the most common language, not the national language".

      Last edited 07/01/16 11:56 pm

        Love some selective quoting. Here is some more - from the same page.

        "Australians also speak more than a hundred other languages - each day in the home, the street, the school, the shops and the workplace. it is in the interests of all that Australians be allowed to maintain and develop their first language and cultural tradition."

        "In 1788 about 250 distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, including 700 dialects, were spoken throughout Australia. Today, not more than 20 Aboriginal languages can be classified as 'healthy'.

        These surviving languages need to be accorded a pre-eminent position. ..."

        I see your point and raise you a counterpoint.

          I might be wrong but it sound like the official stance is that indigenous languages are more official than imported ones... But that's just according to the government right? So it's not REALLY official ;)

          What's your counterpoint? There are other languages but all the official and legal stuff is still in English.

          No one's saying you can't have or use other languages. But in official capacity everything is English. That's the point.

          Again, shop signs don't matter one bit but a contract must be in English.

          I simply defined "official", or "national" or if you prefer "common" in a way that accords with the policies and history of the country. Before you raise indigenous languages, let me point out that there is no national one but countless mutually unintelligible dialects that have specific meaning, beauty and utility in a local sense but to not facilitate mutual comprehension or indeed cooperation. Dan is incorrect in stating there is not a national language, as is the author. This is not a value judgement about "niceness", "funness", "ease of use" or anything else, it is just stating the obvious - Dan is incorrect that Australia has no language that all Australians need to know, to which they can and perhaps should add anything else them makes them happy. As for selective quoting, is there any other kind? I was hardly going to regurgitate the whole site verbatim because they are not contradictory to the point. Dan's other points may well met, but this does not alter the fact that he is wrong on one very key point - English is our common, national, language.

          Last edited 07/01/16 11:59 pm

        You say Dan is wrong then link to a page that makes no mention of an 'official' language. Then you bizarrely equate 'official language' with 'national language' which is not the same thing at all.

        I'm not really getting your point here - is it that english is spoken in courts, parliament etc therefore no one should ever put up a poster in another language?

          I hate siding this way, but @kelaher made a valid point, and even provided you with 5 really great indicators that "national language" and "official language" are basically the same thing. If a racist accidentally used the word "official" rather than "national" in a sentence, aren't you just playing semantics by screaming "Australia doesn't have an official language"?

          Now, I have to go wash the racist out of my hair *shudder*

            It's not just semantics though. the idea of something being 'official' - mandated in some way - is different to it being most common, or 'national', which to my mind is exactly the point that Dan was making so it is incorrect to say he was wrong on this point. If you're going to pick someone up on their semantics as @kelaher is doing to Dan, you need to be pretty sure of your ground. The point that Dan was making is that Australia has no official, or mandated, language. Obviously English is the most commonly spoken and obviously it is the language used in courts, parliament etc. I don't see how that relates to whether or not Optus are entitled to put up a poster in another language.

              It does not relate to whether the sign should be in English or not- logical arguments are tricky like that, one thing can be OK, and another plain rubbish. Australia has a language that is required to any reasonable definition - English. As I stated (please actually read !) in the commercial arena Optus can do as they please, however their "PR" person Dan is still entirely wrong in one of his main reasons why the sign is OK - the sign is OK, or wrong, only because it encourages, or discourages, customers (debate away) - it is not right because this county has no common language, that is plainly incorrect. Clear now :-)

              Last edited 07/01/16 10:05 pm

            Yep, hair is full of dead skin from your scalp :-) Watch the accusation you fling about buddy - my issue is with some of Dan's stylings which we all seem to be celebrating, not the sign - just because he is "not racist" (?) does not make him usefully correct or effective - read the posts.

