We had Phillies Spanish-language broadcaster Oscar Budejen on this week’s episode of Crossing Broadcast.

It was a fun discussion on a number of topics, but we really got into some of the aspects of culture and translation how the Phillies’ Latino contingent has meshed with the American guys inside and outside of the clubhouse. How many speak decent English? Do they feel comfortable speaking it? What goes into making a quality translation?

Here’s a portion of the conversation:

Anthony: How many of the Phillies’ Spanish speakers make a real focus to pick up English and learn English? (Garrett) Stubbs was joking with Cristian Pache, saying they call him “gringo” because his English has gotten so good. I know Ranger Suarez understands it a lot, but likes to speak Spanish when he does his interviews, but then there are guys like Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado who prefer to speak English when they’re asked questions. What is that like for them?

Budejen: Those guys are truly hungry and want to continue advancing, and I could put Seranthony #1. I know he’s not pitching very well right now, but (Johan) Rojas and Seranthony are the two hardest working guys in that clubhouse. I’m telling you, I’ve seen it with my own eyes, I know how much they care and how committed they are. You can have a fluid conversation with Seranthony and Rojas in English because they are committed to that. I think Alvarado picks it up from Seranthony and says ‘now look, I know that I have to push myself.’ Ranger is a little cooler and more quiet than some of them. They’re all great dancers by the way, particular Seranthony. Seranthony can dance salsa better than anybody. Ranger can follow not too far behind, and we’ve seen those images of Ranger doing his thing in the clubhouse (laughs). But you have to see Seranthony dancing salsa. I go ‘wow, you’re good kid.’

KK: My experience was in the Union locker room, and we had Spanish speakers but we also had a lot of Portuguese speakers because of the Brazilian guys, some French speakers as well. I think Phillies fans will watch the postgame and see one of the Diegos (Ettedgui last year, D’Aniello this year) translating,  but a lot of the Union guys, we would talk in casual English in the locker room. The difference was that they didn’t feel comfortable doing it on camera, or on the record, like it was one thing to speak it conversationally in one setting, but different to be quoted in a second language.

Budejen: The other thing is that Diego polishes it, right? While they might not have the depth in terms of the vocabulary, Diego would go in and position it himself so they can come out (sounding) good. I remember hearing some of the Spanish speaking guys talking, and what’s being conveyed in English, not necessarily in Philly, but conveyed in English, and I’m saying ‘wow,’ like maybe he said ‘I did not have my best outing, but I tried my best,’ he did not say say he tried his best. (laughs)

ASF: And if I could on this, the new Diego, Diego D’Aniello, what he does is unique, he stands there, he has his phone out and he’s transcribing bulletpoints of what the athlete is saying, and he’s transcribing it in English on his phone, so that way he can reference what was just said in that answer, but he can say it in a way where he’s able to clean it up and say it in a way that makes a lot more sense.

Budejen: It’s not easy, but it’s something where you grasp the idea and then try to convey it so it sounds the best way possible. That’s the whole idea. But both Diegos, we’re lucky to have both of the Diegos we’ve had here. Diego Ettedgui was an unbelievable human being. He was a dear friend to all of the Hispanic players. And let me tell you, it’s not easy. You have somebody like Yunior Marte, for example, last year it’s the first time he’s in an MLB club house and it’s not easy (to adjust). And one of the things I’ve noticed about this clubhouse, compared to others, is that there’s an inclusion, right? You can hear the Latinos playing their music and then some of the American guys like Stubbs, or Stott, or Bohm playing to the music with them. And Marsh, we know who Marsh is, a party man. They all come together and they’re all one big family. You sense it. But without a doubt, the Spanish guys are the ones making the loudest noises in the press conferences and whenever you do it. You hear the whole thing. It’s great, and the whole concept of family in the Latin world and Hispanic world is very important. A lot of those players feel like they’re family. I feel like I’m family to a lot of them and that I’ve got to take care of them and do the right thing. When they make a mistake, I have to say it, and that’s my responsibility, but I try to help them any way I can from my end.

It was a good talk. Here’s the full link to the show: