AllDeaf.com
Mobile - Perks - Advertise - Spy - Who Quoted Me  
Go Back   AllDeaf.com > Deaf Interests > Captioning & Sign Language Interpreter
LIKE AllDeaf on Facebook FOLLOW AllDeaf on Twitter
Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 05-29-2006, 03:07 AM   #31 (permalink)
Registered User
 
me_punctured's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 363
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnulinuxman
My fiancee and I would put it this way: Many hearing people who grew up speaking English don't speak it very well. The same often happens with CODAs--just because you grew up with ASL doesn't mean you're better at it than someone who learned after growing up. Same goes with any other language.
To which form of English are you referring? If a hearing person grew up speaking African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) primarily, would you judge that person to be lacking proficency in English?
me_punctured is offline   Reply With Quote
Alt Today
All Deaf

Beitrag Sponsored Links

__________________
This advertising will not be shown in this way to registered members.
Register your free account today and become a member on AllDeaf.com
   
Unread 05-29-2006, 03:18 AM   #32 (permalink)
Registered User
 
me_punctured's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 363
Interpretrator,

Thank you for your articulate responses! I expected this thread to die out and remain dead for good, because the moment I posted my inquiry, I realized that I was inviting people to open a can of worms. But you answered my question beautifully, no blemishes and no stains attached.

You brought up a fundamental point: native or native-like proficiency in a language does not automatically qualify a person to be a competent interpretator. Recently, in another forum, I came across a group discussion about the number of professional translators with bi/multilingual backgrounds working for the United Nations. It turns out that there are quite at least a few excellent translators who grew up monolingual.

me_punctured
me_punctured is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-29-2006, 11:51 AM   #33 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Etoile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by me_punctured
To which form of English are you referring? If a hearing person grew up speaking African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) primarily, would you judge that person to be lacking proficency in English?
I'm not familiar with that term; I assume it refers to what is commonly called "ebonics." Personally, I would judge that person's English proficiency skills based on their writing. If they wrote in AAVE, then yes, I would say they lack proficiency in English. If they spoke AAVE but wrote proper English, then I would say they had English proficiency.
Etoile is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-29-2006, 12:08 PM   #34 (permalink)
vrsterp
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etoile
I'm not familiar with that term; I assume it refers to what is commonly called "ebonics." Personally, I would judge that person's English proficiency skills based on their writing. If they wrote in AAVE, then yes, I would say they lack proficiency in English. If they spoke AAVE but wrote proper English, then I would say they had English proficiency.

I agree. Although I think there's something to be said for people who purposely speak in ebonics. And i think calling it AAVE is silly, considering most of them have never even visted africa, much less come from africa. They are american. If i'm "white" and not "european/caucasian", then they're black. And "black" isn't a language.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 05-29-2006, 01:08 PM   #35 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etoile
If they wrote in AAVE, then yes, I would say they lack proficiency in English. If they spoke AAVE but wrote proper English, then I would say they had English proficiency.
In the world of applied linguistics I think you'd say something like "written proficiency in standard American English." The term "proficient" has about 300 different shades of meaning depending on which researcher you read; in fact you see a lot of research papers that have to take a moment and define their construct of proficiency before anything else.

How do you know the person writing in Ebonics/AAVE doesn't actually have procedural knowledge of how to write in perfect standard American English, but chooses not to? I'm not arguing with you at all because I get your point; I'm just playing devil's advocate. I think it's almost impossible to generalize because there are so many factors (cultural, political, affective) that affect language use.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2006, 12:33 AM   #36 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpretrator
How do you know the person writing in Ebonics/AAVE doesn't actually have procedural knowledge of how to write in perfect standard American English, but chooses not to? I'm not arguing with you at all because I get your point; I'm just playing devil's advocate. I think it's almost impossible to generalize because there are so many factors (cultural, political, affective) that affect language use.
My father used to be an ESL teacher (foreign students) and so we talked a lot about the latest ideas in TESL (teaching ESL). I'm not sure when this happened exactly, but a few decades ago, it was the hot new idea that maybe teachers in inner city schools would reach more students if they used Ebonics when appropriate. I'm not sure how much of that was actually fluency based (i.e., determined by the level of fluency in standard English of the students) and how much was cultural (using the vernacular allowing teachers to present themselves as something besides the Other).

