Four years ago, someone asked a question on Yahoo! Answers about what “ay carumba” meant.
These are the top answers in no particular order:
HOLLY BAT WINGS BATMAN!!!
I STUBBED MY TOE!
“Ay Carumba” is what I said when I read the news release on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this morning. You can read it here.
I did what every American should be doing, I wondered how much money it cost taxpayers to translate the HealthCare.gov website into Spanish so I picked up the phone and called the main Health and Human Services Press Office at (202)690-6343 and asked the question. The person who answered the phone immediately transferred me to the Health Resources Department where I spoke with Joanne. I asked her to tell me how much it cost to translate an entire website into Spanish.
She transferred me to Prudence Goforth who is in charge of the website project of translating it into Spanish. I spoke with Prudence at length and she said that I could send a request in writing in the form of an email and, it could be days, but she would try to obtain that information. Doesn’t she know off the top of her head? When I was a manager in charge of a rollout or a budget, I had to sleep, eat and live within it. It was in the forefront of my mind at all times so when I asked Prudence for a ballpark figure and she said she couldn’t do that either, I started to wonder just how much it really cost taxpayers.
I’ll be sending the email and updating you as soon as I find out.
Does this upset anyone other than me? Ay Carumba! How many tax dollars were spent to translate the entire website? Sounds like a simple enough question. And how many tax dollars will be spent to maintain it? You can see the website here (and if you speak Spanish, at least you’ll get your taxpaying-money’s worth!)
If you don’t speak Spanish, you can read the English version here.
It is time to get back to English, folks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when my grandfather came to America through Ellis Island, no one translated squat for him – he figured it out, learned the language and left his Italian roots behind him. He wanted to be here, was thankful he was here and worked two jobs to keep and support his family here. It is the American way – if you want to be American, learn the language. We are a divided enough nation and the first way to unite everyone is to get them speaking the same language.
Folks will never see the need to learn how to speak plain old English as long as the government, the banks, the stores and the ATMs are going to translate English into Spanish or any other language.
That is why we have ESL (English as a second language) courses. Please take the course so the Health and Human Resources doesn’t spend our hard-earned tax money needlessly. Thank you.