Supermarket chain introduces bilingual labels in Romania

A German discount supermarket chain will introduce bilingual in-store signage in twelve Transylvanian localities. This means buyers will see both Romanian and Hungarian labels on the shelves, a major step forward for the ethnic Hungarian community living in Transylvania.

In a press release announcing the change (via Krónika), the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (EMNT), a civic organization established by László Tokés, announced that the Penny supermarket chain will change in-store labels in twelve cities as a result of written and personal conversations conducted with the leadership. Penny is a supermarket chain founded by Leibbrand Gruppe in Germany, and since 1989 it has been owned by the Rewe Group.

According to the press release, the change is coming due to their pressure and will materialize starting May 27, when the brand will focus on bilingual communication. The twelve localities where the bilingual signage will be implemented are Nagykároly/Carei, Kovászna/Covasna, Gyergyószentmiklós/Gheorgheni, Margitta/Mărghita, Csíkszereda/Miercurea Ciuc, Székelyudvarhely/Odorheiu Secuiesc, Nagyszalonta/Salonta Mare, Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe, Szováta/Sovata, Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș, Kézdivásárhely/Târgu Secuiesc, and Érmihályfalva/Valea lui Mihai.

In April, the organization issued an open letter to all business owners operating in Szeklerland, offering them the opportunity for personal meetings and to communicate in the language of minorities, in this case, Hungarian. As acting president of the organization Krisztina Sándor pointed out, this change is to the economic benefit of the companies, because they will be increasing the comfort of Hungarian buyers by communicating services in their mother tongue.

Title image: bilingual labels in a supermarket in Transylvania. Source: Facebook

Author: István Fekete