LATINO VOICES

The Ridiculous SOTU Spanish Subtitles Made Us Laugh And Cry At The Same Time

The White House YouTube account offered a version of Tuesday's state of the union speech with Spanish subtitles.

But as the bloggers at Latino Rebels immediately noticed, the closed-captioning was atrocious.

Most of it flew by so fast it was impossible to catch to anyone but hyper-caffeinated speed readers. The captions that did remain on the screen long enough to read often contained egregious errors that made the text incomprehensible.

It appeared that more than one translator was on the job -- one who wrote normally and one who wrote in all caps. The all-caps translator was responsible for the lion's share of the errors.

To the White House's credit, they posted the full text of the comments translated into Spanish online and offered Spanish-language updates on Twitter during the speech.

Check out a sampling of how awful the Spanish-language captions were below.

  • 'FUT OWR E'?
    WE'VE NEVER HEARD OF 'FUT OWR E.'
    YouTube
    WE'VE NEVER HEARD OF 'FUT OWR E.'
  • 'K' is not commonly used in the Spanish language
    So it's not quite clear what "FLEKS TEAMS" are or why we need them.
    YouTube
    So it's not quite clear what "FLEKS TEAMS" are or why we need them.
  • Proud masses
    <strong>Obama said</strong>: "I couldn't be prouder of them." 
<br>
<br>
<strong>Translation</strong>: "I couldn't feel masse
    YouTube
    Obama said: "I couldn't be prouder of them."

    Translation: "I couldn't feel masses proud of it."
  • No time to hit backspace!
    It appears that here the translator pressed forward with errors to avoid missing anything. The result: 
<br>
<br>
<strong>Oba
    YouTube
    It appears that here the translator pressed forward with errors to avoid missing anything. The result:

    Obama said: "So I know the good, and optimistic, and big-hearted generosity..."

    Translation: "So, so I kn know the generosity, the great..."
  • Made up words
    We've never heard of an "arioario."
    YouTube
    We've never heard of an "arioario."
  • Bad grammar
    In Spanish, adjectives must agree with the gender of nouns and must reflect whether they are single or plural. If not, it sou
    YouTube
    In Spanish, adjectives must agree with the gender of nouns and must reflect whether they are single or plural. If not, it sounds totally wrong, as this translation does here. It should be "todas las limitaciones."
  • "President Koontdles"
    There is no such word as "koontdles," in any language. It appears to be a misspelling of "Rebekah," which normally would be t
    YouTube
    There is no such word as "koontdles," in any language. It appears to be a misspelling of "Rebekah," which normally would be translated into Spanish as "Rebekah." Or it might be a brutally butchered attempt to translate "with a story" -- "con un cuento." Either way, it's not even close to Spanish.
  • Viv inés ensias?
    We don't know what this one refers to. "Viv" is not a word and neither is "ensias," unless it is a misspelling of "encías" --
    YouTube
    We don't know what this one refers to. "Viv" is not a word and neither is "ensias," unless it is a misspelling of "encías" -- Spanish for "gums." Also, no woman named "Inés" was mentioned in the speech.
  • now. NOW. THANKS!
    The all-caps translator snuck up behind the lower-case translator to finish out the speech with an emphatic "THANK YOU" and s
    YouTube
    The all-caps translator snuck up behind the lower-case translator to finish out the speech with an emphatic "THANK YOU" and stammered "GOD BLE BLESS YOU."
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