Language Help for City’s Immigrants Falls Short

July 7, 2010  |  

(NYT) — In the world’s most diverse city, it was hailed as a milestone: MayorMichael R. Bloomberg signed an executive order in July 2008 requiring every New York City agency that dealt with the public to provide interpreters, translated documents and other language help to people who spoke little or no English.

The order was supposed to help immigrant New Yorkers use services and navigate a daunting city bureaucracy. And in keeping with Mr. Bloomberg’s passion for applying good business practices to city government, the policy was meant to prevent the waste of time and money caused by miscommunication and misunderstanding.

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