New York’s Suffolk county, which has long had issues with providing translation services to non-English-speakers, has changed its policies so that all agencies in the municipality will provide services to citizens who are speakers of different languages.
Usually, tensions run high with the Spanish-speaking community members in Suffolk County, but other languages are represented as well.
Executive Order Mandates Translated Documents
In order to start providing better business and legal translation to the county, Executive Steve Bellone signed an order on Wednesday the 14th to have businesses and facilities begin providing translated documents in the most common languages in the county. The languages are Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French Creole, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese.
The businesses and facilities in the area will also have to maintain contact with translators to help assist community members with translation needs. Though the program will take time to implement fully, the county is hopeful that everything will be finished within a year.
Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo also signed a policy for state facilities similar to the one in Suffolk County. New York City also has a similar policy. The reason Suffolk County was the next to sign a policy is because it has a history of strife between suburban residents and day laborers, who are often citizens who speak a language other than English. The conflict was even the focus of a 2004 PBS documentary.