Some Spanish-speakers cite poor translation efforts on health care website



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Some Spanish-speakers are saying people can add another thing to the list of complaints about the website.

A problem on the Spanish version of the site could be making it harder for Spanish-speaking patients to enroll.

Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez spent the day looking through the site.

At first glance, there are no major spelling or grammatical mistakes, it's more in how some things were translated that now has some asking again, "Did the government get its money's worth?"

It's called and some are saying the translation is sloppy.

In one example the word "individuals" was translated correctly, but in a caption it was translated to "individuales." It's the literal translation and refers to things like single serving portions and not actual people.

In another example the word "premium" was translated to "prima." It is a regional issue. In Spain, it's perfectly valid, but for many Hispanics "prima" is the word for cousin.

And here the verb "llenar" was used for the phrase "fill out the form." The more appropriate word would have been "completar," according to Alvarez.

"This is about respect. This is about taking the time," said Maritza Sanz, president of a local outreach group called Latino Leadership. "The Mexican Spanish is totally different from the Cuban Spanish or Puerto Rican or Colombian and we understand we can't hire a person from each country, but a machine can't do this translation."

Sanz said the government could have done better, but doesn't believe the problems will stop people from using the site.

"There is a big need we have, a big community that doesn't have health insurance," said Sanz.