Interpreter Accountability: How Do Interpreters’ Choices Impact Consumers?   Leave a comment

Many new and experienced sign language interpreters are challenged daily when faced with interpreting for a Deaf, deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/d/HH) consumer. This workshop looks at the power that we, as interpreters, hold and the impact we have on those D/d/HH consumers lives based on our ability to accurately interpret for them. Interpreters will always strive to do their best; which, as humans, is all we can do. None-the-less, sometimes our best does not do justice for the consumers involved. This workshop will analyze ways to best handle challenging ASL (American Sign Language) to English interpreting situations to enable the consumers to have the most dynamic equivalent situation possible. We will evaluate techniques for utilizing “normal” pauses, clarification, hedging, etcetera in order to facilitate communication in a smooth manner. Additionally, we will discuss Deborah Tannen’s research regarding communication and how it relates to ASL to English interpreting.

Sign language interpreters are often faced with the challenge of interpreting for consumers they have never met. Interpreters are regularly required to provide ASL to English interpreting with little or no preparation work. This is true for most video relay & medical interpreting and often true for educational & other community interpreting settings. Being ill prepared and without topic information might cause us to worry before we even begin interpreting. When a consumer appears on a VRS screen, for example, interpreters have no idea what the topic, register, or tone of the call will be until they have already started their interpretation. To provide a dynamically equivalent interpretation in this situation may be extremely difficult. During the workshop we will discuss strategies for interpreting when the topic, register, and tone are initially unknown.

In this workshop participants will learn strategies for providing ASL to English interpreting to the best of their ability. The goal is to provide consumers with dynamic equivalent interpreting. If D/d/HH consumers are experts in their field and we are interpreting for them we must do all we can to ensure they sound that way. Different areas of interpreting will be explored with a focus on positive results in the ASL to English interpreting process. We will specifically examine this process in relation to community work, VRS, educational, and medical settings. Dynamic equivalence, clarifying techniques, gender influences and powerless language will be defined and examples will be provided. This workshop will assist and challenge interpreters to reach the next level of their ASL to English interpreting.

Posted March 17, 2011 by admin

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