Elections

Published by reposted only Date posted on May 2, 2010

Dear Fellow Communicators,

As an observer of language, I came across a very instructive case study recently of how a revealing, off-the-cuff press statement of a presidential candidate, Sen. Benigno Aquino III, was fudged in translation and in paraphrase by certain media outlets that reported it. The concern of Jose Carillo’s English Forum being primarily the use and misuse of language, however, I would neither dwell on the political implications of that statement nor make any psychological inferences from it. My critique will simply focus on the blatant unfaithfulness of the translation from Tagalog to English by two media outlets, and on how another media outlet presented as direct quotes a heavily paraphrased and fudged English translation of Sen. Aquino’s actual statement in Tagalog.

My critique of this unileral fudging of Sen. Aquino’s press statement leads off my special watch of media’s coverage of the national election campaign. I’m doing this instead of my usual media grammar watch from now until the voting on May 10. It will focus on the language used by the election protagonists and by the media outlets themselves in their poll campaign reportage. I believe that this special watch is called for at this time when most Filipinos are now in such a frenzy over the coming elections.

THIS WEEK IN THE FORUM (May 1-7, 2010):

· My Media English Watch: When a Pivotal Idea Gets Lost in Paraphrase and Translation (A case of media’s fudging of a favored candidate’s press statement)

· Essays by Jose Carillo: Use the Reflexive Form When the Object is the Doer Itself (It ensures that a transitive verb’s primary attribute isn’t violated )

·Notable Works By Our Very Own: Accolades for a Filipino Writer’s Brilliant, Award-Winning Novel (Its brilliant concept and stylish execution make it a winner)

·News and Commentary: Are the English-Language Media Actually a  Double-Edged Sword? (Yes, many Asia-Pacific countries find them both bane and boon)

·Readings on Language: What Happens as People Navigate Life With Little or No Recourse to Paper (Their power of contemplation gets rapidly eroded, says author)

·Advice and Dissent: Why It’s Dangerous to Think the Gods of the Top Religions are the Same (They aren’t, and believers must know what to tolerate or respect)

·The Finest in Language Humor: Puns About Education (Sampler -“Old math teachers never die, they just become irrational.”)

·Time Out from Grammar: A New Darwinian Theory of Human Development (Nothing in childhood makes sense except in the light of evolution, says author)

·Pour Out Your Mind in English: Qualities a Great President Must Have (Integrity, wisdom, and determination are musts, says an advocate)

·You Asked Me This Question: Which of This is the Right Usage-“on TV” or “in TV”? (It’s definitely “on TV,” considering that the TV screen is a surface)

·Going Deeper Into English: The Shakespeare Authorship Debate Bubbles to the Surface Again (Sometimes very smart people can say very dumb things, says author)

·Students’ Sounding Board: African Literature in English Class? (Yes, countries other than England have an an outstanding English literature of their own)

·The Lounge: The Pressing Need to Curb Religious Rhetoric That Breeds Fanaticism (History also matters even in matters of faith, says church historian)

·How Good is Your English?: How Criterion-Referenced Tests Can Help Improve Your English (You can work your way up to really great English!)

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