McDonald's learns to speak Arabic

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Swedish McDonalds has landed in hot water on social media after the hamburger giant's restaurant in the city of Södertälje in Greater Stockholm sent out leaflets in Arabic to households in the immigrant-heavy city. reports citing Sputnik news.

In the city of Södertälje (population: 73,000), where more than one third of the residents aren't ethnic Swedes, the local McDonald's is mailing out leaflets in Arabic. Over the past weekend, Swedish journalist and Twitter user PeterSweden posted a photo of the Arabic-language mailer, tauntingly inquiring how he as a Swede is supposed to know when the coupons expire since the mailer is written in Arabic. His post quickly soared in popularity, gaining thousands of reactions across the globe.

Many Twitter users expressed concern that the beef served at McDonalds is halal, which was rejected by the hamburger chain. By contrast, Danish McDonalds ensured that all chicken meat was halal, since halal slaughter of poultry did not constitute animal cruelty according to Danish law. After receiving a heavy backlash, the McDonald's Sweden Twitter account claimed the instructions were also written in Swedish on the other side of the coupon mailer.

Remarkably, though, issues about Arabic in Södertälje rose as early as in 2012, when a 51-year-old woman named Stina complained how difficult it was for a non-Arab to compete in the city's labor market. In her opinion piece in the local newspaper Länstidningen, Stina maintained that mastering Arabic was the only way out.

"We were two Swedes and 25 people who did not know Swedish as well. The course was held mostly in Arabic," Stina wrote about a re-education course she had visited.

2017.05.03 / 12:36
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