Korean Translators At The New York City Board Of Elections
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
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
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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