The Slatest

Unofficial Sanders Ad Courts Hispanic Voters With Grammatically Incorrect Spanish

Sen. Bernie Sanders participates in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate on Feb. 11, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Editor’s note, Feb. 20, 2016: This post and its headline originally stated that an unofficial Sanders ad briefly appeared on Sanders’ official website. Slate had insufficient evidence for that assertion, and the Sanders campaign says this ad never appeared on its website and has never been used in any capacity by its campaign. All references in the post below to the ad appearing on the site have been removed. We regret the error.

Friday afternoon, an unofficial Bernie Sanders ad in Spanish started flying around the web. Not because it was inspiring, but because it was filled with hilarious, egregious grammatical and translation errors.*  

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Image via Women for Bernie 2016

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The mistakes in the ad are many. Here are a few:

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The ad attempts to list Sanders’s qualities, as in “Progressive, Honest, Committed.” But “progressive” in Spanish, in a political context, is “progresista not “progresivo,” as it’s written in the ad. The latter means progressive as in: “As the presidential campaign advanced, attempts to reach minorities progressively increased.”

The ad attempts to say, “Action on global warming.” But it reads: “Acción sobre climático,” which, though untranslatable, is closer to “climactic actionables,” which is not really a thing.  

Image via Women for Bernie 2016

The English version of the ad asks voters to “Register as a Democrat.” But the Spanish ad’s incorrect conjugation, “Se registra como demócrata,” makes the suggestion either mildly aggressive (as in “You register as a Democrat”) or indifferently descriptive (as in “Registers as a Democrat”).*

*Correction, Feb 20, 2016: This post originally misstated that an unofficial, Spanish-language Sanders ad appeared on the candidate’s official website. The Sanders campaign says this ad never appeared on its website and has never been used in any capacity by its campaign.

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