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The City of Framingham is now making all of its media releases and website content available in dozens of languages.

“Access to information is key to having an engaged citizenry,” said Mayor Charlie Sisitsky.

The goal of the new policy is to help ensure that all individuals have meaningful access to City programs and services in their native language. “Whether we have a road under construction, a special event in the city, or a request for residents to volunteer for a committee or board, all media releases will now be able to be translated into more than 50 languages,” said Mayor Sisitsky.

Previously, the City was posting media releases on the news center in a PDF format that prohibited the Google translation widget to make the translation on the City’s website. Starting last week, the City began posting in a format that allows the Google automatic translation tool to translate into Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Armenian, German, Greek, Mandarin, and scores of other languages.

While the Google translation widget is not perfect, it is a step towards improving language access and improving transparency in the City, said Framingham Public Information Officer Susan Scully Petroni. According to the U.S. Census, there are more than 350 languages spoken in the United States, and one out of every 5 residents in America speak a different language than English at home.

In the Framingham Public Schools, more than 70 languages are spoken. The latest U.S. Census reported four out of every 10 residents in the City of Framingham speak another language. Having media releases translated into dozens of languages connects the City’s diverse neighborhoods to its government, said Petroni.

The City’s website is available in more than 100 languages including Haitian Creole, Ukrainian, Punjabi, and Arabic. Please see below how you can activate the Google Translation widget on the City of Framingham’s website:

1. On the bottom left corner of the City’s website you will find the Google translate widget. If you click on the arrow you will be able to select your preferred language. There are more than 100 language options. When you select a language, every page you visit will be automatically translated into that language.

2. The Google translation widget cannot translate PDF documents.