Beauty queen sparks debate over poor English skills

By Hoang Nguyen, Thanh QueJune 12, 2023 | 12:12 am PT
Beauty pageant contestant Dang Thanh Ngan has caused debates online for her limited English skill at the 2023 Miss Supranational in Poland.

Ngan and other contestants had an online interview with host Ivan Padrez in Supra Chat, an important part of the competition on Sunday.

The two contestants with the best performance will qualify directly for the top 25. The 71 contestants were divided into 10 groups for Supra Chat, with Ngan in the third group.

While contestants in the group from India, Malaysia and Thailand gave confident performances, Ngan couldn’t keep her composure and struggled to complete her self-introduction in English.

When asked what was something she wished she knew five years ago, Ngan had to ask for support from an interpreter and answered in Vietnamese.

"At the moment, I know I’m capable to fulfill my passions and desires. Five years ago, I was not confident enough and no one told me that I had it in me. Now I’m much more mature and sophisticated," Ngan said.

2023 Miss Supranational contestant Dang Thanh Ngan. Photo by Dang Thanh Ngan Facebook

2023 Miss Supranational contestant Dang Thanh Ngan. Photo by Dang Thanh Ngan Facebook

In a question related to body shaming, Ngan continued to answer in Vietnamese. She believes that each person will have a different definition of beauty, so some will have a harsh opinion of others.

Ngan said if the words have good intentions, she will consider them but would not pay attention to negative comments, and focus on improving herself instead.

After watching Ngan’s performance, many viewers were disappointed because of her limited English skill and flawed answers. Some even compared her to Vietnamese contestants at previous Miss Supranational editions.

"I was hoping for an impressive performance, but all I got was a good laugh because of her English speaking," user Ngo Hai commented.

Netizen Minh To said: "It’s clear her English was no good, but her answers in Vietnamese felt like she had memorized answers that she had learned by heart.

Some defended the beauty queen, saying that the viewers needed to mind their words and be less harsh.

"Ngan might not be good at English, but this is a beauty contest, not a debate tournament. The competition has just begun and there are still a lot of chances for Ngan to score," internet user Trang Vo wrote.

Ngan, 23, is from Mekong Delta Province of Soc Trang. She finished as the second runner-up of the 2017 Miss Ocean Vietnam. Ngan said she’s grateful for being chosen to represent Vietnam at the 2023 Miss Supranational and is currently preparing for the final on July 14 in Malopolska, Poland.

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