Sunday, October 30, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
Must you speak English only at work? Apparently so. In an e-mail sent out to employees at Cleveland Clinic, in Florida, recipients were told that speaking languages other than English is allowed only with “with those patients or vendors who are not English speaking.” The clinic’s administrators denied allegations that they are forcing their employees to speak English and only English and that is against their policy to "restrict the use of any language in the workplace." Company officials said that they value, encourage and embrace diversity in the workplace among employees, staff, patients and visitors. English-only policy can be considered discriminatory by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
In order to get more accurate results, the US Census began experimenting with questionnaires in both English and Spanish. The idea is to encourage more people to fill out questionnaires and end up with more accurate counts of Hispanics residing in the US. Precise number of residents are important for local governments because the federal government uses these numbers to allocate grant money for housing, education and other programs and to determine the number of representatives in Congress and in state legislatures.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Soon after 9-11 it became clear that Arabic became an important language. Enrollments in Arabic language courses doubled between 1998 and 2002 according to the Modern Language Association. It’s no different at the State University of New York in Oswego.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Since 9-11 it became clear that one of the weak links in fighting terrorism is our shortage of linguistically qualified government personnel. Although American officials manage to collect lots of data, shortages of bilingual personnel make it difficult to translate the information and use it efficiently. The US Senate tried to deal with the situation by passing a bill that would create a civilian linguist reserve corps pilot program in the Defense Department. The linguist reserve would help government officials decipher communications that could prove vital to our security.