Notes from a California meltdown, continued

The California DMV is a multicultural paradise. Is there a price-tag on that?

By Andrew Leonard

Published June 12, 2009 7:41PM (EDT)

Somehow, I lost my driver's license over the weekend, and so I have recently spent some time at the California DMV Web site.

I was bemused by the following section from the page dedicated to "Driver License and Identification (ID) Card Information":

What other languages is the written or audio test available in?

Besides English, the basic Class C written driver license exam is also available in the following languages: Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Persian/Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Tongan, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Besides English, the basic Class C audio driver license exam is also available in the following languages: Armenian, Chinese/Mandarin, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

I am on the one hand proud of California's multicultural outreach and the testimonial those paragraphs offer to my state's incredible ethnic and cultural diversity. And I am on the other hand curious as to how much it costs, in dollars and cents, to be all things to all people.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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