        "English is our national language and it is critical - for the individual, for society and for our collective prosperity that every Australian be given the opportunity to master it"
        Given the opportunity to learn English. Not be forced to. Not Banned from speaking another chosen language.
        I have no idea what point you were trying to cobble together.
        In commerce, frankly whatever, but you, mate, are plain wrong.

          so extrapolating from there, the original optus signs were in the wrong because they were taking away people's opportunity to master the english language? Following from there should we perhaps just ban all languages other than english? Wouldn't want to deny someone's opportunity to master english.

      NZ has two as well - English and Te Reo Maori.

      Name the countries were English is the official language.
      According to the Wikipedia, there's more than 60 countries where English is an official language, 1/3 of those are African nations.
      And that's not including territories like Hong Kong, and only includes those with an "official language" so the US, UK, and Australia are technically not part of that

        Oh, well, if wikipedia said it...

          What a shitty reply, it's 2016 and people still are sarcastic about wikipedia? you sound like my english teacher back in the 00s.

      English is also an official language in South Africa (1 of 11)

      Good on you Dan.
      Let me use the example of Singapore. In Singapore there are 4 official languages: Malay, Tamil, English & Mandarin; Malay is the national language and Singapore English is regarded as the main language. Everybody who goes to school learns English as well as their "mother tongue", which may be any one of the 4 official languages. In addition to the 4 main languages their are heaps of dialects for all the different subcultures. Signs often show all 4 languages, although traffic direction signs are all in English. It's inclusive and it works. It's about communication, not about nationalism and who "owns" the country.
      Now, to come back to the debate: racist bigots differentiate people on all sorts of arbitrary markers, including language. I believe if people can't read English well and can read signs written in another language there is nothing wrong with non-English signs, especially in cultural enclaves or diaspora's within Australia. On the subject of language, what about the original inhabitants of this country? What about the tourists who are vital to our economy and who very welcome in this country, as we are in theirs? To me, this is a ridiculous debate, signs are about communication and are not about nationalism. I am 50 years old and grew up near a small village in northern NSW with around 20 houses and 60 people, 40km from the nearest town of 15,000 people where I went to school. I loved growing up there, but geez the place where I grew up was chock-a-block full of bigots and racists, and I reckon that particular aspect of the society of my youth was shameful. I hope as a society overall that we're over that. I'm a proud Aussie with a strong Aussie heritage, and I think that a multi-cultural Australia is a great Australia. I am a realist and I know there are fringe dwellers in every society who are dangerous, the majority of people are not, and I suspect that the people who are carrying on here objecting to signs in another language are just frightened people who think there is a murderous terrorist behind every tree, and every person who isn't "true-blue" is dangerous and should be excluded. I think nothing could be further from the truth. This debate seems to be about nationalism and paranoia, for pity's sake what is wrong with signs in another language?
      I say again, it's about communication, people. How will people fit in and contribute if we don't communicate with them, either in English or in a language that they may understand better?
      End of rant.

    The Gold Coast in QLD has street signs in English and Japanese (I think it's that), it's really no different when you think about it.

      Ah, but it is. The way these clippings read, it appears these signs are only in a foreign language. I'd be surprised if they had any complaints if they had used their brains and made the sings in English AND in Arabic or whatever. When you cannot read a sign in your own fucking neighbourhood, it can be very confronting.

        It was 1 sign in the store, The rest of the store was covered with english stuff. Get your head out of your arse.

        The only complaints they had where from redneck racist bogans who:

        A: Have never been to the store
        B: Dont live anywhere near the store.

        Just a bunch of UPF members having a sooky la la.

        Last edited 06/01/16 9:59 pm

        Ah yes, a sign in English explaining that the Arabic in the sign next to it is advising non-English speakers that there are staff in store to assist them in their native tongue, if they require/prefer it.

        Fair enough as most Australians immediately assume that Arabic script is only used to convey messages of evil in this day and age, and heaven forbid that a company that specialises in 'Communications' wants to communicate with potential customers.

