Category Archives: Languages update

“I live here” in Malay and Jamaican creole – and a mural in Flushing

“I live here” in Malay and Jamaican creole – and a mural in Flushing

Two updates to this site:

“I live here” in Jamaican creole is “A ya mi liv“.

In Malay, it’s: “Saya tinggal di sini‘.

On Saturday I went to Flushing, where a group of students from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria and local volunteers were painting a new mural.  The artist leading the project is Lady Pink, who has painted a fair share of murals.  As a teenager in the early eighties she painted NYC subway cars – one of the only girls in a male-dominated environment – and at the same time started exhibiting in galleries.  She hasn’t looked back since then: see this recent interview with her in Huffington Post.

Here are some photos of the mural-painting in Flushing.  It’s on the wall of Asia Bank at 135-32 40th Road, facing the walkway to the LIRR Flushing Station so it will be the first thing people see when they come down off the train into the neighborhood.

It is not the first mural in Flushing.  In 1982 Eva Cockroft painted “The Flushing Mural” in a pedestrian underpass.  By 2001 it was scrawled with graffiti.  No mural lives forever.




Lady Pink

Local residents watch the proceedings

Local residents watch the proceedings



An illustration showing what the completed mural will look like

“I live here” in Albanian, Italian, Macedonian

“I live here” in Albanian, Italian, Macedonian

At Trattoria L’Incontro restaurant in Ditmars, Astoria, I gathered the words for “I live here” in Albanian, Italian and Macedonian.  The owner also spoke about four other languages, but for those I had already found out how “I live here” (or its closest equivalent) is said.  I’m finding that the further I get into this project, the more I have to hunt for the remaining languages.  There are many more to go though.  Get in touch if you live in Queens and speak a language other than English – together we will reach 160!

Albanian: “Unë jetoj këtu”

Italian: “io vivo qui”

Macedonian: Jas živejam tuka

No video – yet!

And a reminder that you can follow the progress of the “I live here” mural project on social media too.  Join in on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.


South Asian languages in Jackson Heights

South Asian languages in Jackson Heights

On a walk around 74th Street in Jackson Heights – sometimes referred to as “Little India” – I asked people how “I live here” would be said in some of the South Asian languages.


First stop was Mannat, a bridal store brimming with sequined saris and embroidered sherwanis (robes for men).  The owner wrote down how to say “I live here in Punjabi” – as he remembered it from primary school:

PunjabiWhich phonetically is “Main Ethe Rehnda Ha”.  It sounds like this:


I recorded Burmese in a cellphone store:


(Kyadaw Hmar Nay Dae)


At Norling Tibet Kitchen restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue there was much debate on the right way to write the equivalent of “I live here” in Tibetan.  Below is the result.  The first line is complex script, the second is simplified, the third is the simplified version again just written in bigger font, and the last line is how it sounds phonetically.



Also at the restaurant, I recorded Nepali:




In a music and film store the manager and one of his colleagues provided the words and video for Hindi and Gujarati.  Here’s Hindi:

मैं यहाँ रहते हैं



(ignore the horizontal lines, which were just from the paper it was written on)

You may have noticed that all the above videos are men speaking.  That’s not for a lack of asking women – the men were more willing to be recorded.

There are many other South Asian languages for which I’ve not yet featured the words for “I live here”, in written and video form.  For some, such as Marathi, Tamil and Telugu I have the written words but not video.  For others I’m still looking for both.  Anyone know how to say “I live here” in Kannada, Malayalam or Sinhalese, for example?

Latest videos – Chinese and Bengali

Latest videos – Chinese and Bengali

Recently I visited the New Americans Program at Queens Library’s headquarters in Jamaica.  The program provides materials and activities to recent immigrants to the borough in the languages they speak – more about it to come shortly.

In the meantime here are two video clips of people who work for Queens Library, saying the equivalent of “I live here” in (Mandarin) Chinese and in Bengali:

Chinese – 我住在这里

Mandarin Chinese is the third most-spoken language in Queens after English and Spanish (and followed by Korean, then Bengali).

and Bengali – আমি এখানে থাকি :

And here are flyers from just a few of the recent programs at the library:


The latest wording for “I live here” added to the page of languages spoken in Queens is Danish: “Jeg bor her”.  If you would like to add words or video for another language, please get in touch!

