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New Jersey Superstorm Site Deficient in Spanish – Do We Need to Have Bi-lingual Signs? [POLL]

Flikr user Jeffrey Beall
Flikr user Jeffrey Beall

I’ve often said we’re becoming a tower of Babel when it comes to the variety of languages spoken here. But not just spoken.

Signs written in a variety as well.

Go into any MVC office and you’ll find drivers manuals in every conceivable language besides English.

Not unusual, since this is the world we live in today.

It’s come up once before in Flemington.

And it’s come up again on a Superstorm Sandy recovery website:

The Latino Action Network sent a letter Tuesday to state Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable to point out the problems with renewjerseystronger.org, which gives details of programs for those affected by last year’s storm.

For instance, the Spanish-language version did not have any detail about how to appeal decisions on one major grant program, and it contained an out-of-date physical address for an office in Newark.

Those problems were there when the website was accessed Wednesday afternoon.
The Latino Action Network, a group that deals in political, economic and other issues, said the shortcomings violate federal law.

The group demanded that the complete information be provided on the site within a week, that the state notify the federal government of the issue, that deadlines are extended for anyone led astray by the information and that Spanish speakers affected by Sandy be notified. The group also wants a monitor to ensure the agency gives full and accurate information to Spanish speakers.

A DCA spokeswoman said the agency was looking into the issues raised by the group, and would take immediate action if warranted.

One might think it not fair that the information on Sandy recovery not be accurate in Spanish, but up to date in English.

I know this is asking too much, but imagine if the information were only in English.

Hard to imagine in 2013. While it might seem somewhat discriminatory that the information in Spanish is not up to date, the problem could have been eliminated had the sign been written in, and the reader required to read it in ENGLISH!

I know, too much to ask!

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