        Seems legit.

        only to the very slim minded. I lived in an inner west suburb is massively Chinese. maybe even up 80%. Every day i see signs that arent in English. I have been there five years and never once have I been 'confronted'. sometimes I was interested in what they said so I got a photo app on phone that translates them. you know what the signs said? boring. mundane. things. OMG they are so confronting, groan.

          marrickville lol?

          it annoys me a little bit seeing non-english signs since yknow i can't read them and it feels like 'youre not really welcome but we will welcome you if we have to' if it's solely a lote, but i'm a linguistic enthusiast/hobbyist anyhow so i enjoy looking at them, figuring out what language it is, and then going to learn a bit about it.

          but i'm not going to whinge on facebook and shit cause the sign's in english. i know if i walk in, i have to be served lol.

          Last edited 07/01/16 4:10 pm

        The sign is only useful in the other language as it is specifically and only for speakers of the other language. To what purpose would it serve to tell English speakers there is someone who is fluent in Arabic in store?

        When you cannot read a sign in your own fucking neighbourhood, it can be very confronting.That really sounds like your own problem, not Optus'.

          No definitely not just his problem and also definitely a problem for Optus too. That's why they've put these signs up. Because they know that it can be very 'confronting' wandering around a neighbourhood where you can't read the signs, so they've helpfully added some to let people who can't read the other signs feel welcome :)... It's just unfortunate that trying to make people feel included apparently angers a loud subset of people :(

            If you can't read any signs? That's not so much confronting as a real challenge to do anything. It's very tough on foreigners & new immigrants to get by until they get enough English under their belt, so a shop letting you know they can help you in your language must be a huge relief.

            But feeling "very confronted" by a single sign that's not in English, when virtually everything else is? Tough titties. It's clearly not intended for you, so deal with that - or use a translator app, if you're that curious.

              Oh I know, I was taking the piss out of his comment not yours :) the wording did come out a little clumsy though so apologies for that >__

              Last edited 13/01/16 11:01 am

    Dan from Optus for our next Prime Minister, please.

      Optus outsourced these jobs. Dan doesn't qualify...despite calling himself Dan to set the customer's mind at rest that he isn't operator#23112 from itservices.Bangladesh.

        Lol, I know Dan and he lives in Melbourne. He's actually quite a well known dude.

        Optus retail staff member here.
        Our entire social marketing team is split between the Sydney and Melbourne headquarters.

        dude ... he's a part of the hiphop scene down in melb. pull your head out.

    Aren't these responses almost 2 months old now? http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/optus-customers-urge-telco-to-put-arabic-signs-back-up-20151117-gl1i77.html

    I am sick to death of anyone and everyone who happens to be proud of his Australian cultur,e and concerned that it is withering away under a constant assault of political correctness, being labelled as a racist. Walking into your local shopping centre, maybe the same one you went to after school when you were a kid, discovering that there is advertising there that you cannot read and being a little upset about it does NOT make you a racist. It can be very, very confronting and could absolutely make you feel that everybody else's culture is more important than your own.

    I have no problem at all with businesses advertising to local minorities. Quite the opposite, I think it's great but it has to be done in a more inclusive way. Posters in English, the language spoken by 99% of Australians, and another language would do this.

      So Optus needs to put up signs outside stores saying "Chat to us in English!"? I thought I can do that without a sign letting me know...

        Both, I think is the point. This would be better idea anyway - not all Arabic speakers can read Arabic, believe it or not.

      Most of the content in the store was in english. The only thing in arabic was 1, Yes ONE poster outside. But of course, anything arabic related send you into a hissy fit

      You need to travel more. Man, if you are 'confronted' by seeing a sign that you can't read you have a very small world view. Your asinine statements on this issue do nothing to promote harmony - but then I don't think that's your objective.

      If one sign out the the hundreds that are displayed all over a shopping centre makes you feel your culture is not as important as another you must be very insecure about your culture. Your comment is ridiculous.

      Last edited 07/01/16 12:16 am

      For what it's worth I don't think you are racist. You do come across as scared and foolish though.

