Newspaper article MinnPost.com

State of Minnesota to Provide Driving Permit Test in Karen Language

Newspaper article MinnPost.com

State of Minnesota to Provide Driving Permit Test in Karen Language

Article excerpt

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here: The state of Minnesota will include Karen on the list of languages provided for the driving permit test.

The news came two months after MinnPost first reported that leaders of Minnesota's Karen community -- an ethnic group originally from southeast Asia -- were unable to get officials at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) act on one urgent request: Offer the permit test in Karen.

Speaking with MinnPost earlier this summer, George Thawmoo, a bilingual counselor at the Wilder Foundation, and Morrison Johnny, a program manager at the Karen Organization of Minnesota, noted that they have had several meeting with senior officials at DPS about the matter -- but to no avail.

"We are asking the driver's manual to be translated into Karen," said Johnny of the department, which provides the test in five other none-English languages: Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese. …

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