FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Madre de Dios, #Obamacare.
Mirroring problems with the federal health care website, people around the nation attempting to navigate the Spanish version have discovered their own set of difficulties.
The site, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, launched more than two months late.
A Web page with Spanish instructions linked users to an English form.
And the translations were so clunky and full of grammatical mistakes that critics say they must have been computer-generated — the name of the site itself can literally be read “for the caution of health.”
Apparently the geniuses over at the Obama White House decided to write the Spanish-language Obamacare site in Spanglish – that’s a quote from a Miami healthcare navigator, by the way. ‘Spanglish,’ for those who do not know, is the polite way of saying ‘Spanish-English pidgin,’ mostly because people don’t want to make other people feel bad about their inability to master either language. As for ‘navigator’… well, that’s a relic of the fact that Obamacare is an insanely complicated system that almost nobody understands, and yet everybody is legally obligated to follow. So, basically, you need yet other people in place to make sure that a fourth group of people don’t break the law*.
Yes, I know, it’s hard to keep track of all the various groups involved. That’s part of the problem, right there. The other, rather larger part of the problem? – Why, that the current assault on the American healthcare system was implemented by people who rather stupidly assumed that all the dull, boring infrastructure bits would be done by Magic Government Brownies in the dead of night. This is why we tend to like people with prior executive experience to be President, mind you: it’s not that they’ve learned how to do things so much as they’ve learned how things don’t get done. Alas, Barack Obama never had to learn anything that he didn’t want to learn, and now the country as a whole is paying the price for his lack of training and expertise.
Here endeth the lesson.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Here’s a fun wrinkle for future efforts to translate the exchange site into Spanish: which Spanish? The dialect that they speak in Mexico is not quite the same one that they speak in the Caribbean or the one that they speak in Nicaragua or the one that they speak in Argentina or the one that they speak in Chile**. And I wish the federal government joy in explaining why they picked one group to be on top of the linguistic heap.
*Because the Democratic party is run by idiots, that’s why. Did you come in late?
**This would be like trying to write a website in relatively idiomatic and understandable English that would be equally accessible to Americans, Brits, Australians, Canadians, Icelanders, and Indians-from-India. It’s not impossible, but you’d have to at least think about it a little first.