Donald Trump speaks Hindi in campaign ad
The video below features Donald Trump speaking Hindi in a new ad from his campaign.
1. If Trump truly opposed the cultural far-left, he wouldn't speak foreign languages in such contexts. The great majority of Americans aren't going to understand what Trump says on the video, meaning that they have to rely on a translation. Translators with an ulterior motive might offer inaccurate translations, such as by not revealing secondary meanings of a politician's remarks. In this case, what he says ("Ab ki baar Trump sarkar") supposedly translates to "this time, a Trump government", but who knows if that's accurate. Did you know that's a reference to a campaign slogan of Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister? What other meanings could it have that you don't know about? If Trump were smart and opposed the cultural far-left, he'd realize the dangers of using foreign languages in such contexts and not do it. If he wants to speak Hindi in an informal context, that's fine. Just not in campaign ads, in stump speeches, or, in the extremely unlikely event he's elected, in an official context.
2. As always when it doesn't involved getting free publicity, Trump can't be bothered to do things the right way. I don't speak Hindi at all, but I can tell he's not even trying to get the accent right. Instead, it sounds exactly like what it is: someone with a heavy Queens accent reading Hindi. I'd spend several minutes listening to a native speaker slowly pronouncing basic words and I'd try to repeat those back in order to warm up and get the accent right. Then, I'd memorize the quote. Since it's only five words that wouldn't be very difficult at all. However, Trump appears to have had to do it in two takes: there's a cut after "Trump" so he must have messed up the fifth word. That kind of sloppiness and disdain for the details is one of the many things that's doomed his campaign.
3. India has an oftentimes violent sectarian divide. A statesman wouldn't choose a side, yet that's what Trump is doing in the video. As in everything else, Trump can't avoid dragging things down to the Breitbart level. Once again, it's extremely unlikely Trump would be elected. But, if he is, going full-on Breitbart with a region where India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons could have extremely dire consequences. Does anyone seriously think that's a concern to someone who can't spend a few minutes to get an accent right?
3/5/17 UPDATE: The account associated with the video that was here (youtube . com/watch?v=1PG2V0YnokM) was closed for an unspecified reason. I replaced it with another copy.