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English-only hurts immigrants and translators

Last month, voters in the City of Nashville, Tennessee went to the voting booths to decide whether to make English the city’s official language. And, thank goodness, they voted against the proposal that would have made “Music City” the biggest U.S. city with such official language legislation. This is good news, not just for the immigrants and non-English speaking Americans who need to be able to easily understand public documents and proceedings in order to access basic public services, but also for translators. Yes, it is a victory for translators!

According to a Reuters article by Pat Harris, backers argued that the English only proposal would have “saved an estimated $150,000 yearly on translation services”. Nonetheless, the good citizens of Nashville voted against the exclusion and marginalization of non-English speakers and, consequently, for translators and interpreters.