First Lady Jill Biden visited Delano, California this week to say a few words of praise to a group of local farmworkers in honor of civil rights activist César Chávez’s birthday, but her inclusion of the United Farm Workers’ motto ‘sí se puede’ has been earning her flack ever since for her mispronunciation of the final word. Clips of the event recorded by journalists have earned millions of views across Twitter, where a growing number quickly flocked to proclaim that former FLOTUS Melania Trump would never have made such an error and repeating her previously stated claim that she speaks five languages (Italian, French, German, Slovene, and English, a claim which is, per Snopes, unproven).
— Alexei Koseff (@akoseff) March 31, 2021
“Watching Jill Biden botch basic Spanish makes me miss Melania Trump, an extraordinary First Lady who is fluent in five languages,” Australian journalist Nick Adams tweeted, and others chimed in to agree. This being Twitter, however, the newfound support for Trump saw a fiery response from those who hadn’t considered her tenure as FLOTUS admirable, particularly compared to Biden’s thus far.
Watching Jill Biden botch basic Spanish makes me miss Melania Trump, an extraordinary First Lady who is fluent in five languages.
— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) April 1, 2021
Her husband dealt up a border crisis so Jill Biden went pandering to Hispanics and made a fool of herself. She ridiculously said "Yes, we father!" (Si se padre) instead of "Yes, we can!" (Si se puede).
Melania is fluent in 5 languages. Jill can’t fake a single line of Spanish.
— First Words (@unscriptedmike) April 1, 2021
Trump critics made their views equally known on Twitter, taking hits at Melania’s “broken English” and the 2016 revelation that Melania had used several passages from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech in her own Republican National Convention speech.
People saying Melania Trump speaks five languages, but I only ever heard her give Michelle Obama’s speeches in broken English.
— Sean the Leprechaun (@seanryan4) April 1, 2021
Where Dr. Jill Biden lacks in Spanish she makes up for in not accusing people of not being US born based on their name, color, and race.
— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) April 1, 2021
No bone to pick with Melania but she is definitely not fluent in 5 languages.She used a translation device to listen to Macron's speech in French, one of her the languages she is fluent in? She had an Italian translator meeting the Pope. Fluent in Italian?
— Nicole (@NikkigGauthier) April 1, 2021
It’s definitely an unfortunate moment for Dr. Biden. But whether or not Melania Trump in fact spoke more languages than her is irrelevant, not just because she’s out of office, but because we never heard her use her multilingual abilities to try and connect with more Americans. It’s all well and good to say she can, but why didn’t she? Jill Biden gave a very bad first attempt — but she has four years to try and get better. We hope she will.
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