Q&A WITH SSA

Armando A. Garcia, Team Leader

Social Security Administration,

Office of Communications

Multilanguage Services

Q1: What criteria did you use to decide which languages to begin with?
A1: We used 1990 census data to identify non-English languages spoken at home and where English was not spoken well. We validated the relevance of the language groups by using immigration figures from annual Census Statistical Abstracts. We also considered (from the 1990 census) such factors as high level of bilingualism for a language group. We considered United Nations data (UNESCO Institute for Statistics) on a language group’s country of origin literacy level. We extrapolated the data to identify the languages and compared the list to our ...

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