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Language leaves justice tongue-tied
AP ^ | February 13, 2010

Posted on 02/13/2010 11:54:54 AM PST by ConservativeStatement

TAMPA, Fla. — He was 28. She was 11. Her parents said they gave consent, claiming cultural norms of the Guatemalan highlands. But in Dover, Florida, a little girl with a baby raises questions.

When deputies came, Teodoro Pablo-Ramirez understood only some of what they said, according to his lawyer. He speaks no English and little Spanish — just the Mayan tongue of Mam.

The indigenous language, understood by few interpreters, has stymied court cases across the country. One interpreting service in Washington resorted to recruiting a Mam speaker out of a jail lobby.

In Hillsborough Circuit Court, two cases, both too serious to dismiss, are stalled for lack of a Mam translator. In one, a 4-year-old Wimauma girl was raped. The details are locked inside her mother, who speaks only Mam. And last year, Pablo-Ramirez was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, before the judge granted a motion for retrial.

The court could provide only Spanish interpreters.

In Spanish, the word "trial" is juicio.

In Mam:

Tun txi jun xjal twitz aj kawil.

(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: courts; immigration; justice; language; latinos; law; mayan; multiculturalism; pabloramirez; thatshowwerollhombre; thumbsuckers

1 posted on 02/13/2010 11:54:55 AM PST by ConservativeStatement
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To: ConservativeStatement

Wonder if they understood enough English to apply for welfare bennies.


2 posted on 02/13/2010 11:59:51 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: ConservativeStatement

obviously illegally in the US


3 posted on 02/13/2010 12:00:44 PM PST by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

All cultures are equal, no culture is inherently wrong, blah, blah, blah.......


4 posted on 02/13/2010 12:02:43 PM PST by FreeperinRATcage (I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for every thing I do. - R. A. Heinlein)
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To: ConservativeStatement

What the hell are they doing here. What possible contribution to our society might they make? It is high time that we take a more ...selective... approach to who we let visit this country, reside in this country, emigrate to this country. A plain-faced cost/benefit analysis, applied to the individual, is entirely within the realm of reasonableness.


5 posted on 02/13/2010 12:05:12 PM PST by RightOnTheLeftCoast (Obama: running for re-election in '12 or running for Mahdi now? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi])
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To: martin_fierro
"Wonder if they understood enough English to apply for welfare bennies."

ACORN will do that for people like them. I am not kidding.
6 posted on 02/13/2010 12:06:18 PM PST by RightOnTheLeftCoast (Obama: running for re-election in '12 or running for Mahdi now? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi])
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To: ConservativeStatement

One of the few types of government interference in citizens’ lives that I could support is making it mandatory to know English well enough to conduct all your legal affairs in it. You can’t really know what the Constitution says, or what any of our laws are, if you can only access tehm second-hand, via translation. And some of these people with obscure languages can’t even do that because they don’t know anyone who can translate from their language into English. Lock them up with a combination of hard labor and mandatory English lessons until their English makes them fit for trial. The 4-year-old’s mother too, even though she’s supposedly just a witness — we have no way of knowing that unless she can talk to us, and we know she didn’t protect her daughter. How the eff was she going to call 911 or even yell out the door to neighbors for help, when somebody’s in the act of raping her preschooler, if she can’t speak anything but “Mam”?

The only way anyone should be allowed to enter or stay in this country if they can’t communicate in English, is if they’re legally classified as mentally incompetent and have an English-speaking legal guardian who’s living here legally and is fully responsible for them.


7 posted on 02/13/2010 12:09:43 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: martin_fierro

I’m sure they understood they could go to the hospital emergency room and get free treatment.


8 posted on 02/13/2010 12:10:19 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

Yep, even if ACORN can’t understand them either. Because ACORN doesn’t care if they’re actually eligible or not. Just make up stuff to make the form show they’re eligible.