As with anything, I think context is important; you wouldn't interpret for the UN in AAVE, but you might do so if you're in Cabrini Green. Similarly, with manual languages, PSE may be considered "sloppier" or "not Deaf enough" compared with ASL or SEE by some (note: I'm not saying that it is, just that some claim that), but the client's ability to use the language is the key.

I think this question of CODAs is something different, though. As an interpreter, you need a firm grasp of the language; you don't necessarily have the luxury of choosing not to express an idea, or express it differently, because you don't have the words. Similarly, you are going to be in situations that push you outside of your comfort zone - outside of the things you talk about at home. So while you may be fluent in the sense that you can express yourself, that is entirely different than being able to express someone else's ideas exactly, on the fly, in both directions, and simultaneously cover any cultural gaps or differences in expectation that may arise. And that's leaving aside things like professionalism and ethics ...
ismi is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2006, 01:47 AM   #37 (permalink)
vrsterp
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by ismi
My father used to be an ESL teacher (foreign students) and so we talked a lot about the latest ideas in TESL (teaching ESL). I'm not sure when this happened exactly, but a few decades ago, it was the hot new idea that maybe teachers in inner city schools would reach more students if they used Ebonics when appropriate. I'm not sure how much of that was actually fluency based (i.e., determined by the level of fluency in standard English of the students) and how much was cultural (using the vernacular allowing teachers to present themselves as something besides the Other).

As with anything, I think context is important; you wouldn't interpret for the UN in AAVE, but you might do so if you're in Cabrini Green. Similarly, with manual languages, PSE may be considered "sloppier" or "not Deaf enough" compared with ASL or SEE by some (note: I'm not saying that it is, just that some claim that), but the client's ability to use the language is the key.

I think this question of CODAs is something different, though. As an interpreter, you need a firm grasp of the language; you don't necessarily have the luxury of choosing not to express an idea, or express it differently, because you don't have the words. Similarly, you are going to be in situations that push you outside of your comfort zone - outside of the things you talk about at home. So while you may be fluent in the sense that you can express yourself, that is entirely different than being able to express someone else's ideas exactly, on the fly, in both directions, and simultaneously cover any cultural gaps or differences in expectation that may arise. And that's leaving aside things like professionalism and ethics ...

I agree that there's more to interpreting than just being able to sign. You need to be able to have a relatively high grasp on BOTH languages.
A lot of people don't understand that. I've always heard "You'd be great." "you'll do fine, you've been signing all your life.." and it's SO much more than that.

I also think (and this is just my 2 cents) that the ultimate interpreter is usually the coda with the education. Although I think everyone is out of their element at some time or another. Put me in a conversation about religion or sports and my interpreting skills would shame my family.

ETA: I heard an odd one today. A coda I know told me she thinks Jehovah's Witnesses make the best interpreters.
  Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2006, 02:29 AM   #38 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by ismi
I'm not sure when this happened exactly, but a few decades ago, it was the hot new idea that maybe teachers in inner city schools would reach more students if they used Ebonics when appropriate.
Yep, I absolutely remember that. It's important to know (as I'm sure you do) that Ebonics has been shown to be a true dialect and not just "sloppy English." I'm not sure that's necessarily a justification for teaching it, though, or using it to teach. (I never did make up my mind about that whole debate.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ismi
As with anything, I think context is important; you wouldn't interpret for the UN in AAVE, but you might do so if you're in Cabrini Green.
Right, or I know a VRS terp who has fielded calls from people using regional black sign slang (I have no idea what the proper term for it is) and she ended up interpreting into what I guess was a sort of adapted Ebonics. Context is definitely the point. You wouldn't voice interpret for, say, an older white Deaf woman into Ebonics even if that is your native dialect.

