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Breaking language barriers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HanSenSE, May 7, 2016.

  1. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

  2. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Good story. Good topic. I will say this: It is wrong to quote an athlete verbatim in English if he/she butchers the sentences and language. You either have to clean it up or figure another way to convey his/her message. Sorry, but it is not right to run some quote in broken English. In the linked column, I find it interesting that the first quote is in broken English and the rest of Gomez's quotes are in perfect English. What's up with that?
    You might say, "by God the rules of Journalism are to quote the person's words EXACTLY how he/she said them." That's fine but I'm saying screw the "rules." It's a new era. We should be making our new rules because the people in charge now aren't even fricking journalists. They don't know anything about journalism to begin with. I stand by my statement you can't run an athlete's quotes verbatim if he/she is from another country and it makes them sound foolish.
  3. MNgremlin

    MNgremlin Active Member

    Completely agree. Even if it's not a ESL speaker, I still clean up what they say.
  4. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Active Member

    Wasn't this something Roberto Clemente complained about? Progress.
  5. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    Really difficult issues, since you can clean up the quotes but that brings an ethical dilemma. I would paraphrase and say Gomez acknowledged his struggles and knows the fans are disappointed, or something. Ii don't have a problem cleaning up the quotes but you risk putting words in their mouth.

    Regarding diversity, that's tough too. I went to college from 1993-97, and I don't recall minorities in my classes, and many of the women were PR/Marketing majors. There just doesn't seem to be interest in doing it. I have worked with great minorities and women, but the candidates are amazingly limited. I don't know the answer.
  6. Southwinds

    Southwinds Member

    I don't think it makes anyone come off as less intelligent. Those are the words that spoken. Readers have to infer from the quotes and, probably, the name if someone is not a native speaker of English. Carlos Gomez, Dirk Nowitzki, Alex Ovechkin, Gennady Golovkin, whoever - they're all speaking a language that they're not necessarily comfortable with. Part of that is on the team to diagnose if a player can hold his own. (And, a lot of players, in my experience, want to try.) If they can't get through a sentence, it's one thing to clean it up or paraphrase. If they convey thoughts with 35-second answers that have a little bit of mishmash here or there, so be it.

    To be fair, there are also a lot of native English speakers who speak gobbledygook sentences.
    fossywriter8 likes this.
  7. If you've covered preps, you've probably cleaned up the language of some high school kid, and probably didn't think anything of it. Why should this be any different? I don't see any ethical dilemma in accurately conveying the content without making the person look ignorant.
  8. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    But someone who doesn't speak the language isn't ignorant
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    It brings no ethical dilemma whatsoever. The only choice is whether to be a superior asshat. This guy chose to do so.
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    If the interview were broadcast instead of written in the paper, no one would complain.
    fossywriter8 likes this.
  11. cjericho

    cjericho Well-Known Member

    If it's any athlete in whichever league more than a few seasons, most people know the way he speaks. So if the quotes are cleaned up people probably will read it and think "he didn't say that."
  12. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    I like how Gomez stuck it to the writer on Twitter:
    "next time you want an interview have Google translate on hand.”

    Play ball!
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