      You want a sign saying that they are inclusive to be more inclusive by including people that were included by default anyway? That's foolish.

      Your comment boils down to "it makes me uncomfortable so it's bad" - the world doesn't revolve around you. You don't have the right to never feel uncomfortable.

      So you want posters in English that read: "Our staff speak English" to make you feel less threatened by other cultures?

      If you are sick of being labeled as something, maybe you should really stop and think about what you are saying.

      But optus do put up posters in english,.... Quite a few of them actually.
      Why do you want a poster that isn't at all advertising to you, but specifically to the people who can read that poster and cant read English, to be written in English. That makes 0 sense. You're just offended by Arabic writing even when it's an ad for a fucking phone company because you're scared of those damn Muslims coming into this country and stealing your freedoms and southern Cross tattoos.

      You're welcome to be upset if you can qualify it with a legitimate reason for why it offends you. If that reason is because you're racist then you can get fucked and don't cry about political correctness.

      Now, explain why this poster offends you?

        "Why do you want a poster that isn't at all advertising to you, but specifically to the people who can read that poster and cant read English, to be written in English." How am I to know what it is doing if I can't read it? For all I know it is telling people to take up arms against the Australian way of life. OTOH< if the posters were multi-lingual, I'd know what they were saying.

        Bottom line - I don't like being excluded from anything in my own country, do you?

          How were you being excluded, did you think it was a milk bar or something? You know by the colours of the signs, the logo out the front, the fact that they have phones for sale in their shop that they are a phone shop and a person is there to help no matter what language you speak.. Maybe its because you're an ewok and can only speak ewok, so maybe they should make a c-3po for you to converse with, tool..

          You are a very silly person.

          Even if Optus were to print multilingual signs, you'd still have no way of knowing what the non-English parts were saying if you don't understand that language.

          And are you seriously suggesting that Optus would be printing signs in Arabic saying "Death to the infidels" while saying "Have a nice day" in English?

          You do realise that we are already excluded from lots of things ie I can't go into a ladies toilet, I can't join my kid's under 12 softball team

          Do you feel the same 'excluded' and 'uncomfortable' feeling when you see people of the opposite sex using public toilets? Your argument is flimsy and nonsensical because it is driven by fear and and hatred. If you replace these negative feelings with trust and acceptance you would be happier and might even come across as a little smarter.

          I don't like being excluded from anything in my own country, do you?

          You aren't being excluded. You are welcome to learn Arabic and read the sign and talk to the Optus staff in Arabic. Nobody is stopping you.

          If you are out at your local shops and see two people talking via sign language do you get pissed off at them for excluding you?

          Would you get pissed off at a sign in brail that said Optus had staff specifically trained to help the blind community?

          I'm getting a really strong sense of inflated self-importance from you.

      you really need to do some travelling. see the rest of the world, go to multi-language countries to understand how ridiculous this "we are Australian, you have to speak Australian stupid truly is"

      Last edited 07/01/16 10:39 am

      How can you be proud to be an aussie if you don't embrace multiculturalism? Being a racist makes you less of an aussie and more of a bigot, perhaps once you get 10% of racist scum in your suburb Optus will create some posters using simple words that you guys can understand too.

        It may surprise you to know that we had immigration long before Bob Hawke decided we'd become "multi-cutural". In fact, when I was a kid my father worked for a business run by a Chinese family who were always very good to him and our family. I recall an amazing Chinese banquet they put on for the employees families, it started my life-long love of Cantonese food (they were from Hong Kong).

        The problem with multiculturalism is that encourages us to emphasise our differences, not all the things we have in common. It promotes ghettoes, not everyone living together in harmony, somethign perfectly illustrated by Dan from Optus tellig us where all the foreigners live. Imagine how awful it would be for someone living here not to be able to speak English, yet multiculturalism says we should accept that and not help everyone integrate into the mainstream of Australian society (which, BTW, does not involve abandoning their own culture but simply learning enough of ours to participate more fully in daily life).

