Texas senator calls testimony in Spanish by resident since 1988 'insulting'

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here's the video to see for yourself (article here):

The argument for giving testimony in Spanish is as follows:

This is not just about talking about a subject, it's giving testimony and thus speaking in one's mother tongue is preferred. This is actually what politicians generally prefer to do when travelling abroad, using interpreters even if they speak the language of the country they are visiting. They could slip up from time to time, or be seen as not properly representing their country while abroad. The latter of course does not apply to the man here giving testimony

The argument against it is:

This man has been living in the US since 1988, and if he wants to talk about policy and have his voice respected then it's best to do it in the language that the majority speaks.

One other point brought up is that he might want to have his speech heard by both the English- and Spanish-speaking community, and since there's no way an English to Spanish interpreter would be brought in, the only way to have both languages present is to talk in Spanish and have it interpreted. In that way it can be easily picked up by media in both languages.


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