With the country’s Latino population rising, and certain city mayors taking note to the increase by speaking Spanish during press conferences, the White House is also making notable changes. The changes are being seen amongst the first family who is getting a bit, bilingual.
Last week during his stop at Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology in Oaxaca, President Obama addressed the crowd of Mexican high school and university students. “You’ve welcomed our daughter Malia and her classmates. And as a proud father I have to say that Malia’s Spanish is getting very good.”
Malia’s mastering the Spanish language may be in part to her prior excursion into the Latin culture. Last year, Malia Obama traveled to Oaxaca with other students at Sidwell Friends as part of the school’s ongoing tradition in traveling to the Mexican city. The school and its selected students partake in visiting the archaeological sites and volunteering at a local orphanage.
And like his daughter, Obama spoke some Spanish himself stating, “es un placer estar entre amigos,” which translates into English as “it’s a pleasure to be among friends,” which aroused an applause from the audience.
The speech given Friday wasn’t the President’s first foray into speaking Spanish before an audience. Back in 2011, President Obama displayed his linguist skills in español when he was able to pronounce Puerto Rico correctly during his four hour visit to the island. However, “arroz con gandules” was a problem for the budding Spanish speaking president.
As his speech came to a close, President Obama left the audience with a heartfelt message: “Viva Mexico. Viva Los Estados Unidos. Que Diós los bendiga,” which translates into: “Long live Mexico. Long Live the United States. May god bless them.”