          What a condescending bigot. You're the one who is trying to emphasis a difference and not embrace that as aussie culture. Multiculturalism doesn't stop people "integrate", it proves that like puzzle pieces we might be different but we can all fit in together. You claim it would be "awful" for someone who can't speak english yet you are against a sign that helped them get assistance. As En Vogue sings "Free your mind and the rest will follow, be colour blind don't be so shallow. "

          Last edited 07/01/16 1:13 pm

          Imagine how awful it would be for someone living here not to be able to speak EnglishAnd I suppose making it harder for them to function in society by ensuring they can only interface in a language they don't understand is a much more ethical position to take?

          Next thing you know, we'll be taking the ethical high ground by locking up boat people under horrendous conditions in order to deter more boat people because it'll stop deaths at sea.

      You were confronted by something in another language? Really! Really! Another language is something is get riled up over? Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate.

      I had a whole response for you but others have said it better than I could. So let me just add - you are an utter twat.

      discovering that there is advertising there that you cannot read and being a little upset about it does NOT make you a racistNo, that's just narrow-mindedness. More common than ideal, but not a problem for anyone else.

      Feeling very, very confronted by said advertising? Sounds like deep insecurity, perhaps an unwillingness to confront one's own cultural or lingual limitations. A single Arabic sign surrounded by English everywhere else, making you feel your own culture is less important? Yep, *deep* insecurity.

      Calling for such advertising to be taken down? That's all the above, compounded by a significant lack of empathy for others. Still wouldn't call it racism though.

      Feeling very, very confronted by Arabic language in particular? That could be racism, or possibly a similar cultural or religious bigotry. Ask yourself; would you feel the same if the sign was in Thai instead, or French?

      Making threats to staff over the language of a sign in a window? THAT's well beyond simple racism. One does hope you're not excusing that as a response to "political correctness", because I for one am sick to death of bigotry and threats of violence being waved away as simply an effort to protect one's own favoured culture.

      " discovering that there is advertising there that you cannot read and being a little upset about it does NOT make you a racist."

      Yeah, it does. It's xenophobic as.

      Weak. That is all. If someone finds that sort of thing confronting, their parents didn't raise 'em right.

    *Crowd cheer* DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN! DAN!

    In non English countries, signs are often in English also, especially in cities. To help tourists and migrant workers.
    Do the locals complain? No, because it is a staple of their economy and for some, their livelihood.
    It is embarrassing on the world stage to see how many racist dumbshits we have.

    PS [to some fool on the street]. Your Holden with racist sticker on the back is made in South Korea

    Dan is truly awesome, I wish he didn't have to defend against the opinions and narrow mindedness that exists.

    To be fair, they really should have done the ads in both English and Arabic. That way the majority of people would know what they are selling.

    TBH optus is on my "do not buy" list. Anyway so i don't care.

      To clarify AGAIN. These weren't ads. They were simply signs saying the store had arabic speaking staff.

        What do you mean clarify AGAIN, don't get your knickers in knot!

        Most of this was TLDR but FWIW optus did do advertising in Arabic one before.

          Did they? You know what, I reckon if I stretch my memory a bit I think I can recall Optus doing an ad in English too so there - your requirement is met. Ads in both English AND Arabic! It's a miracle!

      Why? What do people think was written on the sign? Grow up.

        Traveling to Syria? We can help you get there. Come in and ask our firebrand extremists in store now!

      Why? Explain what purpose that would serve.

    Kudos for this gentleman. I am not an Australian but has been brought up in your country for almost 20 years, raise by different cultures of guardians when I was young. Having multilingual description or signage is a good thing. It helps everyone to be less ignorant about other cultures in this multicultural country and learn the meaning of these languages.

    Dan got it wrong on the two hundred native Australian languages. There are three languages corresponding to three migration subgroups, and two hundred indigenous clans have each taken a selection of words from each of the three 'dictionaries' and built on them over time creating sub dialects. It's like two hundred programmers taking some code from pascal, c++, and basic and using those to build their own programming language by filling the code gaps. Some are similar enough that they have identical communication handshakes. Some can only share jpegs.

