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Monday, January 30, 2017

Change is Not "Pangyayari" So Should We Blame the Interpreter of Maxine Medina?


Wazzup Pilipinas!

"Pangyayari" is definitely not the accurate translation for "change" but that was the word used by the interpreter when he translated the English word "change" to "pangyayari" instead of "pagbabago."

I would have answered the question "What is the most significant change you have seen in the world in the last 10 years?" more eloquently and substantially with:
"In the last 10 years, the biggest change that happened in our world is social media. We are now always connected, well informed and very much engaged with almost everything happening around the world. Now people can watch us in real time via live-streaming, ....... and able to vote for me as the new #MissUniverse for 2016! Mabuhay!!!"
That is only if I referred to the English question. But the judges were not aware of this particular mistake, and Maxine, though she does understand the English question, had to fall back to the Tagalog translation.

I was in the comforts of my home and not in the shoes of any of the Miss Universe 2016 candidates. There were no audience awaiting my answer. I was enjoying the day watching TV while I live blog using my laptop, while eating fish crackers on the sides. Thus, unlike Maxine, I had time to construct my thoughts into concrete ideas without any worries I would get more bashing afterwards.

To be able to come up with an immediate witty and substantial answer is truly hard when you're the one sweating it out up there on the #MissUniverse stage. The nerve-cracking experience would never fade away no matter how well practiced or researched you are with current events and trends.

Add the sort of failed interpretation of a single word that could have made the difference for her. She could have mentioned "Changed has come, now that Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte is president of the Philippines. with his "War on Drugs" slaughtering all the suspected illegal drug users without due process of law. 

Though Maxine fell short to deliver a significant impact with her answer, it was hardly a surprise based from her previous interviews. Imagine all the stress she also had to go through after all that bashing. She may have felt so heavily burdened with the effort to please all the Filipinos whose eyes and ears were now on her.

But the sad reality is that this shortcoming may have caused her to miss the chance to be on the top three, and even the opportunity to become the new Miss Universe for 2016. Still, we would never know since only the judges could prove us wrong.


Michael Solis Villamor nailed it when he explained what could have caused Miss Philippines Maxine Medina to give a less impressive answer:

"Try to fit into the shoes of Maxine Medina during the Question and Answer portion. She was asked in English, "What is the most significant change you have seen in the world in the last 10 years?" Translated in Filipino by the interpreter (and I quote verbatim), "Ano ang pinakamakabuluhang naganap na pangyayari ang nakita mo sa mundo sa loob ng sampung taon?" 

Maxine was asked in two languages: English and Filipino. What stuck in the consciousness of our bet is the Filipino translation that says "pangyayari" which is event, not "pagbabago" which is change. The latter word carries the weight and spirit of the question. The former is a loose translation of the English question. 

Now, given the pressure of a homecourt crowd and the natural discomforting circumstance on stage, like any stage big or small, Maxine must have veered her thoughts on the Filipino translation and thus answered, “In the last 10 years of being here in the world, I saw all the people bringing in one event like this in Miss Universe. It’s something big to us that we are one. As one nation, we are all together. Thank you. Maraming salamat po." (Direct quote from Rappler). 

As an English language teacher, my humble schooling taught me of elliptical idea in a structured sentence, where you can have personal assumptions of statements in between that are not actually there but are essentially there. Thus, effective communication is still achieved where the message is brought across by the sender to the receiver. 

Maxine answered the translated question. We thought it was lightweight because most of us are schooled in English and took the question on the side favoring our English-sense and the English translation. But, looking into the translated question in Filipino and Maxine's answer, please show some love to Maxine. She answered it; not in the best romantic phrasing but she answered it anyway. 

We would have wanted her to say something about technological breakthroughs in communication like the change brought about by social media, or change in the weather patterns around the world, or sex change that arguably defeats the laws of nature. 

Or...perhaps the most significant change that we have seen in the world in the past 10 years is that we have been slowly hating each other for our difference of opinion thereby changing our values system that essentially defines our changing humanity. 

Let's continue to support Maxine and the future Maxines to show that "we are one, as one nation, we are all together."

There is an advantage in having an interpreter even though we all know that most are already conversant or fluent in English, they still opt to use an interpreter because it gives you a few more seconds delay to think.
Somebody who speaks and understands French said that France's interpreter translated her answers differently. So shouldn't this account for something? She could have said something less meaningful yet her interpreter made her sound a lot better.



But Erwan Heussaff posted his interpretation which led to us to believe France truly deserves winning the Miss Universe crown for giving also a quite intimate answer.

Haiti's answer felt like the most real to me. It was a lot more personal and "deep" compared to the rest. She also didn't use an interpreter to get that message out there.

Regardless of these submitted facts, may they be valid arguments or not, there probably is no more room at this point in time to contest the decision.

I believe everything happens for a reason. If you are not really destined to get something, it won't materialize.

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