It’s Déja Vu With a Republican Twist

Watching the so-called “Spanish-language” Republican forum last night on Univision was like déja vu all over again.

The format (in which candidates were asked questions in Spanish, which then were translated into English and then back into Spanish) was hard enough to follow; but on top of that, bilingual viewers like myself were were additionally confused by the simultaneous translation and the Spanish-language closed captions.

Just as happened during the September Democratic forum, yesterday’s debate turned out to be another arroz con mango, with interpreters making up words and phrases, such as compulsorio, Hispánicos, Estados Unidos de Norteamérica or oficina ovalada.

In addition, I still don’t know if some of the grammatical horrors displayed by the closed captions were a result of a really tired typist or the candidates’ plain ignorance on foreign affairs. At some point, when Giuliani was answering a question about how to handle Mr. Hugo Chávez, the closed captions showed the following hilarious sentence: “Yo trataría a Chávez de la misma forma en que lo trató el Príncipe Carlos.” (I would handle Chávez the way Prince Charles handled him) … Did Mr. Giuliani mean the King of Spain (not Prince Charles)? was it the translator or merely the closed caption?

That we might never know. What is sure though, judging from the English-language transcript is that the King of Spain was downgraded to Prince by Mr. John McCain:

“First of all, could I again congratulate the people of Venezuela for rejecting this dictator’s attempt to become a president for life? And I also would like to echo the words of Prince Juan Carlos, “Por qué no te callas?”

Ay, ay, ay!

3 thoughts on “It’s Déja Vu With a Republican Twist

  1. This is why people should listen to political debates in English! And if they need subtitles, they should record the show at 5 and add subtitles at 7.

    What the hell is wrong with this country? If you can’t speak English, you shouldn’t vote! Do they have Mexican debates in English in Mexico?

    America should learn from Europe, in France, Germany and the UK there’s no bilinguisim. People may speak a second or third language, but all political debates are done in the national language. The de-facto national language of America is English. Learn it!

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