City of Chandler testing language assistance technology

Sep 8, 2023, 4:25 AM

The City of Chandler is currently assessing a language translation device to help its residents and customers communicate with city staff in their native language. (City of Chandler photos)

(City of Chandler photos)

PHOENIX — The city of Chandler announced Wednesday it is assessing a language translation device to help residents and customers communicate with city staff in their native language.

The device provides instant translation of 120 languages and dialects, including American Sign Language. It is also compatible with a Braille keyboard providing users the ability to instantly have a real-time conversation with city staff.

The device’s purpose is to provide an additional communication tool. It won’t be used to eliminate bilingual city staff, the city said in a news release.

High-traffic areas within the city will have the device in rotation through February 2024.

Chandler will be using “broadcast mode” technology at select city community events, including the Chandler Contigo kickoff.

Broadcast mode allows a single-speaker presentation to be translated into any language on any attendee’s smartphone.

Technology users will be prompted to take a brief four-question survey after their visit.

Feedback will help Chandler’s Information Technology Department and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division assess the effectiveness of the assessment and select a viable path forward to continue using the technology, the city said.

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City of Chandler testing language assistance technology