There are many situations in which it is not possible to distinguish the needs of a customer in a service system until service is first attempted. In a car repair shop, for example, it may become apparent after an initial inspection that the vehicle requires repairs that only some technicians are qualified to provide.
This situation has the same structure as the standard Bilingual Server model (Stanford & Grassmann, INFOR). In it, there are two groups of customers who speak the majority and minority languages of the region, respectively. There are bilingual servers who speak both languages, and unilingual servers who only speak the majority language. It is not possible to distinguish the language of a caller until service is first attempted. A language mismatch occurs whenever a unilingual server encounters a minority caller.
The characteristics of the bilingual server system will be described, as well as the underlying queueing model. Numerical examples are given to illustrate the impact of such factors as the fraction of minority traffic, the mix of servers, etc. Finally, comments will be made about the suitability of this system incomparison to other alternatives.