The Use Of Spanglish To Connect With Latino Voters Is Growing

( — As a nation made up of many waves of immigrants, America is often the birthplace of interesting fusions, whether it be music, food or language. Although creole, or blended, languages exist around the world, it is not often political ads use them to connect with voters.

President Joe Biden has used the popular combination of English and Spanish known as Spanglish in two campaigns now. In 2020, the Biden campaign released one well-received Spanglish ad, and for 2024, there have been two, with plans for more in the works.

While there are many native Spanish speakers in America, there is an increasing number of young Latinos who are more likely to be linguistically English-dominant. According to Pew Research, approximately 65% of Latinos say they often use Spanglish. Biden campaign spokesperson Fabiola Rodriguez commented that often grandparents and parents will speak Spanish and their children will reply in English. She further asserted that Latinos are embracing the evolution of language in their communities.

As an important voting demographic, both Democrats and Republicans have long understood how vital it is to reach out to Latinos in language they easily understand. Until recently, that has just meant Spanish. Both the Biden and Trump campaigns have released ads on Spanish-language TV stations. The former president has also done major interviews with these stations. He’s also known for using more natural Spanish speakers, like Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, to get his message out.

Carlos Odio, the co-founder of Equis Labs, worries that using Spanglish may backfire and be regarded as parody. However, the Spanglish ads are focused on access to healthcare, which according to Biden’s campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, is a vital issue for Latino voters. Janina Volpe from the ad agency Cramer-Krasselt says that Spanglish ads that work should be culturally celebrated. Juan Alanis of Big Oak Tree Media seems to agree with her and added that bilingual ads incorporating Spanish and possibly other language may be the way forward. He believes that such multicultural languages may be the primary way future generations communicate.

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