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information and advice in community languages

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Multikulti Language Choice

There is no comprehensive information on the numbers of people from black and minority ethnic communities with language needs. Recent research by the Audit Commission, the DFEE and the Consumersí Association draws together a picture of huge unmet need for accurate advice and information provided in a culturally appropriate manner. Over 40 nationalities are known to live in London alone. The Multikulti Project was piloted in the London Borough of Haringey, which falls in the top 10% of local authorities supporting the greatest number of asylum seekers and refugees.

Whilst London has the highest concentration of asylum seekers, refugees and others from black and minority ethnic communities, the implementation of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 introduced a national dispersal policy which increased the need for accurate information and advice across the country.

In choosing the languages we have attempted to identify the communities most in need of translated material but recognise that we canít do them all. It takes a huge committment of resources for the Multikulti project to translate and digitise content for each language.

We recognise that we will not have capacity to work with more than 10 languages in the first instance. We have identified communities that are in need in terms of

  • newly settled community
  • low levels of English spoken.

We will review this selection after 18 months, bearing in mind the outcome of the 2001 census, to ensure maximum fit with developing need. The languages we have chosen are as follows:

  • Albanian
  • Arabic
  • Bengali
  • Cantonese
  • Farsi
  • French
  • Gujerati
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Turkish