NYT: Publishing stories in Spanish 'not experimental'

Maynard Institute

Ginger Thompson's April 29 story about a former a drug war informer includes a button marked "Leer en Español". That's not new, Times spokesperson Stephanie Yera tells Poynter: "Stories are published in the Spanish language via The New York Times News Service & Syndicate or translated into Spanish, and translators are credited at the end of our articles," she writes in an email. "This practice is not experimental, and it's something we've also done in Portuguese and Chinese."

"The New York Times has published stories in Spanish on NYTimes.com for some time, either in conjunction with special projects or because it has simply made sense editorially," Yera writes. This past February, Yera notes, another story carrying Thompson's byline was available in Spanish as well.

The presentation of Thompson's article appears to take advantage of the Times' planned redesign of its article pages.

Poynter, I was surprised to learn this morning, published Spanish translations by Paul Mena of some of its articles in 2008 and 2009.

"We didn't do the translations to increase traffic, so I'm not sure how closely we monitored it," former Poynter Online Director Julie Moos wrote in an email. "We did them to serve a particular population that was interested in accessing our coverage."

Other sites sometimes translate Poynter articles into other languages, including Armenian. Poynter's News University offers courses in Russian, Persian, Spanish and soon Arabic.

CNN offers Spanish translations on some articles as well.

Related: Hartford Courant launches new Spanish-language site to replace Google Translate version | How journalists can work well with interpreters during interviews

Correction: An earlier version of this post repeated an assertion from another article that the April 29 story was a "first" for the Times.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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