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Spanish Obamacare Website Is ‘Written in Spanglish’



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On WonkblogEzra Klein reports that “Obamacare’s Spanish-language Web site is ‘written in Spanglish’”:

HealthCare.gov’s October 1st launch was a disaster. But at least it was a punctual disaster. The site’s Spanish-language version – CuidadoDeSalud.gov — launched more than two months late. It doesn’t look like the Obama administration used the extra time wisely.

ABC News reports ”the translations were so clunky and full of grammatical mistakes that critics say they must have been computer-generated.” The situation is even worse when applicants begin digging into then nitty-gritty of the plans. ”When you get into the details of the plans, it’s not all written in Spanish. It’s written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them,” Adrian Madriz, a health care navigator in Miami, told ABC.

The Web site, for instance, translates the word ”premium” into “prima” — a word more typically used in Spanish to denote a female cousin. Veronica Plaza, a professor who teaches medical Spanish at the University of New Mexico, told ABC that the site should’ve used ”cuotas,” ”couta mensual” or “costo annual.”

Oh, and the website doesn’t work:

Then, of course, there are the bugs: Some links on the site simply take people back to the English-language HealthCare.gov. Sometimes the site simply doesn’t work at all. And the Obama administration has a lot less capacity in its Spanish-language call centers than in its English-language ones, so some Spanish speakers confused by the Web site are having trouble getting help on the phone, too.

Can you imagine the reaction that we would see in Salon, the New York Times, and on MSNBC if this were a Republican administration’s mistake? The “lack of care” would be “indicative of an attitude” and of an “Anglo-centric” worldview that smacked of “white supremacy.” Republicans would be accused of treating Hispanics as “second-class citizens” and of condemning them to unequal “separate but equal” status. Then we would get the endless discussion of how this was going to hurt the party with a group whose votes they already struggle to win. 

The full story here.



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