Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the country, even among non-Hispanics, but it seems someone at the 2016 Republican National Convention missed a class.
The Republican National Convention came to a close Thursday night with a speech by GOP nominee Donald Trump, but some people on Twitter were more preoccupied with the poorly translated “Hispanics Para Trump” signs some people in the crowd were holding up.
As The Hill first pointed out, the translation on the signs is not only incomplete but completely incorrect.
It seems that while attempting to translate “Hispanics for Trump,” the signs’ creators not only failed to translate Hispanics to the Spanish word, “Hispanos” but incorrectly used the word “para” instead of “por” to say “for.” Both words can mean “for” but are used differently.
It’s also fitting to note that “para” can mean “stop” in Spanish.
While it can be easy to confuse the word “para” and “por,” there is certainly a grammatical difference. The Huffington Post reached out to NYU lecturer Félix Manuel Burgos, who happens to have a Ph. D in Hispanic Linguistics, to explain:
If you want to express support for someone with your vote, it should be “por.” That is the preposition that goes with the verb “votar.”
“Para” doesn’t make sense in that context, unless you work for him, that is the preposition that goes with “trabajar.” ... [But] actually the best option would have been “con,” that expresses general support. “Latinos con Trump.” But I don’t think they will print many of those signs.
Reuters reporter Rodrigo Campos was just one of the many Twitter users to recognize the flub.
Regardless of who is doing the sign holding, someone has some reprinting to do. We’d warn against using Google Translate in the future, but we checked and even Google Translate knows the difference between “para” and “por.”