One Step Forward; Two Steps Back

Just when I thought the dark days of US xenophobia couldn’t get any darker, I read that Utah has taken down its Spanish-language Web site.

According to the article, “”Two weeks ago, the state launched www.espanol.utah. gov, a Spanish-language companion to the state’s informational Web site The Spanish-language site offered 10 pages of information on taxes, health services, driver licences, and work-force services selected from the state’s 400-page Web site. But within days, callers complained to the governor’s office that the site violated Utah’s law making English the state’s official language. The Spanish-language site was quickly taken down until its content can be reviewed, said Mower.”

As US companies add Spanish content to their Web sites at a furious pace (Southwest Airlines, Home Depot, Lowe’s), our federal, state, and local governments are going in reverse (or leaning in that direction). In a period of time when Americans should be learning second and third languages, we’re having debates on “protecting” English. How long will it be before WhiteHouse.gov takes down its Spanish content?

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These are dark days.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.