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Vote, vota, bumoto…

“Los Angeles County is urging its citizens to vote, vota, bumoto or hay bo phieu. In fact, residents there will have seven languages to choose from when they cast their ballots on Election Day: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.”

Boy is this a contentious issue these days – whether or not to translate ballots. According to this Newsday article Los Angeles requires translation of ballots into seven languages, although most places don’t make it past two.

A lot of people would rather that there be no translation of ballots, which, the thinking goes, would force non-English speakers to learn the language. But I don’t agree. Even if you desperately want to learn a new language, getting to fluency takes years of hard work, and even then you find yourself missing out on many subtleties. But I’m hopeful that computer-based balloting will provide the solution to this problem – eliminating the need to print translated ballots while providing the ability to present ballots in any number of languages. At least that’s my hope…

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John Yunker
John is co-founder of Byte Level Research and author of . He has published 14 annual editions of The Web Globalization Report Card and is also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.
John Yunker
John Yunker

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