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City call centre offers service in 170 languages

I HAVE A QUESTION: Access Vaughan now offers service in 170 languages. Illustration by Philip Alves/Vaughan Today

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The City of Vaughan recently launched Language Line, a translation service designed to help a diverse population get answers from city hall in a tongue they’re comfortable with.

Residents calling Access Vaughan at 905-832-2281 now have the option of communicating instantly in 170 languages, including Italian, Russian and Chinese.

Even the more infrequently spoken Hmong, Hausa, Oromo and Telugu tongues are available.

“Our city is a diverse, multicultural community where a number of languages can be heard,” Mayor Linda Jackson said in a statement. “The Language Line will help in communicating city services to our residents.”

When a call comes in to Access Vaughan requiring translation, staff will initiate a three-way call with the translation service provider. A dual-handset telephone will facilitate translations at city hall’s information desk.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2006 census, more than half of Vaughan’s population speaks a mother tongue other than English or French.

Vaughan Today
Online: June 22, 2008 [link]