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72 languages are spoken in Jax.

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Bonjour, kumusta, hola, and hello from Jacksonville

The census says 72 languages are spoken in this region, from English to Cherokee.

By DAVID C.L. BAUER

The Times-Union

In the Philippines, it's kumusta; in Serbia, dobar dan.

A simple "hello" is not so simple in Northeast Florida.

Among the potluck of languages the U.S. Census Bureau says can be found in metropolitan Jacksonville are Tagalog, Arabic and Serbocroatian -- 72 different tongues in all.

Only Broward and Miami-Dade counties, with 84 and 79 languages, respectively, have more spoken diversity in Florida, an analysis of census information shows.

The Washington-based U.S. English Foundation put Jacksonville at 38th nationwide of more than 200 metropolitan areas in the number of languages spoken at home. Sixteen languages are spoken with more frequency in this metro area than in most of the nation, the report said.

English is the most common language in the region, which includes Duval and its bordering counties.

English is spoken by almost 92 percent of the region's population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Spanish comes in second, used by about 4 percent.

The top five is rounded out with Tagalog -- widely spoken in the Philippines -- at 0.8 percent use, French at 0.48 percent, and German at 0.45 percent.

At the bottom is Cherokee, spoken by about 0.001 percent of metro Jacksonville's population -- or about 15 people.

Regardless of how widely used a language might be, there are times being able to bridge the language gap is critical.

This month, almost 5,000 calls will pour into the emergency communications center at the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Fewer than 1 percent of those calls will require a special conference-call translator, but when they do, urgency is essential.

"When we get them on the line, we do as much as we can to identify the language and then basically it becomes a three-way call," said Patricia Welte, 911 administrator for the Sheriff's Office.

She estimates such calls rose by almost a third from 2003 to 2004.

"You can watch over time the change in the languages," she said.

Welte's crew does so by keeping watch on statistics and through a variety of tools that help map trends. They tell her, for example, that the largest concentration of Albanian-speaking residents is in the San Marco/Lakewood section of the city.

Sometimes, a translator physically assists at a scene.

"We had one situation in which an officer found a note in Bosnian or some language. It could be a suicide note; it could be a shopping list -- we don't always know," Welte said.

Being able to determine what someone is trying to say is a necessity when dealing with 127,000 students from 125 countries who attend public school each day in Duval County.

"Working through language barriers is crucial for students, because the need may be one that is physical, emotional or academic," said Brenda G. Trimble, supervisor of Duval County public schools' English for Speakers of Other Languages program.

The law requires a school system hire a bilingual assistant if 15 or more students at a school speak a particular language. Those assistants -- there are 59 in Duval County public schools -- are responsible for interpreting for students, parents and staff members.

"We value the service performed by our interpreters and use the resources on a daily basis," Trimble said.

http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stor..._18201034.shtml

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Well I hope they took in account that even that is simillar language it is split in different names (politics) croatian,serbian and bosnian.

Yeah,if they found note in bosnian most likely is a JOKE :-)

By the way I am Bosnian and there is about 15-20,000 living in southside area,I am black sheap as I don't hang out with my own species.

Now what Jacksonville needs to do is RECRUIT all that different nations and creat nice ethnic neighbourhood where you could find many diiferent things from ethnic resturants to european deli's,bars and clubs....Right now many are spread out all over Jax and those are places where usually people walk and hang out,urban behaviour inside suburban Jacksonville,as many are use to it back home.

Imagine having such place to go to as it would put Jax on map and give local place to enjoy and have fun.....best way to build urban city as msot imiggrant have lot of experience in it...for most of them suburnab life is WEIRD,they have hard time getting use to it that you need car to go to shopping,even buying loaf of bread.

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LaVilla would make a great urban/ethnic area. It has the land and potential. Imagine all the delicious foods..... But alas, nothing ever seems to work out in LaVilla.

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I think that it is great that Jacksonville is becoming more diverse. It will really benefit our area a lot more to have a broad range of languages and cultures so that we are able to compete some with Tampa and Miami.

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I was surprised by the large numbers of French and German speakers. I suspect that most French speakers are Haitian and Germans are maybe war brides. I have had several Haitian and Eastern European clients.

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Jacksonvilles Military bases play a big role in our diversity.

Growing up, I had friends of at of all races just about.

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LaVilla would make a great urban/ethnic area.  It has the land and potential.  Imagine all the delicious foods.....  But alas, nothing ever seems to work out in LaVilla.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

LaVilla would have been a great spot and at one time was everything you described. However, its gone now and without having a stable residential base, it will never return.

However, Philip Randolph Blvd, in East Jax is ready to pick up where Ashley and Davis Streets died. Its anchored to the south, by the Shipyards, Arena & Baseball Park. Plus its anchored to the north by the new Philip Randolph Park and the new Children's commission office. Between these locations, the street is pretty urban with parallel parking and brick commercial buildings facing wide sidewalks. With a little reinvestment in the neighborhood, it could become a decent strip with ethic restuarants, shops, etc.

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