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I Speak… Language Identification Guide

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2006
18 pages
This language identification guide is a tool for law enforcement and other criminal justice personnel to identify the language of non-English-speaking individuals with whom they interact in their work.
The intent of the guide is that it be used by criminal justice personnel in interaction with persons of limited English proficiency (LEP) so they can identify their primary language. This determination is necessary in order for criminal justice personnel to request an appropriate interpreter. The guide groups languages by the English alphabet. For criminal justice personnel, each language is spelled out in English. For the LEP, the English phrase "I speak... (primary language)" is written in each language included in the guide. The LEP individual points to the phrase that is written in his/her language, and the criminal justice worker identifies the language through the English spelling of the language. This is the information needed by the English-only criminal justice worker in obtaining an appropriate interpreter.