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Know Your Rights
Source: eNews 2.0
Subject: Language Access
Type: Media Coverage

New York City Will Provide Translation Services In 6 Foreign Languages

New York City will start offering services in six foreign languages
most commonly spoken in the city besides English. These idioms are Spanish,
Chinese, Russian, Korean, Italian and French Creole. The new program is
designed to broadly enlarge the town’s translation and interpretation services.

An executive order signed
Tuesday by Mayor Bloomberg creates for the very first time a homogeneous language
policy. All city agencies that directly cooperate with New York residents are
compelled to provide interpretation services, both oral and written translation
services, and the translation of important public papers in the chosen

The city-wide policy could
help out people encountering difficulties when trying to understand the meaning
of a city code, or a couple who wants to get assistance when requesting a
marriage license. These are only a few examples.

The attempt is an imperative
requirement when talking about improving customer service, which is "a
fundamental concept in the business world, and should be just as valued in the
government," said Michael Bloomberg Tuesday at City Hall. From this time
forth, inhabitants of New York City
with partial knowledge of English will be given the possibility to "approach
the city with confidence knowing that we have the systems in place to respond
to their needs."

Since 2003, city’s 311
information hotline has been offering information for callers in 170 additional
languages. From now on, an estimated 2 million New Yorkers with poor ability to
communicate in English would be able to interact almost without difficulty with
the government. 

**This Executive Order
reflects years of advocacy by Make the
Road New York
and other immigrant advocates.