venus raj’s major, major mistake – not using an interpreter. what did she really mean?
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Question: During the Miss Universe question and answer portion, Raj was asked by American actor William Baldwin about the biggest mistake that she made in her life and what she did to make it right.
She replied, “You know what, sir, in my 22 years of existence, I can say that there’s nothing major major problem that I’ve done in my life because I’m very confident with my family, with the love that they are giving to me. So thank you so much that I’m here. Thank you, thank you so much!”
venus came very close to winning the miss universe3 crown. she was doing very well during the pageant, a crowd favorite and her beauty was exotic and unique among those in the top 5. if she gave a great answer to the question, she could have won the crown.
but she did not. she gave a boring and lame answer to the question, not only did she give a boring and lame answer, she committed a major, major grammatically incorrect answer.
in her answer, the now famous “major, major” line was her thinking in pilipino and directly translating the pilipino words into english unmindful of the grammar.
“major, major” is actually “major-major”, like the way we speak in pilipino when we describe something that is a lot, very much or intense. this is us talking in pilipino like “ang laki-laki”, “ang ganda-ganda” or “ang init-init”. we repeat the adjectives to mean “very much” when we talk instead of saying “napaganda mo”, we say “ang ganda-ganda mo”. they mean the same.
she took those pilipino way of speaking and directly translated it into english words, thus “major-major mistake”, meaning “very major mistake” or “huge mistake”.
venus’ english skills are passable as conversational english in the philippines among filipinos but we think it is not good enough for an international beauty contest such as the one she had.
she should have been more realistic about her englsih skills that she should have used an interpreter instead. there is nothing wrong in using an interpreter in international beauty pageants, many use them . using interpreters removes the weakness of below par english skills and in fact enhances the chances of the candidate as it will be much easier for her to collect her thoughts and be smart in what she says as a reply to the questions.
the grammatical error aside, her answer was lame, almost a none answer. it also shows very weak composition and the idea she was putting across was not anything impressive for a beauty contest like the one she competed in.
actually what she wanted to say was this – “In my young age, I really cannot think of any major mistake that I have committed. I have been very lucky so far, I am here now because of the love and support given to me by my family. That has been so strong that I am here now, competing in this prestigious contest.”
the lesson here is this – let’s be realistic on the english skills of our beauty contestants and use interpreters. with an an interpreter, you immediately remove the possibility of an error in grammar and the candidate just focuses on giving a great answer in terms of content and drama.
no more major-major errors, please – let’s use an interpreter next time.