Parking Tickets Hurt (in any Language!)

by desa on April 12, 2011

What’s the result when multicultural cities fail to recognize the need for multicultural communication? In the case of a suburb of Melbourne, Australia it meant a flood of parking fines and a wave of angry residents. Authorities in Fitzroy held a town-hall style meeting to announce the changes around parking permits, employing interpreters to communicate in seven different languages. However, when it came to document translation they let the ball drop, mailing English-only explanations about the changes to residents. The result was that many people didn’t get the message thus the anger-inducing increase in ticketing.

This kind of thing is surely happening in many communities that haven’t fully realized just how diverse they have become.

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