It bothers me when I hear a strong mismatch in register between the signing and the voice interpreting and I think it's because we non-CODA interpreters get a LOT of training in voice-to-sign but there's a slight assumption that because English is our native language, we will automatically pick the right tone and register while voicing. As you say, ismi, I would guess this would apply for CODA interpreters when they're doing voice-to-sign as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vrsterp
A coda I know told me she thinks Jehovah's Witnesses make the best interpreters.
Was she a Jehovah's Witness herself? If not...what was she basing that on??
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2006, 02:30 AM   #39 (permalink)
vrsterp
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpretrator
Yep, I absolutely remember that. It's important to know (as I'm sure you do) that Ebonics has been shown to be a true dialect and not just "sloppy English." I'm not sure that's necessarily a justification for teaching it, though, or using it to teach. (I never did make up my mind about that whole debate.)



Right, or I know a VRS terp who has fielded calls from people using regional black sign slang (I have no idea what the proper term for it is) and she ended up interpreting into what I guess was a sort of adapted Ebonics. Context is definitely the point. You wouldn't voice interpret for, say, an older white Deaf woman into Ebonics even if that is your native dialect.

It bothers me when I hear a strong mismatch in register between the signing and the voice interpreting and I think it's because we non-CODA interpreters get a LOT of training in voice-to-sign but there's a slight assumption that because English is our native language, we will automatically pick the right tone and register while voicing. As you say, ismi, I would guess this would apply for CODA interpreters when they're doing voice-to-sign as well.



Was she a Jehovah's Witness herself? If not...what was she basing that on??

No, she isn't. She just said "I don't know what it is. They're just amazing.."
  Reply With Quote
Unread 05-30-2006, 01:13 PM   #40 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by vrsterp
No, she isn't. She just said "I don't know what it is. They're just amazing.."
Huh. Maybe it's just a case of hasty generalization, the inductive fallacy where you see a few examples of something and you assume it's the case all over. Like she saw a few really great JW terps and decided that all JW terps are great.

Or search this board for any number of other delightful examples.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-22-2006, 02:21 AM   #41 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Wow this is old thread. But I couldn't resist. The reason why Jehovah Witnesses make excellent terps, is two things. We have excellent ASL dvd's signed by proficient uptodate terps and a few are coda's. So JW's learn from the dvd's. The organization that produces these dvd's are pioneers in several language fields. Everything they do they do with the desire to help people of all languages learn about the wonderful hope for the future under God's Kingdom. In order to do this, they must research and be involved in the deaf community. They take this very seriously. They don't believe in doing anything haphazardly. Love em or hate em, the truth is, they are very proficient and most of all they love all people including deaf and want to serve them well so that is why. They love the deaf and sincerely want to help them so communicating in their language ASL is very important.
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-22-2006, 03:45 AM   #42 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
ALL good interpreters take their involvement with the deaf community seriously, and excellent DVDs are available to ALL interpreters, regardless of religion or any other identifying trait.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-22-2006, 04:59 AM   #43 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpretrator View Post
ALL good interpreters take their involvement with the deaf community seriously, and excellent DVDs are available to ALL interpreters, regardless of religion or any other identifying trait.
Please don't misunderstand me. I am not personally saying we are the best. Someone else stated that and someone else was wondering why. I am merely expressing how much time and effort is put in to helping the deaf and as a result many jw's have learned asl proficiently. I am not saying we are the best but we are among the best due to the dedication of it. Religion wasn't my issue it just happens that we are a religion. We learn top quality asl that is uptodate and we care that is all. There was a reason why we were mentioned and I wanted to answer that. Of course there are other dvd's and that all good terps are serious. And when I say we, I should say they as I am not an interpreter yet just a jw learning asl to help the deaf. robbielyn
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-22-2006, 03:42 PM   #44 (permalink)
Retired Terp
 
Reba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 45,833
Let's not forget that there's more to interpreting than just fluent ASL skills, knowledge of Deaf culture, and involvement with the Deaf community.

