The White House’s Spanish Twitter Account Is Full of Sloppy Translations
Helen Aguirre Ferre, the White House’s director of media affairs, told the Associated Press that although the administration plans to unveil a Spanish-language website by the end of 2017, “the priority remains to improve the English language website.” Ferre also said that the administration isn’t planning on hiring a media outreach director for Spanish-language press outlets at this time.
Hours after Trump was sworn in on January 20, the Spanish-language version of the White House website went offline. At the time, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that this was only temporary, as the administration had “the IT folks working overtime” to get the Spanish version of the site back up and running.
“Trust me, it’s going to take a little bit more time, but we’re working piece by piece to get that done,” Spicer said at the press conference, which was his first as Press Secretary. As of July 2nd, however, there’s still no Spanish-language version of the White House website.
There is, however, a White House Twitter feed for Spanish speakers. Although it predates Trump, the Trump administration has posted to it a total of 41 times since the new president took office. However, about half of those tweets are in English, and the ones aren’t contain many translation and grammatical errors.
The Associated Press counted 11 typos across the 21 Spanish tweets, and while most of the errors are minor, some are substantive. For instance, one tweet mistakenly uses the word “Americanos,” which refers to people from both North and South America, instead of “estadounidenses,” which specifically denotes North Americans. Other errors include missing accents and letters on translated words.
Although Trump’s White House has been slow to roll out Spanish-language content, one federal agency hasn’t: Immigrations and Customs enforcement, which is in charge of deportations. In May, ICE announced that it was expanding the Spanish version of its website and re-launching the organization’s Twitter feed, which hadn’t tweeted since Trump took office.
At a 2015 Republican primary debate, Trump said that “this is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.” That same year, the research firm Instituto Cervantes found that the United States is home to 52.6 million Spanish speakers, more than in all of Spain.