Decreasing the Language Barrier

By Scott Sarvay

May 16, 2011 Updated May 16, 2011 at 3:05 PM EDT

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - From the BMV, to police, to medical facilities, many groups find themselves looking for ways to decrease the language barrier.

With an estimated 6,000 Burmese in Fort Wayne, that language is particularly challenging. A new internet translation service has helped some refugees with medical issues.

The recent hit and run incident involving a young Burmese child brought more focus on the language barrier. A resettlement director with Catholic Charities, a refugee himself, discussed the push to teach English in the Burmese community.

Catholic Charities Resettlement Dir. Nyein Chan says, “We should offer the Basic English language for them to enroll in, that's the only way they can start learning English and speaking English and living in the community of Fort Wayne.”

Nearly half of Fort Wayne’s Burmese population has "resettled" here from another community.

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