NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Effort to Communicate in Spanish

Though some have criticized and even parodied New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg for this frequent use of the Spanish language, many in the Hispanic community says that they appreciate his efforts and despite the teasing, his Spanish translation is accurate and is fairly well spoken.  When language creates a barrier, anything a government official can do to learn the language and alleviate communication difficulties, new populations are likely to benefit, making the entire community better.

Mayor Bloomberg Makes Announcement for Hurricane Sandy in Spanish

Though Mayor Bloomberg has been mocked on the internet for his recent speech in Spanish, the Latino community in New York appreciated his effort to reach out in a time of emergency. A political reporter for NY1 Noticias, Juan Manuel Benítez, says that the mayor’s Spanish is much better than people give him credit for and that he even tries to communicate is admirable. Benítez also says that the very people who are criticizing Bloomberg are people who don’t know a second language and aren’t aware of how difficult becoming bilingual can be. The Mayor’s English to Spanish translation was a little rough, which no one can deny, but his point was made and his effort was most definitely appreciated by the Latino community as the Hurricane approached.  Mayor Bloomberg wanted to make sure as many people as possible received the important news, so that they would be save and informed as to how to whether the storm.

Latinos May Be More Vulnerable During Crises

Southern New Jersey, New York, and Long Island Metropolitan is home to the largest Latino community out of any other metropolitan area in the country, so it makes sense that the Mayor would try his best to communicate during times of danger and crisis. Often the Latino community is more at risk during crises because no one tries to communicate in their language. An absence of official Spanish translation offered by the government or state services in times of emergency can lead to serious repercussions for the Latino community. The mayor will continue to speak out even though he knows that his translation is rusty, but has said before in a speech “Tengo 69 años. Es difícil para aprender un nuevo idioma.” The Spanish translation is “I’m 69 years old. It’s difficult to learn a new language.” 

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