Vietnamese becomes official language in San Francisco

By Minh Nga   June 12, 2024 | 05:08 pm PT
Vietnamese becomes official language in San Francisco
Vehicles cross the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo by Unsplash/Tanya Nevidoma
The San Francisco City Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to declare Vietnamese as an official language in the city, with the need to provide translation services.

The move, alongside other changes to San Francisco’s language access ordinance, is aimed at ensuring that residents can be served in the language they are most comfortable in.

The decision is to ensure that San Francisco authorities must translate all the city government's announcements into Vietnamese for the community there, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Vietnamese will join Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino as languages in which the city must offer translated services.

According to the city's language data dashboard, nearly 6,800 residents of San Francisco primarily speak Vietnamese. As a result, the city is now required to offer services such as telephonic interpretations, website content, written notifications, and other official services in Vietnamese.

The draft ordinance was introduced last year by District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton, who said the city needed to expand language access to ensure its immigrant communities can participate in the government process.

"San Francisco is home to many diverse immigrant communities and is a national leader in providing language access services with one of the strongest and most comprehensive local language access laws," he said.

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