"Rezedents Rights & Rispansabilities"

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by freeandfun1, May 25, 2004.

  1. freeandfun1

    freeandfun1 VIP Member

    Feb 14, 2004
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    I am sure somebody had to have posted this before - If so, sorry. But damn, it is funny and I can't wait to see what "D" had to say about it!
    "Rezedents Rights & Rispansabilities"

    The document on this page was withdrawn and pulped by the federal government in 1999. Copies that went to federal libraries were recalled. If you file a FOIA request for it, you'll be rejected because it has been "removed from stock and destroyed."

    Fortunately, a few libraries didn't turn in their copies, so this embarrassing document has narrowly been retrieved from the flames of the memory hole through the footwork of regular contributor Michael Ravnitzky.

    The National Post (Toronto) explains what happened:

    Several months ago the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, decided to produce a pamphlet in nine languages to inform immigrants in its subsidized housing projects about their rights and responsibilities as residents.

    HUD asked the US Government Printing Office to handle the translation and printing of the work. The Printing Office contracted the job out to Thorner Press, a private company in Buffalo, N.Y. Thorner turned to Cosmos Translation Services in Toronto to translate the English-language document into Creole, so Haitians living in HUD housing in Miami could understand the pamphlet.

    The trouble is that HUD never specified to the government printer that a French-Creole translation, common to Haiti, is what the department needed. Instead the brochure was translated by Cosmos into English-Creole, a patois common to Jamaica.

    After distributing the pamphlet:

    Complaints from Haitians to government soon followed. Some said they didn't understand the brochure, others asked if the translation was a racial joke.

    [Source: "'Da Govment, Dem Scru up': US Government Fields Complaints Over Document Translation" by Richard Foot. National Post, 18 Nov 1999.]

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