Nashville man fails driving test 14 times for lack of Arabic option


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – A Nashville man says he’s failed his driver’s license 14 times, but it’s not because he doesn’t know the stuff.

The written portion of the state driving test is offered in five languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean and German. Unfortunately, Arabic is not offered although it is a widely spoken language in our state. This causes significant problems for a Nashville man.

Traveling on foot is one of the few ways Nagi Abaza gets around, books, and packs.

Inside the bag is a driver’s manual. Abaza’s license in New Jersey expired a few years ago, but he now requires a license in Tennessee.

“The main reason I had good luck with Amazon. $31 per hour,” says Abaza.

Abaza must pass a written test at a Drivers Services Center to become a delivery driver. He says he knows this place well.

“Everyone already knows my name,” he said. “Do you know why? Because there are more than 14 times I failed the test.

Abaza’s first language is Arabic, a language that Tennessee does not offer for testing.

“Believe me, I study very well,” says Abaza. “But believe me, the questions come in like (throws a punch). I want to explain, but the language does not allow me to explain what the problems of the DM test are. »

The Tennessee Department of Homeland Security and Safety says that while people can’t use their phones to translate, they can use dictionaries. Abaza, on the other hand, knows it will take time.

“If the test lasts three, four hours, believe me, I need more than four hours,” Abaza points out.

If the state offered the test in Arabic, he says he would already be behind the wheel.

“Believe me for a second, I will answer. Why? Remember it’s my language. And then I already studied. I know everything in English that I already know.

Census data shows that Arabic is the third most spoken language in Tennessee. The test is offered in Arabic in 20 other states.

The Department of Homeland Safety and Security said it was still looking for ways to expand its services. However, they said the changes depend on economic and demographic trends.

Copyright 2022 WSMV. All rights reserved.


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