Adhering to an ethical code of interpreter practice is extremely important. Interpreting the message without injecting personal opinion or bias is critical, as is respecting confidentiality.

Knowing and observing the difference between interpreter duty time, and signing advisor/friend time.
Reba is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-23-2006, 07:53 AM   #45 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Etoile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
Please don't misunderstand me. I am not personally saying we are the best. Someone else stated that and someone else was wondering why. I am merely expressing how much time and effort is put in to helping the deaf and as a result many jw's have learned asl proficiently. I am not saying we are the best but we are among the best due to the dedication of it. Religion wasn't my issue it just happens that we are a religion. We learn top quality asl that is uptodate and we care that is all. There was a reason why we were mentioned and I wanted to answer that. Of course there are other dvd's and that all good terps are serious. And when I say we, I should say they as I am not an interpreter yet just a jw learning asl to help the deaf. robbielyn
I'm really confused by your postings here. It certainly sounds to me like you are saying that JW are better than others. How can this possibly be true? Just because someone is a JW means they care more about deaf people and therefore they are going to work harder than anybody else? Think about it, does that really make sense?

As for "top quality" ASL that is "up to date" - I don't think you'd find a serious ASL program anywhere in the country that was not teaching current, accurate ASL. There may be small community programs here and there where the only teacher is someone who is from an older generation, but for the most part ASL programs are "top quality" and "up to date" no matter who's giving it.

I really don't understand your characterizations in this thread. I don't think anybody "cares more" about the deaf community than anyone else. It's like saying interpreters are in it for the money - they are not. They are in it because they care about the deaf people they are working with. It just sounds bizarre to me that you would say JW "care more" than others.
Etoile is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-23-2006, 01:20 PM   #46 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
Everything they do they do with the desire to help people of all languages learn about the wonderful hope for the future under God's Kingdom.
By the way, historically people became interpreters in order to preach their religion to deaf people or to convert them (sort of a missionary-type venture). This is currently considered a very suspect reason for becoming an interpreter. You will often get asked by deaf people "why did you want to learn ASL?" or "why did you want to become an interpreter?" and anything to do with pushing an agenda, including a religious one, is seen in a very negative way (except possibly by deaf members of that religion but that's a different story). I'm sure this isn't the case with the members of your church, who must appreciate being able to participate in services and so forth, but just be aware that it may not fly with the larger deaf community.

Also:

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
They love the deaf and sincerely want to help them
This is a very unpopular point of view in the deaf community near me, who do not feel they need to be "helped." I suggest if your motivation in learning ASL and/or becoming an interpreter is solely related to your religion, you may wish to limit yourself to that setting.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2006, 02:29 AM   #47 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
When I say we sincerely want to help them it means we don't discriminate them because they are deaf like so many hearing people do. We sincerely are interested in them as well as anyone of any language. We offer spiritual help and go as far as creating ASL congregations so that the deaf can get the truth of God's word in their language. We have found when we translate the Bible and our literature in their language, they respond better than a secondary language, it would be like you learning how to be a dr in english vs spanish, you may be fluent in both but would really get the best out of it in your native language. We now have the bible book of matthew, mark, and john in asl and other books are soon to follow. It will be nice when the whole bible will be available in ASL. They don't become interpreters to influence the deaf to convert them, and I resent that remark. I meant to say that they are quality interpreters due to their sincere interest in learning their language so we can communicate effectively vs haphazardly. I am sorry if I didn't communicate that more clearly. They follow the same code of ethics as anyone does. As far as our reaching the deaf with the bible's message we do it the same way we do it with any language, from door to door. But businesswise, they follow the code of ethics strictly as this is the law. We are not an underhanded or sneaky organization and everything we do is because we sincerely care about people.
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2006, 03:12 AM   #48 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
They don't become interpreters to influence the deaf to convert them, and I resent that remark.
If this isn't the case, then you are right to resent it, but just be aware that you WILL get these questions and these suspicions, and you will come off better if you are not defensive and emotional when you are asked about it. I frequently get asked about my motivations for learning sign and becoming an interpreter and I know some of these people are asking me because of negative experiences with religious folk (not necessarily JW). So I'm just giving you the background.

