May 13, 2003

"Klingon Language Interpreter" Press Release

[This is the full text of the press release about the so-called "Klingon Language Interpreter". It doesn't appear to be available anywhere else on the Web, and only snippets have been reported in the press. The following was mailed to me directly]


May 12, 2003

Contact: Becca Uherbelau, Multnomah County Chair's Office 503-988-5273

Klingon Interpreter Services Removed From List

Recent media attention on Multnomah County RFPQ (Request for Programmatic Qualifications) RO37745 for translator and interpreter services requires clarification.

There is no cost to the county and no contractors are selected or paid through this RFPQ. "Not a penny of public money has been or will be spent on Klingon translation. I have issued an addendum to the RFPQ that officially removes it from the list of languages for county translation services effective immediately," states Multnomah County Chair Diane Linn.

"Certainly, the idea that Klingon is on a list of languages that our safety net services might have to translate sounds absurd and about as far out as you can get. It was a mistake and a result of an overzealous attempt to ensure that our safety net systems can respond to all customers and clients," states Diane Linn, Multnomah County Chair.

The county deals with a wide range of clients with severe mental health issues including manic depression, schizophrenia, multiple personalities, and delusions. It is our legal responsibility to respond with all resources and means necessary to communicate with clients.

The intent of the RFPQ is to standardize rates and the rules of service delivery for language services across the county. Additionally, the target of the RFPQ process is to develop a more comprehensive, cost effective approach to providing required and valuable translation services to clients in need. The end result is a list of qualified providers available to all county agencies, including languages spoken by a small number of potential clients.

Over 50 languages are included in the RFPQ. The county's responsibility is to provide the best possible care to the people who seek our help, particularly in the midst of a mental health or health crisis, whatever the language they speak.

"While this may sound like a quirky, peripheral issue, I would like people to take a moment to think about the kinds of things we are confronted with when we must help those who are mentally ill. The problems faced by those with mental illness are no joke, especially when they pose a threat to themselves or others. And what I hope people understand is that thanks to state budget cuts, we have little ability to help the severely mentally ill in any language. That is why we are working so hard to pass Measure 26-48," added Linn.

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Public Affairs Office
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., #600
Portland, Oregon 97214
503-988-6800 phone
503-988-6801 fax

News Release

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in journo | on May 13, 2003 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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