NOVEMBER 2002

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Two Korean Translators At The New York City Board Of Elections
From JoongAng
Sep 25, 2002

By Kim, Jong-Hoon

Michael Kim, a first generation Korean immigrant in his sixties, and Nina Joo, a recent college graduate in her twenties , are together translating voting materials, such as ballots, voter registration forms, voting instructions. They are the first full-time Korean translators hired by the New York City Board of elections after the Korean language assistance was mandated in Queens County earlier this year.

Kim, a Republican, who immigrated in 1955 and owned his business until he recently retired, starts a new career at the board. Joo, a Democrat, was born in the United States, studied in Korea from the 3rd grade on and came back to attend Barnard College. She graduated this May and is starting her first career as a language interpreter and translator while preparing to apply to law school.

Kim and Joo are dissatisfied with the first version of Korean translated voting materials, (which were already translated by another private institute) and did not have enough time for revision for the Primary in September. They are planning to translate voting materials very carefully for the next election in November so that more Korean immigrants can vote.

"There are lots of materials to be dealt with because this is the first time for the Board to start the Korean language assistance." they pointed out. "However, while giving instructions about voting procedures to the Korean interpreters on the Election Day, we felt very proud."

Kim, who immigrated 47 years ago said, "I realized that the Korean community had grown larger and more powerful when I saw voting instructions in Korean and many Korean interpreters helping at the polling sites on primary day." He added, "The assistance encourages Korean immigrants to vote and promotes their participation in the local community."

Translated From Korean By JooYeon Lee


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