A California Reader Confronts A Multilingual Challenge At His Polling Place
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When I arrived at my polling place for the June 6th
election, the first worker that I interacted with could
He was a Vietnamese, apparently there for the benefit of
non-English speaking Vietnamese voters. I told him
my name but when he had trouble understanding it, I
showed him my registration letter.
Despite the fact that the letter was written in
five languages (English, Spanish, Filipino,
Vietnamese, and Chinese), he still had trouble finding
Another poll worker pointed to the letter and asked him,
"Okay, now what`s his first name?"
The Vietnamese said, "His first name is Bumoto."
"Bumoto" is the Filipino word for "vote";
it was sandwiched in between the Spanish word for "vote"
and the Vietnamese word for "vote"
The other poll worker said: "No, that`s not his first
name." The Vietnamese seemed challenged mentally as
well as linguistically.
It took him quite some time to find me in the voter
registration book, even when the book was finally opened
to the correct page.
Read Kessler`s previous letters
about the Mexican military on the border, irritating
telemarketing calls in Spanish, and “Christophobia“