What About Us, Mr. President? No Japanese? And We Have Our Troops With You in Iraq. . .


The State Department website is going to “audio stream” tonight’s State of the Union address by President Bush in several languagues.
From a State Department release:

President George W. Bush will deliver the annual State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress, Tuesday, January 31, 2006. The Department of State will provide live audio streams of the State of the Union Address at 9:00 pm EST (0200 GMT) in the following languages:

English, Arabic, Farsi, Bahasa Indonesian, Spanish, French, Russian.

To access these streams, log onto www.state.gov.
At 1:00 am EST (0600 GMT) Wednesday, February 1, audio files of the following languages will also be available:

Portuguese, Swahili and Turkish.

At 12:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Wednesday, February 1, an audio file in Hausa will be available.
Additionally, these audio streams will be available as podcasts on Wednesday, February 1 at 12:00 pm (1700 GMT).

I am actually glad that the State Department is reaching out to people across the English language wall, but there are some obvious missing biggies:

Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Japanese

Asia has some of the densest points of DSL deployment in the world, particularly in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taipei, and Hong Kong.
Many of the targeted language groups have low internet penetration, though some may tune in anyway.
But a question for State, will the rebuttal also be aired?
To show that America has some belief in “the rights of the political minority” not airing the rebuttal would send all the wrong signals.
— Steve Clemons