The Week in Review: April 21, 2023

Over the next five years, Taiwan plans to put nearly $1 billion toward English education in the country. It’s a pretty hefty sum of cash, going toward an equally lofty goal: becoming a bilingual country by 2030.

This week, we’ve got a story detailing just exactly how the country plans to do that. Plus, a story from Rest of World about ways in which the misuse of machine translation (MT) tools is putting refugees at risk. Meanwhile, press releases from Acolad, Speechmatics, and more are sure to keep you up to date about what’s going on in the language industry this week.

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Philadelphia adds Spanish, Simplified Chinese translations to website (via the CBS Philadelphia)

Across the United States, many city government websites still employ a Google Translate widget for non-English-speaking users to view their content. 

That was the case for Philadelphia — at least until late March. The city recently commissioned translations of its website,, into Spanish and Simplified Chinese. At MultiLingual, we often report on similar translation efforts, but this week, CBS Philadelphia talked to some residents of the city to learn about the impact this will have.

Taiwan wants to be bilingual by 2030, lifting English proficiency to take ‘another step’ to aid economy (via the South China Morning Post)

In 2018, Taiwan announced plans to increase the level of English proficiency in the country — likely an effort to compete with neighboring nations like the Philippines and India, which boast higher English proficiency. Last month, the country announced its efforts to actually follow through on that plan: a nearly $1 billion investment (NT 30 billion) in bilingual English education. 

“The [European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan] welcomes the government’s goal of becoming a bilingual nation as we believe it will help to improve Taiwan’s attractiveness and competitiveness as an investment destination,” Freddie Hoeglund, CEO of the European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, told the South China Morning Post.

AI translation is jeopardizing Afghan asylum claims (via Rest of World)

As if there weren’t already enough barriers for refugees seeking asylum in the United States, it appears that the misuse of machine translation (MT) tools in the review process is making it all that much more difficult.

According to Rest of the World, this is particularly true for Afghan refugees entering the country — as demand for Afghan languages rises, the supply of interpreters and translators has become more and more constrained.

Metallica to be first rock band to make ASL videos for a full album (via KGW8)

Music interpreting for American Sign Language (ASL) speakers has been on the rise for quite some, as we reported after an ASL version of Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance went viral earlier this year. Rihanna’s not the only musician to work closely with ASL interpreters.

Now, the famed heavy metal band Metallica is making ASL videos for every song on their latest album, “72 Seasons.” In response to this initiative, the media has dubbed the band the first rock band to do so.

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