Maradona Interviews Pelé (POV Maganda)

In “The Story of My Story” series, PRS student journalists share the experiences they have, and the lessons they learn, while creating the stories they publish.


Pelé and Maradona, FIFA Awards, 1987 (AP/ File Images).

The idea for this story began right before winter break, after our Journalism teacher, Kieran Ridge, shared with me the video interview that I translated. Then, during the break, Argentina won the World Cup and Pelé passed away. After realizing that this video interview was only available in Spanish, I thought it would be a good idea to translate it so that anyone could understand.

First, I had to create a transcription of the original Spanish conversation in order to start translating it more easily. This was difficult at times because Maradona would use words that I didn’t know because they were Argentine Spanish, or simply words I wouldn’t normally hear in Spanish conversations. Pelé would use words similar to Maradona’s, but would also sometimes use Portuguese words, or a Portuguese pronunciation of Spanish, which I couldn’t immediately recognize.

Once I had the transcription, I had to figure out which words were the best translation into English, so I could make the translation the most accurate I possibly could. Here, I got the help of two PRS teachers, Mrs. Shrivastava and Mr. Lyman, to help me get a better understanding of this transcription by proofreading it with them. Mrs. Shrivastava is originally from Argentina and Mr. Lyman also lived and worked there for several years. Even with their help, this process was extremely difficult, as we would at times have differing opinions about the translation of certain words or phrases. Ultimately, I had to decide which words would work the best to create an accurate translation that would flow in a natural way. Finally, after revising both the transcription and translation many times, I got the best translation I could do by my publication deadline.

Fact-checking also took up a good amount of time, as I tried to verify the information mentioned, such as the match between Argentina and Brazil at the 1990 World Cup. Additionally, I had to look into the different people that are mentioned in the video, such as the Brazilian player Cláudio Ibrahim Vaz Leal, better known as Branco, and a past president of FIFA, João Havelange. Even after the sixth proofread I continued finding small errors as well as misconceptions that may have changed the meaning of what they were saying. Because I was writing in both English and Spanish, even small edits would become a lot of work. The difference in language can sometimes cause me to change the whole sentence in one language while the original edit was just a word or two in the other language.

Although I have never been too immersed in the world of soccer, the names of Pelé and Maradona were hard to avoid. Soccer has always been an important part of my life, with my dad having been a great goalkeeper in his youth. When I go to Mexico, my fondest memories have always been my time playing soccer with my cousins against other kids in the area. Whether it be on the streets of Monterrey, or the rural town of Tampacán, soccer is a universal language that everyone understands.

To read Erick Maganda’s translation of Maradona’s interview with Pelé, click here.