US state adds Yoruba to list of new languages for driver permit tests
Yoruba, the language of the tribe of the same name in South West Nigeria, has been listed as one of the languages for driver permit tests in the U.S.
CBS News reports that the tests and manuals are currently offered in English, Spanish, French, Korean, traditional Chinese, and Vietnamese.
However, Yoruba, the language of the tribe of the same name in South West Nigeria, has been listed alongside Tagalog, Amharic, Arabic, Russian, Urdu, Hindi, Farsi, Portuguese, and American Sign Language as a new option for applicants starting September.
Disclosing this on Tuesday, August 26, 2023, an administrator with the Motor Vehicle Agency in Maryland, USA, Chrissy Nizer, explained the reasons for the new additions, noting that the selections were based on the U.S. census data.
“Improving accessibility for the driver’s knowledge test and study materials is critical to serve Maryland’s linguistically diverse population,” Nizer said.
This development marks another international recognition of the Yoruba language, whose influence cuts across music, movies, and other spheres of human expression.
Recall that the United Kingdom authorities in 2015 listed Yoruba as one of the optional languages, besides the mandatory English language, for any aspiring police constable willing to join London’s Metropolitan Police.
The other languages listed at the time include Arabic, Bengali, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sinhala (Sri Lanka), Spanish, and Turkish.
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