181 People in Hollywood Speak Greek

Did you know that 224 different languages are spoken in Los Angeles? I didn’t, until I read the L.A. Times story on the new Phraselator, a handheld translation device now being used by LAPD.

The Phraselator, enables officers to translate and broadcast thousands of prerecorded phrases in a multitude of languages.

The Phraselator doesn’t attempt voice-to-voice translation. Instead, the LAPD’s bilingual officers — 32% of the 9,600-member force has some foreign language proficiency — translate and load standard police commands and questions into the device’s computer memory. The translations can be retrieved and broadcast by a simple English-language text or voice word search.

First of all, I want one of those. Second, 224 different languages? Heilige Kuh!

If you want to find out what language your neighbors are speaking, laalmanac.com breaks it down by ‘hood for persons 5 years and over In the 2000 Census:

According to Professor Vyacheslav Ivanov of UCLA, there are at least 224 identified languages in Los Angeles County. This does not include differing dialects. Professor Ivanov estimates that publications are locally produced in about 180 of these languages. Only 92 languages have been specifically identified among students of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

I learned that 128 people in Chatsworth speak Gujarathi.
148 in Mid-Wilshire converse in Laotian.
And 38 in Highland Park communicate in Navajo.


Photo of Koreatown Plaza Food Court from Charles P. Everitt’s photostream

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