It included heavy doses of Google Translate and major editing by colleagues Jaime Reyes and Victor, and I published my first story in Spanish today (See pages 16 and 19 under this link).
Somehow seeing your name in print never gets old, and feels especially rewarding when it’s another language in which I did the writing.
The piece uses Obama’s re-election campaign, which, according to some accounts, is slated to raise more than a record $1 billion, as a starting point to look at the seemingly non-existent correlation relationship between amount of money spent and voter turnout.
In the last presidential cycle in this country for instance, candidates raised an unprecedented $1.75 billion. Voter turnout was 57 percent, the highest rate in America since 1968, when later disgraced President Richard M. Nixon edged Democratic Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, whose nomination was memorably marred by the upheaval surrounding the Democratic convention in Chicago.
Yet countries like Belgium and Australia, which have far shorter and less costly election seasons, top 90 percent voter turnout in the polls.
Along with design team members Rodolfo Jimenez and Lorena Gonzalez, we also pulled together a couple of graphics for today’s edition of the newspaper that charted the exorbitant increases in funds raised here for candidates’ presidential campaigns.
The 2008 total was nearly double that of 2004. If that happens again for this election, the price tag would be a staggering $3.5 billion.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I am a long, long way from fluency in writing in Spanish.
I still have never formally studied the language, am just starting to learn what the accents are, let alone where they go, and could not even name, let alone conjugate, the four different versions of the past tense.
Still, I made a start, and made it three months earlier than I had predicted to future boss John Trainor when he interviewed me earlier this year.
In today’s issue we also ran a book review in Spanish.
I’ve been getting my speed reading going, reading Hoy cover to cover in about 30 minutes and starting to take on some full length books.