Language & Linguistics Expert Witnesses Testify At NLRB Hearing – Part 1

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owner of the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Hartford CT, has challenged the November vote by dealers to unionize. During the NLRB hearing, the tribe questioned why the ballots were printed only in English and why an election notice was only printed in one Chinese dialect. Both the tribe and the UAW called their own language and linguistics expert witnesses to testify. The reports that the tribe’s expert witness, Alex Want argued that:

..many immigrants – including dealers at the casino – cannot read traditional written Chinese, but only “simplified written Chinese.” Tribal attorneys tried to establish that “traditionally written Chinese” is generally understood by highly educated members of the population, while UAW lawyers countered that it is now more common for people to have the ability to read both.

Wang, who operates a language translation service with is wife in Minnesota, said the spoken word in the two variations of Chinese is exactly the same, but the written characters are different, and that’s what poses a problem in the posting of the election notice.