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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Letter from the editor

Lea esta carta en español


Dear readers,


I’ve always loved the idea of speaking another language — learning the nuance and subtlety of different words and recognizing how language can change the way we think and see the world. 

I began my study of Spanish as a freshman in high school, which, if you ask any language expert, is a bit late to become fluent. However, I’ve continued to seek out opportunities to practice the language over the past eight years, from studying abroad in Spain to minoring in Spanish here at UC Davis. While I am still not a fluent speaker and am always looking for ways to improve, I have finally reached a point where I can read, speak and listen to others in Spanish, and I have come to appreciate what a beautiful language it is. 

As editor-in-chief of The Aggie this year, one of my primary goals was to do more than maintain regular operations and contribute something new to the paper that would, hopefully, last for years to come. It seemed only natural to me to combine my love for language with my passion for journalism. And thus, the idea to translate articles into Spanish was born. 

Each week, The Aggie will publish a translation of an important news or features article on our website at theaggie.org/category/espanol/. Articles currently available include a city news piece on the Davis community expressing support for transgender children after a local author event and a features article on the campus initiative Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer which fosters Chicanx/Latinx community empowerment through artistic expression. 

Beyond my personal interest in the link between studying languages and journalism, providing translations of articles into Spanish, to me, seems somewhat logical. UC Davis is an incredibly diverse campus; in 2021, it was ranked highest in inclusiveness, diversity and internationalization among U.S. universities. Further, among the undergraduate population alone, 24% of students identify as Hispanic/Latinx as of 2021. In a community with such a large population of individuals who may be Spanish speakers, and given my experience with the language, it seemed natural that we should begin translating articles into Spanish. These articles will allow The Aggie to widen our audience to those who may prefer to read articles in Spanish or those who have stronger language skills in Spanish than English.

The Aggie is also not the first to publish articles in Spanish. CalMatters, a publication focusing on California politics and policy, offers translations into Spanish for many of their important news pieces. UC Berkeley’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Californian, also recently came out with a Latine/Hispanic Heritage Month issue with one article written in Spanish. We are, to my knowledge, however, the first UC student-run publication to offer article translations in the language.

I am so excited to continue to work on this project, and I would like to specifically thank José Hernandez, César Hoyos Álvarez and Agustina Carando, who have made this possible. Additionally, as I will only be serving as editor-in-chief until June, I plan to introduce the position of “Translation Director” to our managing staff next year to ensure that this project continues. 

If you are a Spanish speaker hoping to read more about local news and campus developments in Spanish, I encourage you to check out the articles available. I hope they bring you as much joy to read as they did for me to edit. 



Sophie Dewees



If you are interested in translating articles into Spanish, please contact me at editor@theaggie.org.