      That's all that is left after the Europeans had their way. So no Dan, who is probably not an Australian, and has probably never set foot in Australia, knows more about Australian history than you do. Congratulations, your dumb and racist.

        No, actually. These three initial languages are the languages spoken by the migration groups who came to Australia over a hundred thousand years. There is nothing more dangerous and unaustralian than ignorance of truth. You think the first aboriginals came here all at once? You would be wrong. The first were Neanderthals from northern Europe. They were 'white' by the way and they came here A hundred thousand years ago. And despite your beliefs had a spoken language and names.
        The second lot came here around twenty thousand years ago. They were related to the Indonesian hobbits - described as being the size of a small child. They were displaced from the Hindu kush by newer humans who followed them to Australia. Now go look at the indigenous languages. The three marker phonetics you are looking for are ul-, DJ-, and ng-. Now go get an education that doesn't peddle the crap that indigenous languages are all that was 'left to them by the white man'.

          By that same logic, English, German, French, Spanish, Greek and almost all other european languages are actually all the same language because they share a common root.

          Who knew that I'm actually typing French right now! Wow. Never even had a single lesson.

    I've had many dealings with #danfromoptus and it's so cool to see him getting all this positive attention. He's a credit to Optus and he's the real deal.

    English has de facto status, not de jure status in Australia. This difference is important. Government business is conducted in English because it covers the most people. There is no law requiring this (the lack of de jure status).

      We are a common law country so I agree the difference is important, but not in the way you imply - convention has more force of law than legislation in fact. As an example ,somewhat related to this discussion, in WA it was found that requiring people who can speak English to speak it in a workplace does not meet the standards of the racial discrimination act of that state http://www.findlaw.com.au/articles/1633/requirement-to-speak-english-is-not-race-discrimin.aspx. Again to be clear - I think the signs Optus used are basically fine (have we all actually seen them ? http://www.smh.com.au/content/dam/images/g/l/0/q/s/6/image.related.articleLeadwide.620x349.gl0njn.png/1447801183975.png) , though some additional text may have assisted even some Arabic speakers and allayed the fears of some mall customers without any loss of effect.

    M8 pull yr head in, did you or your ancestors learn the local Indigenous language when you (or your ancestors) moved to Australia?

    I think it is all about people who are afraid to educate themselves about the ways of the rest of the world. Afterall, the rest of the world was populated and civilized a long time before Australia was colonized by the British. It is amazing to read and try to understand the attitudes of these people who are negative about this. We live in the newest county on the planet and yet many of us think we know better than those cultures that have been around a lot longer. If we were not meant to educate ourselves, why do we have a brain? We only utilze our minds in such a small way. It smacks of the old saying, that many of us are "afraid of what we don't know". Those who don't wish to educate themselves about the ways of the rest of the world, are doing themselves a diservice.....Yet Australians drink Beer, Wine, Cappuchinos, Lattes, Short and Long Blacks, we eat Pizza, Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian foods every day. We make Olive Oil, French loaves and many other continental and Asian foods. What cars do we drive, what motorbikes do we ride? What clothes do we wear, phones to we use, TV's do we sit and watch? Yet we put up a sign in another language, to help a poor 80 year old migrant understand WTF is going on and we go silly....Strange people we Australians.....

    Thank you, Dan, for your polite, common sense, restrained replies. As an Australian who is proud of our welcoming attitude to all (and ashamed when it fails) I very much appreciate your attitude, as I am sure that my Christian Arabic friends, alongside their Muslim compatriots appreciate the signs in their native language. I have lived in, and visited countries where English is not a major language, and I have always been grateful for the English signs in those countries. I would be very sorry to think that Australiwns were less hospitable to foreigners than the Malaysians, Indians, Japanese, Thais or Israelis whose countries I have visited lately. Your messages are an excellent reassurance that we have chosen well in having Optus as our carrier.