Quote:
They follow the same code of ethics as anyone does. As far as our reaching the deaf with the bible's message we do it the same way we do it with any language, from door to door. But businesswise, they follow the code of ethics strictly as this is the law.
Not harassing you here, just clarifying: when you say "code of ethics," are you referring to the RID model of ethical interpreting?

It seems to me that going door to door and communicating with deaf people in ASL is NOT an interpreting assignment, and in that case your ethics are your own. As long as your interpreters are able to clearly delineate between an interpreting job and "reaching the deaf with the bible's message," it could be fine.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2006, 04:25 AM   #49 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpretrator View Post
If this isn't the case, then you are right to resent it, but just be aware that you WILL get these questions and these suspicions, and you will come off better if you are not defensive and emotional when you are asked about it. I frequently get asked about my motivations for learning sign and becoming an interpreter and I know some of these people are asking me because of negative experiences with religious folk (not necessarily JW). So I'm just giving you the background.



Not harassing you here, just clarifying: when you say "code of ethics," are you referring to the RID model of ethical interpreting?

It seems to me that going door to door and communicating with deaf people in ASL is NOT an interpreting assignment, and in that case your ethics are your own. As long as your interpreters are able to clearly delineate between an interpreting job and "reaching the deaf with the bible's message," it could be fine.
I am very sorry if I came off defensive and emotional. I wish I could learn how to communicate my feelings in a kosher way. I will forever be learning how to do that better. I am referring to the code of ethics that are used with deaf in professional setting, ie dr's office, school, court. I am separating our spiritual work from professional work when I say code of ethics. The person who said they prefer JW's as interpreters was talking about a professional setting I presume like what you do. I am referring to the RID model. Wow I feel like I have really cofused you here my bad. I really didn't mean to be bringing religion itself into it. It wasn't the main focus but yet a key point. Ok I will try one more time to say exactly what I meant to say only better and more clear. Can I asl gloss it or will you think I'm over the top? It's just if I sign in asl I have less trouble being clear. Ok I will try english again. Our organization puts their heart and soul into everything they do. They are honest and diligent and zealous. So that is how they do anything whether it's building new kingdom halls, printing and distributing bibles in over 200 languages whatever, it's a fact, not trying to toot any horns here. Since this is the case, it is no surprise that this person would recognize that jw's are good interpreters because they are diligent, they care about people and try hard to show love to their neighbors. I know there are other people non jw's who are just as good and diligent and caring. But as a group this characterizes us so it that is the reason probably why she felt that way. I hope I cleared my point up some. I merely wanted to explain why we as a group was noted for being good interpreters. Does this help at all?
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2006, 09:56 AM   #50 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Etoile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,185
It does help, yes. But am I correct in understanding that you have been told by only one person that she prefers JW as interpreters? If that is the case, I would not take the step of making a blanket statement that "JW are among the best interpreters." I would say that most JW are very dedicated to what they do, and many are highly skilled. I would not say "among the best" because this implies that they are better than others. That's my concern. Also, I wonder if this person who stated this was JW herself, even if the interpreting that prompted her to say that was not in a religious setting?
Etoile is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2006, 01:14 PM   #51 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
I am very sorry if I came off defensive and emotional.
Actually, you didn't really. On a message board it's fine to say things like "I resent that remark" -- we're exchanging ideas and experiences. The reason I said that is because if you carry that feeling with you to interpreting jobs, you may come off as defensive and emotional when you get asked the question about why you became an interpreter. I wasn't so much suggesting that you tone it down around here, just that you prepare yourself to get asked that question and be able to stay professional if your client doesn't like your answer. And that goes for any interpreter including me.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-02-2006, 04:58 PM   #52 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etoile View Post
It does help, yes. But am I correct in understanding that you have been told by only one person that she prefers JW as interpreters? If that is the case, I would not take the step of making a blanket statement that "JW are among the best interpreters." I would say that most JW are very dedicated to what they do, and many are highly skilled. I would not say "among the best" because this implies that they are better than others. That's my concern. Also, I wonder if this person who stated this was JW herself, even if the interpreting that prompted her to say that was not in a religious setting?
I can't say for sure whether a jw was the person that said that but I highly doubt it. We don't toot our horns and to be honest while it might be perceived that way, I am not trying to elevate us in this way either. It is just as a group we strive for excellence in everything we do. Their may well be individuals in our organization that don't meet these standards and shame on them if they don't. When a person puts their heart and soul into something, they tend to be good at what they do because they care, some may care and just don't have the skill but I am not referring to them. Deaf deserve honest caring people who love their work, and as a group we are that. I am sure you have come acrossed people who have may a bs degree who may be burned out or plain don't really care about the deaf it is just their job. and I have talked to many deaf who have a lot of interpreter complaints. It's just as a "group" we have a good reputation as interpreters and I am sure there are alot of "individuals" such as yourselves that have excellent reputations too. by the way interpretrator, I am not myself a professional interpreter, I am solely involved in our deaf congregation. But I know alot in our deaf congregation that are professional interpretors.
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-02-2006, 06:14 PM   #53 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Etoile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn
It's just as a "group" we have a good reputation as interpreters and I am sure there are alot of "individuals" such as yourselves that have excellent reputations too.
I personally have never heard of JWs having a good reputation as interpreters. I don't think we have a large JW community in the DC area, but I don't really know. I know one of the interpreter supervisors at my agency is a JW, he is pretty good but I always assumed that was more about natural skill than about his religion making him "want it" more. I have no idea if he is involved in religious interpreting outside of his professional work.

