Google Translate saved Illinois taxpayers $1.5 million

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Technology rescued American taxpayers from spending $1.5 million translating the government’s official website into Spanish on Tuesday when a Republican representative pointed out that Google Translate can do the job for free.

According to a report in the Daily Caller on Thursday, Democrat State representative Robert Martwick of Chicago said he sponsored the $1.5 million bill “because he felt the language barrier made it difficult for certain people to fully appreciate the wealth of information available from government resources, specifically online.”

Citing “software issues that could arise,” Silvana Tabarez, D-Chicago, co-sponsor of the bill, estimated that the cost of translating the site would be approximately $1.5 million.

The 2010 Census showed that 23 percent of Illinois residents do not speak English in the home, and 6.2 percent surveyed said they don’t speak English at all.

Martwick claimed that citizens like his Polish descendants are in need of help to engage in the government’s lawmaking process, according to the Illinois News Network. “For these people who are citizens of our country who have the ability, if they don’t have the information to know what’s going on here, how can they properly engage in having their voice being heard?” Martwick asked. “When we start talking about things we need to spend money on, this is the right thing to spend money on.”

After Martwick spoke, Republican Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, translated Martwick’s bill to Polish for free using Google Translate illustrating to everyone that there is no reason to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on a translator “while they still lack a budget.”

“While my friend Rep. Robert Martwick was talking, I switched [his bill] over to Polish,” Wheeler said. “It just took a click.”

It is reported that the bill was subsequently shot down.

H/T: Daily Caller

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