    Our official language is English; the lingua franca is english; the language of media, news, law and government is English, the language used in our education system is English, the law says signage MUST be in English.

    don't you dare talk to me about respect when you don't have enough respect to bother learning the language of the country you're visiting/living in.

      the law says signage MUST be in English.

      What law?

        I think it's Section 110.5B of the BULLSHIT I JUST MADE UP ACT 2016

          Really ? Actually, Australian standard 1743/1744, which has the force of law federally. Happy to read your superior info - can you send me a link ?-)

            I haven't read the full documents because I am not going to pay for them but it appears that those standards only mention an alphabet of characters. It doesn't mention language. They are design standards specifically for road signs.

            What I have read wouldn't prevent you from having non-English road signs that use the English alphabet. For example "Nullarbor" which is Latin.

            Yet to see any law that says all signage (including that of private businesses) must be in English.

              My whole point was - we do have a national language by a set of conventions with force of law and legislation much more robust than a simple constitutional clause, but it is OK to have commercial signs in another language (I said this in every one of my posts mate) though some sensitivity to others is always a good idea. Dan is no paragon of anti-racism, based on his public record, but someone who uses the convenience of a work platform to fight his little culture war battles using subtle language. More power to him, but we all need to be aware that is his stick, exactly the way some people he would oppose abuse their work platforms. That is it, I am done, but feel free to believe that it requires a specific constitutional clause for something to be true (complexity is so ... complex) and that somehow Australia being a country that requires use of English as a common tongue makes it non-inclusive and somehow racist despite much of the worlds population accepting it as an international inter-lingua because such things are actually useful (as well admittedly the whole post colonial thing, which BTW applies to Latin, Arabic, Spanish and a heap of other languages if you have any grasp of history at all).

    and i say that as a lebanese, arabic speaking australian!

    Putting all racist commentary to one side, and looking at it from the perspective of how a business treats its customers, I think its a PR disaster myself. Having public arguments with your customers or the market you wish to win over, regardless of how politely you are putting your view, is just simply not good business. Especially when its about a sensitive topic, and at a sensitive time.

    Surely Optus could be more open and transparent with their communication to EVERYONE? Why not put up a more inclusive sign that has the same message written in English as well as Arabic? And preface the poster with a message about WHY you are doing it, rather than waiting till the backlash starts? And this is not about Dan, its about a company and ts policies - but throughout all of this Dan will get kudos for being level minded and brave, and Optus will likely lose more customers than it wins from this (haters will leave them, but I doubt those who agree will suddenly switch over).

      I imagine it's very much a calculated risk but not necessarily a PR disaster. My interpretation of the business to customer dynamic is that it's moved away from the "customer is always right" patronage model, and more about business integrating into their customers' lives (particularly in the age of social media). Comparing to more modern PR disasters, I don't recall any major media outlets calling them out on it; rather congratulating them for the position they've taken.

      it would be interesting to see what if any impact this would really have on their customer base.

    Working in marketing for a large retailer this is incredibly well handled.

    I don't think one person was responsible for these replies though, the strategy would have been implemented by the head of marketing because its reach would be wide and have a great impact on how people viewed their brand.

    You aren't leaving someone in customer service to make this decision and give them free reign to reply as he wishes. But kudos to Optus for replying in such a way nonetheless.

    I love it how those who complain about a lack of English write with grammar and punctuation that wouldn't get you a pass mark in a high school English class. Maybe they should learn the language themselves before forcing it upon others.

      Like Dan, whose responses constantly misuse "it's".

      He's doing a great job, but it could be even better if he paid attention to the basics.

      Accuracy Matters...

        Haha, I get that one mixed up all the time!

    Thank you for posting this fantastic article. I am literally crying at my desk for the compassion that 'Dan the Man' is showing! Please Optus, give him a raise.

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