9 posted on 02/13/2010 12:11:24 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: elpadre
"obviously illegally in the US"

Yes. From the article: "The man from the western highlands of Guatemala, who has only a first-grade education, had entered the United States illegally a few years earlier..."
10 posted on 02/13/2010 12:11:52 PM PST by RightOnTheLeftCoast (Obama: running for re-election in '12 or running for Mahdi now? [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi])
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To: ConservativeStatement

In the second case, the government’s “expert witness” looks like a goof ball.


11 posted on 02/13/2010 12:23:02 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: ConservativeStatement

Performing the rape Americans won’t perform and speaking the jive Americans won’t speak.


12 posted on 02/13/2010 12:39:22 PM PST by JRios1968 (The real first rule of Fight Club: don't invite Chuck Norris...EVER)
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

You do realize that we already have those regulations, right? This Ivy Leaguer skipped the border between checkpoints, like 99% of all illegals. The other 1% overstayed their visas.


13 posted on 02/13/2010 12:42:52 PM PST by TypeZoNegative (Pro life & Vegan because I respect all life, Republican because our enemies don't respect ours.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

We are getting a lot of this language and cultural differences as excuses for committing crimes also here in California:

This is from Greenfield California in the Salinas Valley

Greenfield Father Awaits Deportation After “Selling Daughter for Beer”
Posted: Jan 13, 2009 5:36 PM PST Updated: Nov 02, 2009 3:37 PM PST

GREENFIELD, Calif. - On Tuesday, new information became available regarding a case involving a Greenfield father, 36-year-old Marcelino de Jesus Martinez after he allegedly sold his 14-year-old daughter for marriage.

Despite rumors of arranged marriages occuring on the Central Coast, police in Greenfield say a case hasn’t reached this level in at least six years.

The payment plan included $16,000, 150 cases of beer, 100 cases of soda, 50 cases of soda, 6 cases of meat, and 2 cases of wine.

Police on Tuesday confirm the grocery items were not for the father’s personal use, but for a marriage celebration.

They also say both Margarito de Jesus Galindo and Marcelino de Jesus Martinez are possibly cousins and were neighbors in the same apartment complex. Police Chief Joe Grebmeier also confirms both mean are not legal citizens and says DHS and ICE are involved in the case.

Grebmeier says Martinez will eventually be deported back to Mexico, and assumes the same for Galindo.

As reported on Monday, the 14-year-old girl is back at home in Greenfield. Police cannot confirm if the girl has a mother locally, but say Child Protective Services were in Greenfield on Tuesday visiting with the girl. There were no details on the outcome of that meeting.

While enforcing the law, Greenfield Police say the situation is “cultural clash.” Both Martinez and Galindo are some the Western Mexican state of Qaxaca, where arrainged marriages are common and legal.

Martinez remains in Monterey County Jail on felony charges until his deportation.


14 posted on 02/13/2010 12:50:49 PM PST by artichokegrower
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To: GovernmentShrinker

“One of the few types of government interference in citizens’ lives that I could support is making it mandatory to know English well enough to conduct all your legal affairs in it. You can’t really know what the Constitution says, or what any of our laws are, if you can only access tehm second-hand, via translation. And some of these people with obscure languages can’t even do that because they don’t know anyone who can translate from their language into English.”

I agree, and that’s the way it was 100 years ago, but today political correctness ha taken over and there is no more intense societal pressure to learn the English language, as there was back then.


15 posted on 02/13/2010 12:59:05 PM PST by Frank_2001
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To: artichokegrower

“until his deportation”

Love to see those words, something we should do to the resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


16 posted on 02/13/2010 12:59:42 PM PST by bjorn14 (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil. Isaiah 5:20)
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To: ConservativeStatement
Tun txi jun xjal twitz aj kawil.

This story is BS. Number one, the sentence above is just about unpronounceable by the human tongue.

Second of all, ancient South and Central Amnerican languages are amongst the most studied in the world. I have at least 3 books on them somewhere.

17 posted on 02/13/2010 1:02:57 PM PST by CaptRon
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

If ACORN can understand a language only “a few people” this article is definite BS.


