Several local laws mandate translation for City materials and websites.

Local Law 25 of 2015 requires all public-facing City websites to include a feature that translates text into languages other than English. The cheapest way to meet this requirement is to use free machine translation, such as Google Translate. (Machine translation tools are more accurate if used on simple text.)

Local Law 30 of 2017 requires agencies to translate critical and commonly distributed content—digital or print—into the City’s top 10 most popular languages. If your website or app contains this type of information, make sure your translation feature covers the following languages:

  • Spanish
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Bengali
  • Haitian Creole
  • Korean
  • Arabic
  • Urdu
  • French
  • Polish

The most accurate form of translation is that done by professional translators, and the City already holds contracts for human translation, in-person interpretation and other types of language services. Since translation can take some time, text shouldn’t be translated until it’s been edited and tested with users, to avoid costly re-dos.

For questions about translation, like what’s required for your particular project and how to get it, contact the City’s Language Access Coordinator.