Huffpost Politics
Sam Stein Headshot

Anti-Bill Halter Group Botches Hindi Script In Latest Mailer

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

The pro-business group Americans for Jobs Security made news once again on Thursday night for releasing a racially-tinged mailer attacking Arkansas Senate candidate Bill Halter for supposedly being complicit in the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to India.

The mailer, echoing an earlier, controversial ad the group put out, plays to a particular form of jingoism, with the script written in Hindi, shots of women and men in Indian garb, and repeated thanks to Lt. Gov Halter for sending jobs overseas.

The problem: the group seems to have botched the translation. A Hindi reader helped the Huffington Post decipher what, exactly, the mailer being sent to Arkansas voters says. And, it turns out, it's a mix of political hit-job and garbled nonsense.

"You thank Bill's whip [or whipper] for sending jobs to India," is how one line translates.

"You thank Bill the whip," reads another.

Considering the likely dearth of Hindi speakers in Arkansas (and the even smaller pool of Hindi speakers who received the mailers and are going to vote in the Democratic primary), the errors aren't likely to make a difference. Indeed, the mail piece was never meant to be translated. It was designed to scare the hell out of those Arkansans who think Halter might support outsourcing if he were to make his way to the Senate.

Still, the job AJS did is humorously sloppy. Here is the translation, per a Hindi speaker (with the copy of the mailers below):

PAGE 1
In Hindi the text reads: "aap bill lagam shukar banglore,bharat ko rojgar Bhejne' ke liye'."

aap - meaning you or yours
bill - obviously is the name here but in hindi it means bill like telephone bill
lagam - means a riding whip-used to train horses
shukar - means thanks
bharat - means India
ko - means to
rojgar - means jobs
Bhejne' - means sending
ke liye' - means for

So, the way the sentence reads (the sentence structure is off/verb is missing/written by non Hindi speaker,):

"You thank Bill's whip or the whipper for sending jobs to India."

PAGE 2
In Hindi: "Aap Bill ka Shukar hai lagam"

Translation: "You thank Bill the whip."

PAGE 3
Is the same as above without English translation.

A Hindi speaking person will be confused from this sentence because it is not a complete sentence - it would mean for a Hindi reading layperson "you thank bill whip" because of the way they have used his last name in translation.

2010-05-13-AJSMay132.jpg

2010-05-13-AJSMay133.jpg

2010-05-13-AJSMay134.jpg