Mayor Mike Bloomberg is hoping to break New York City’s language barrier (or at least find a way to navigate it). Yesterday, he signed an executive order requiring all city services to be made available in six different languages, the top six non-English languages spoken by New Yorkers. Those would be Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Italian and French Creole. Executive Order 120 aims to make public documents accessible to those who don’t speak English as their primary language — about 25% of the city’s total population, by the way — and provides both interpretation services and translations of essential government materials.
It’s the first citywide policy of its kind enacted in New York.