Saturday, May 10, 2003

Public Bilingualism Watch: Providing Services to Aliens ... hehe

This pretty much speaks for itself. Which is a good thing, since I'm in the middle of finals and don't have time to speak for it. Someone's tax dollars at work:

Position Available: Interpreter, must be fluent in Klingon.
The language created for the "Star Trek" TV series and movies is one of about 55 needed by the office that treats mental health patients in metropolitan Multnomah County.
"We have to provide information in all the languages our clients speak," said Jerry Jelusich, a procurement specialist for the county Department of Human Services, which serves about 60,000 mental health clients ...
"There are some cases where we've had mental health patients where this was all they would speak," said the county's purchasing administrator, Franna Hathaway.

Opportunity cost? Well, some guy who might have done something vaguely, remotely useful with his time is instead going to study a fictional language with no economic value whatsoever, and for which the only demand is, as we can see here, government-created. Also, the article fails to mention how many of the alleged Klingon speakers are actually speaking Klingon, and how many are just insane Trekkies blabbering on in gibberish and claiming that it is Klingon, since no one could tell the difference anyway.

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