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Posted: Monday, February 17th, 2014 11:37 AM HST

License test will soon be available in Hawaiian

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Even though Hawaiian is one of the official languages of the state, Hawaii residents won't be able to take driver's license exams in the language until next month.

The state Department of Transportation is preparing to make Hawaiian an exam language starting March 17. It will be one of the few official transactions that can be conducted in Hawaiian.

Officials plan to also offer the test in Samoan, Tongan, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Tagalog, Ilocano, Korean, Spanish, Marshallese and Chuukese.

The department's acting civil rights coordinator, Clifton Harty, says translating the written, multiple-choice tests in the languages is important to Hawaii's diverse community.

Meanwhile, an ongoing federal lawsuit claims Hawaii discriminates against immigrants by only allowing driver's license tests to be taken in English.

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