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This thread is resolved. Here is a description of the problem and solution.
Problem: How to change original strings that are hardcoded in the theme or plugin?
Solution: In general those strings will need to be edited inside the template files. WPML does not by default offer an option to change or edit orignal strings, rather than translate them into another language.
Anyhow, there is a workaround: 1) Go to WPML > Languages > Add new language and add a random language.
2) Scroll Down and hide the new language.
3) Go to String Translator and find the string you want to edit the default string.
4) Select it and click on "change selected strings language" and change the language to the new "dummy" language we just added.
5) Now you should be able to see the option to "translate" it in the orginal language.
Relevant Documentation: Relative ticket: https://wpml.org/forums/topic/change-original-string-translation