Tom Tancredo Takes a Stand on Spanish Translation

By Mary Ann Zehr — December 06, 2007 1 min read
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U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Colorado congressman and Republican candidate for president, turned down a Spanish-television network’s invitation to appear in a debate among Republican presidential candidates this Sunday because he’s opposed to having his remarks translated into Spanish, according to a Dec. 5 article in the Washington Times.

Candidates will speak in English but their answers to questions will be translated into Spanish for broadcast on Univision, a Spanish-language network.

The other Republican candidates accepted the invitation to participate in the debate, according to the article. The Washington Times quotes Mr. Tancredo as saying, “What all my colleagues—what other candidates are doing—it’s encouraging violation of the law because it’s saying. ‘Don’t worry about the fact that you have to know English to earn citizenship.’ ”

I mention Mr. Tancredo’s views on this blog to show how strongly some Americans feel that everyone who lives in this country should learn English. It looks as if some Latinos are taking note of his view. Hispanic Tips and ImmigrationProf Blog have linked to the same article that I have.

I wonder if Mr. Tancredo understands how long it takes for someone to reach a level of English competency that enables him or her to understand a debate over the pressing issues facing our nation.

Such language skill certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.