Latest videos – Korean and Croatian

Latest videos – Korean and Croatian

On a walk around my neighborhood today I recorded Queens residents saying the equivalent of “I live here” in Korean and Croatian.

Korean, “전 여기 살아요”: (this is the formal way to write it.  The informal way is: 난 여기 살아)

And Croatian, “Ja živim ovdje”:

Not as simple as it seems:

Down the road from where I live is Kelly’s Bar, an Irish pub.  I passed by on the same walk when I recorded “I live here” in Croatian and Korean.  Someone had left a comment on this website with the words for “I live here” in Irish Gaellic: “Tá me i mo chonaí anseo”.  I wanted to see if I could find a Queens resident who would do a short video saying the words.  The owner pointed me to a man seated at the bar.  Yes that is the literal translation for “I live here”, the man said.  But with a pause for reflection he said that “Tá me abhaile” – or “I am home” – would sound more natural to him.  He graciously declined to do a video.  In many of the 160+ languages spoken in Queens there will be more than one way to convey “I live here”.  And there won’t necessarily be a “right” way.

Just a few weeks in, the process of this project is already full of surprises.  Gathering the words for “I live here” in all the languages spoken in the borough sounds relatively straightforward.  But of course who is to know which language will be next and who will provide it?  It is reminding me of when in 2011 I conducted one interview a week with people who live or work along Astoria’s 30th Avenue.  You can apply a structure or rules to something, but within the structure there is plenty of scope for unpredictability and surprise.

“Ich lebe hier” and other updates – Tagalog, Visaya, Mauritian creole

“Ich lebe hier” and other updates – Tagalog, Visaya, Mauritian creole

That’s “I live here” in German, spoken by someone who lives in Queens.  Keep them coming!  I am hoping to post videos of the words for “I live here” in all the languages spoken in Queens – well, as many as possible.

And these are the latest written versions added to the site:

– Tagalog (one of the Philippines’ two official languages along with English, spoken by over 30,000 people in Queens):

Dito ako nakatira

– Visaya (also spoken in the Philippines):

Dinhi ako nakapuyo

– Mauritian creole:

Mo reste ici

Anyone know how “I live here” is said in Haitian creole?


New York Daily News article – and new translations in Burmese and Estonian

New York Daily News article – and new translations in Burmese and Estonian

A big thank you to Tom Baker of New York Daily News for today’s article about the “I live here” project.  It starts:

“Do they have a Rosetta Stone for Samoan?

Transplanted Briton Annabel Short, 36, wants to provide one, launching a project to inscribe on a wall the phrase ‘I live here’ in the 160-plus languages spoken in Queens.

‘The key thing to make the project happen will be participation from the community,’ said Short, an Astoria resident.

Read the full article here.

And the two latest translations of “I live here” added to this website are in Burmese and Estonian:



Pronounced “Ngar Dee Hmar Nay Dae”


Ma elan siin

The current (and growing!) list of languages spoken in Queens is here.  Get in touch with translations, short videos, suggestions.  Thanks!

New translations of “I live here” – Catalan, Lithuanian, Marathi and Japanese

New translations of “I live here” – Catalan, Lithuanian, Marathi and Japanese

Since launching this site and asking people to send their translations of “I live here” in languages spoken in Queens, many have got in touch.

Most recently, for example:

Catalan: Jo visc aquí – sent by a mother-tongue speaker who lives in Astoria.  Catalan was not on the most recent American Community Survey list of languages spoken at home in the borough – a reminder that there are probably many languages out there which are not on that list.

Lithuanian: Aš čia gyvenu

Marathi:   Marathi Verbs in Marathi are gendered, so “live” here is as a woman would say it.

And Korean, which has an informal version: 私はここに住む and formal: 私はここに住みます

And here’s a video of my husband saying “I live here” in Spanish – as in, “Vivo aquí”.  Videos for other languages spoken in Queens are welcome!  I’ll post them on this site along with the translations.