Monday, January 5, 2009

Need a translator?

You guys probably are getting annoying of many posts regard of Wang from me. I have to admit I pay extra attention on Wang because of nationality. However, I follow my heart and share my thought regard of any Yankees news on my blog.

There are few more news regard of Wang recently. This just shows how slow this off-season has been. Daily News complain MLB needs to hire translators for foreign major league players. They use Wang as an example.

I find this news is pretty funny for me. Let me explain Wang's case first.

When Wang got to major league in 2005, Yankees front office and Cashman wanted to hire a translator for Wang. Wang appreciated at Yankees' offer, but he hoped he could learn English by himself.

There is another reason for that. Wang said he had a translator when he just arrived US in 2000. He and that translator become very good friend. Once he injured his shoulder in 2001, Yankees fired translator and Wang didn't have one since he came back from that shoulder injury in 2002. Wang said he felt he lost a friend and didn't want to lose another again. That's why he doesn't want a translator. On top of that, He found out he learned more English since 2002 without a translator.

The reasons this news is funny for me is this: Wang doesn't say much in Mandarin as well. Most American reporters assumes there is language barrier resulted in few words from Wang. Wang is a guy doesn't talk too much no matter which language he speaks. His interview is so boring. During his interview, reporters always say more than what Wang says. He also always says "my sinker is good";"my slider is good as well";"I have good defense today" and "I am happy Yankees win". Taiwanese reporters always have to get Wang's teammates or coaches to talk about him in order to fill up news. This is just his personality. A guy speaks few words.

This is just a prime example about different culture. Taiwanese believe "the action speaks louder". We believe talk is cheap. Execution is far more important than talk. On top of that, most Taiwanese don't like to express their opinion or debate with someone. We believe people can know what we think by observation. Language is the last tool we use to communicate with each other.

Because of staying other countries for many years, I am not a typical Taiwanese anymore. However, I have to say this. Wang talks much less than most Taiwanese.


Anonymous said...

I can relate to Wang. I'm just as terse. But I can hit, and run the bases a heck of a lot better! He's got me beat with that sinker though. Not many pitcher's have ever had a 95+ mph power sinker. He throws bowling balls when is on his game. I feel bad for the guy losing a translator like that.. I mean.. couldn't they pick up a phone or something? At least we know Wang is married. I have no idea what he sounds like though.. I doubt he's any sort of go to guy in terms of a good quote, anyway.

Jessica Lee said...

Wang should stay in American League in his whole career. He really doesn't like to hit.

HA!The phone thing you talk about is really funny. Of course, I know Wang always can pick up the phone. As far as I know, Wang keeps in touch with Myers, Bowa, Gator and Torre.

My bad. See. There are some problems of my English. I guess I try to say is Wang's personality. He is a introvert. It's not easy for him to make friends. I know Wang earns a lot of respects within the clubhouse and has very good relationship with everyone. But, it doesn't equal to have a lot of good friends.

Of course, the most important thing is he can learn and practice English.

I am surprised at you don't know his sound. I know we won't get many interviews with him on Yes. In fact, I only remember I saw clips of Wang's interivew few times on yes website.

However, Wang did quite a few interviews in English on WCBS for post-game or pre-game interview. Because the internet in Australia is so expensive, I quite often listen to the game.

Wang actually talks to media after the game every time. Because English is his second language and his quotes are not interesting any way, you guys won't be able to watch the interviews or read his quotes on papers.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that his English isn't the issue so much as his neutrality. The US media is primarily interested in controversy, real or imagined. If there's nothing real and nothing they can take out of context after asking pointed questions, they're certainly not going to waste their time telling you what he actually said about the game.

Jessica Lee said...

Exactly. I totally agree with you.