CityNews Nigeria reports that Dr. Jill Biden’s speech in Delano, California, got attention on social media Wednesday after the first lady reportedly mispronounced a phrase in Spanish.

Together with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Biden spoke to farmworkers on the grounds of The Forty Acres monument on the birthday of César Chavez. Aside from honoring the memory of the civil rights and labor leader, the first lady also highlighted the contributions of frontline workers and stressed the importance of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, USA Today reported.

However, what caught the eye of a number of social media users was Biden’s pronunciation of the words “¡Si Se Puede!,” which translates to “yes we can.” The phrase was used as a motto by Chavez and his United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta in the 1970s.

The FLOTUS pronounced the phrase correctly on separate occasions during her speech, Fox News noted. However, Biden still drew criticism on Twitter for her allegedly wrong pronunciation of the words in some instances, with some mocking her botched attempt at speaking Spanish.

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“Seriously, Jill; do us all a favor and don’t attempt things waaay beyond you’re ability: like 8th grade Spanish. Too embarrassing for everyone,” one tweeted.

“@PressSec sise pwodway? get Jill Biden help on her Spanish. that was downright embarrassing,” a second netizen added.

However, many Twitter users also defended Biden, with some saying her mistake wasn’t really a big deal while others showered her with love and support.

“After a First Lady that glared, squinted, dismissed & complained while mispronouncing words in English and a man that couldn’t pronounce common words in English & called Yosemite ‘Yo-semite’, Jill mispronouncing sí se puede isn’t that big of a deal,” one commented.

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“its a hilariously big deal and I’m gonna be laughing at it for a while,” a third user added.

“I love our First Lady Dr. Jill Biden!  So very much!” a second person wrote.

Wrote another, “Thank you beautiful First Lady Dr Jill Biden America loves you. I am Australian and I love you and truly look up to you!”

“We love and respect our First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. She loves her husband, no Oppurtunist there,” another wrote.

 

KEY POINTS

  • Jill Biden drew criticism online after mispronouncing the Spanish phrase “¡Si Se Puede!”
  • This was the motto of the United Farm Workers of America, which was co-founded by César Chávez
  • Other Twitter users defended the first lady from those mocking her pronunciation
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