18 posted on 02/13/2010 1:04:36 PM PST by CaptRon
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To: CaptRon

SB “a few people” know...


19 posted on 02/13/2010 1:06:22 PM PST by CaptRon
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To: CaptRon

Tun txi jun xjal twitz aj kawil.

Translation: Where’s my Medicaid, Section 8, Food Stamps, and AFDC? Not so difficult.


20 posted on 02/13/2010 1:12:22 PM PST by artichokegrower
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To: artichokegrower

Yea, it’s all cultural. But we need to set up some rules for immigrants:

Dear Immigrants,

Welcome to the United States. We acknowledge that this is the land of opportunity, and you are here for the American Dream. However, there are a few dreams that we here in America find downright reprehensible, and if you’re idea of the American Dream includes any of these things, then perhaps you would like to return to your country of origin. A few Rules of the Road for successful living in America.

1. We eat with either the right OR the left hands, depending on which hand God made dominant. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DO WE WIPE WITH THE LEFT HAND. Please use toilet paper for that.

2. Not withstanding Rule #1, when we eat, we use silverware, unless it’s fast food. Do likewise.

3. In the United States, we only have one wife at a time. Believe us, one’s plenty.

4. Slavery ended her over 150 years ago. Any variants, including child slavery, female trafficking, or child brides have no place here. They have no place in any other country, but the difference is that in the United States, we have the rule of law to end this stuff.

5. Children are gifts of God, not cheap labor. Only have as many as YOU can support. OK, so Hillary wrote “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”, but the US Taxpayers are a bit tired of paying for so many villagers.

6. The best way to learn about the opportunities in America, learn English. It is the language of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Learn them. It’s why there is an American Dream in the first place. Ever heard of the Guatamalan Dream or the Palestinian Dream? Neither have we.

7. The best way to achieve the American Dream? Work hard and pay your taxes......Then vote for the people that will keep the taxes as low as possible.

8. We operate under the Rule of Law. Learn it and live it.

9. Despite what many politicians want you to believe, the playing field was never level. No poor person ever got rich by penalizing the rich. The poor get rich by learning from the rich and emulating them. Don’t vote for politicians that tell you otherwise.

10. There is actually one place where the level field is level. It’s called the Christian church. Yea, that’s right, the one where they worship Jesus as their Redeemer. Check it out sometimes. You may find more Hope there than in some place that offers Jihad as the answer.

Welcome to America. Please follow the rules.


21 posted on 02/13/2010 1:20:42 PM PST by Sir Clancelot
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To: artichokegrower

Well. since you put it THAT way...


22 posted on 02/13/2010 1:28:48 PM PST by CaptRon
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To: ConservativeStatement

Additional tiles in the rich mosaic that is cultural diversity ,,,


23 posted on 02/13/2010 1:28:57 PM PST by MrBambaLaMamba ("Cadillac" Insurance Plans are racist)
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To: ConservativeStatement

THEY SHOULD NOT BE HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!


24 posted on 02/13/2010 1:37:18 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: elpadre
Not all Mayan-language speakers are here in the US illegally--I know two who are not (one who is married to an American and is perhaps a US citizen herself by now), the other a Catholic priest who has proper documents to be in the US. They are from Chiapas, Mexico, and speak Spanish as their second language and English as their third.

One problem is that there are several Mayan languages--so even if they find a qualified interpreter, he might not speak the right language.

25 posted on 02/13/2010 1:59:49 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: RightOnTheLeftCoast

What the hell are they doing here. What possible contribution to our society might they make?

If they could earn English it sounds like they could find work as a translator.


26 posted on 02/13/2010 3:26:52 PM PST by proudpapa (Obama - Worst One Ever!)
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To: Verginius Rufus

Thank you for the treatise on the Mayan language. Maybe this man should have said where whatever variety of it is spoken instead of my tax dollars having to pay for him to be understood.


27 posted on 02/13/2010 5:10:44 PM PST by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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