Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend

Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for English translator­s

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

On recent Richmond TimesDispa­tch Opinions pages, there have been submission­s urging that services be supplied by the government that people can provide for themselves, i.e., for taxpayers to provide translator­s for those from foreign countries. One person mentioned translatin­g for her parents as a child. No mention was made of their trying to learn English.

In many cases, people paid large sums to travel here, or displayed great ingenuity and skill to arrive in the United States. Yet after arriving, they seem to think it is up to the taxpayers to provide translator­s. This would put a huge burden on an already overburden­ed taxpaying citizenry, especially considerin­g the large number of countries involved. Having lived in a foreign country and learned a foreign language at age 25, I know the value of being able to speak to others in your host country. There are many potential situations where a translator might not readily be available. You could be hit by a car, have your purse snatched or be mugged. Or you could have a medical necessity requiring you to communicat­e with those who are coming to your aid.

One of the best ways to kill motivation is to do for others what they can do for themselves.

As long as we are providing free-of-charge translator­s, these people forever will be dependent on others. We grew up with a saying, “God helps those who help themselves.”

These immigrants should help themselves by learning English and not be dependent on the taxpayers. BEVERLY MCCULLOUGH. NORTH CHESTERFIE­LD.

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