Amid a 2020 political courtship of Spanish-speaking voters, particularly amid President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration and English-only campaign, some Democrats are not making the grade with their Spanish-language campaign websites, according to a Politico report.
"The crowded early field of presidential contenders wants to court Latino voters, an essential segment of the Democratic base, with Spanish-language campaign websites," according to the report Sunday. "But not all of them remembered to turn on spell check."
The report honed in on the Spanish campaign website translations from the English versions, grading the candidates for accuracy to a native Spanish speaker, as Politico's Jesus Rodriguez reported.
"Using Google to translate Spanish text into English is a trick used by high school students to avoid doing their Spanish homework — not something you'd expect to see from candidates for the highest office in the land," Rodriguez wrote.
"Yet several Democratic White House hopefuls appear to be doing precisely that. They're posting passages in Spanish on their websites that bear striking similarities to the output from Google's translation service, appearing to perform only minor cleanup before publishing the copy on their sites.
"While Google Translate can serve as a workable starting point, more often than not it needs a human hand to produce Spanish that would pass muster with a native speaker."
Here is Rodriguez's report card top to bottom:
- Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.: A- – "Largely error-free, only minor typos."
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii: A- – "Largely error-free, only minor typos."
- Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.: A- – "Shown improvement over the semester."
- Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.: A- – "Good use of technical language on climate change."
- Texas Democrat Julián Castro: B+ – "Overall good, needs closer attention to detail, see input forms etc."
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.: B+ – "Needs to clean up headlines, translate videos."
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.: C+ – "Has shown dramatic improvement, but errors remain."
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.: C – "A vast majority of the text directly matches the Google Translate output, leading to errors."
- Texas Democrat Beto O'Rourke: I – "Incomplete, only translated the landing page to Spanish."
- Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.: I – "Incomplete, has only translated the landing page to Spanish."
- Democratic South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg: F – "No Spanish website."
- Ex-Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.: F – "No Spanish website."
- N.Y. Democrat Andrew Yang: F – "No Spanish website."
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