Tamar's Workshop and Presentation Offerings

Interpreter Accountability: How Do Interpreters’ Choices Impact Consumers?   

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.

Medical Interpreting: A Hands On Approach  

During this workshop, participants will learn about interpreting in the medical field (doctor’s offices and emergency rooms) using a “Hands On Approach.” The first step will be to analyze what needs to happen “Before your hands are up.” This includes:

• Defining and demonstrating qualities such as diplomacy.

• Understanding boundaries and customer service.

• Having compassion.

• Remaining professional.

• Etcetera.

Next we will discuss the numerous “Things to process” before, during and after medical interpreting. Some examples of “Things to process” are:

• The desired outcomes (i.e. Patients want to feel listened to, understood and feel better quickly.)

• Emotional/physical requirements of a medical interpreter (i.e. Do you get queasy and/or faint at the sight of blood?)

• The challenges of medical interpreting (i.e. Interpreting names of medications and illnesses.)

• Preparation (i.e. Researching/brainstorming what may be discussed for specific appointments.).

This workshop will conclude with roll-plays where participants walk into a doctor’s office as the interpreter interactively practicing the skills used from the introduction to the receptionist at the front desk to leaving the office when the appointment has been completed. A basic script will be used with a “receptionist,” “patient,” and “doctor” addressing problems and questions that arise while in medical interpreting situations. Workshop participants will interpret the interaction and at the conclusion will practice exiting in a respectful and professional manner.

Omissions: Good, Bad, or Both?  

This workshop will explain and lead analysis of the five different types of omissions that Jemina Napier researched examining Auslan Interpreters’ work. This includes looking at how the subject matter may effect how omissions are made or used. It is an undeniable fact that omissions occur. Having these categories of omissions allows interpreters to learn to manage which types of omissions occur with a goal of having less unconscious omissions (when meaning is lost) and correctly utilize strategic conscious omissions (when interpretation is enhanced). Each of these types of omissions will be explained in full with examples provided:

• Conscious Strategic Omissions

• Conscious Intentional Omissions

• Conscious Unintentional Omissions

• Conscious Receptive Omissions

• Unconscious Omissions

We examine the implication of Napier’s study on our work and our preparation for interpreting assignments.

Processing Time and Its Effects on Errors in Simultaneous Interpreting  

Participants will examine what processing time is in relation to interpreting, how comprehension, interpreter styles, interpreter approaches and other factors may impact processing time which impacts the dynamics of the interpreting situation. Participants will also gain insight from group discussions regarding research by Gile, Barik, Cokley, and Napier about what types of errors or miscues may occur due to processing time.

There will be specific dialogue related to processing time and interactive discourse. We will exchange ideas related to how processing time, dynamic equivalence and interactive discourse are all intertwined in the interpreting process. Lastly, participants will gain knowledge of the implication, for interpreters and/or interpreter educators, of processing time and its effect on errors in simultaneous interpretations. This will include questioning how to best learn and teach self-correction, utilizing team interpreters and more.