But let's go back to where this thread started: CODA terps. CODAs have a reputation as being great interpreters. The reason given is that they grew up with ASL as a first language. However, I know some CODAs who are terrible interpreters - leaving out information, sloppy signing, etc. They are fine for regular discussions in sign language, but not as interpreters. They may be fluent in ASL, but they do not have the natural skill with languages and so they are not good at their job. There are also CODAs who DO have excellent skill with languages and do great as interpreters. But again, it's not because they're fluent...it's because they're skilled.

Now let's try it with JWs. I'm told that JWs have a reputation as being great interpreters. The reason given is that they want to minister closely to Deaf people, so they are motivated to learn the language well. However, there are some JWs who are terrible interpreters - for whatever reason. They are fine for one-on-one ministry, but not as interpreters. They may know the language well, but they do not have the natural skill with languages and so they are not good at their job. There are also JWs who DO have excellent skill with languages and do great as interpreters. But again, it's not because their motivation to minister to Deaf people prompted them to become fluent in sign language...it's because they're skilled.

I guess what I am saying here is that age-old phrase: A signer is not an interpreter. Just because someone is fluent in sign language doesn't mean they're a good interpreter. It takes a combination of natural skill and study of the interpreting process (models of interpretation, etc.) to be a good interpreter.

Now, it sounds to me like JWs become fluent in sign language because they want to have a personal connection with the Deaf people they are ministering to. Going through a third-party interpreter is much more impersonal...I agree that if you are trying to minister to someone, it's best if you speak their language! But why does this mean that JWs are more skilled as interpreters necessarily? Are the JWs who are highly motivated to learn sign language also highly motivated to go out and become interpreters, or are they more focused on one-on-one ministry? In the end...what does being a JW have to do with being an interpreter as opposed to a signer?
Etoile is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-02-2006, 07:20 PM   #54 (permalink)
Registered User
 
me_punctured's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 363
Thank you, Etoile, for bringing up beautiful points! You won't believe how many people have difficulty grasping the simple logic of a fluent signer not tantamount to a translator (and a skilled, trained one).

Personally, when it comes to interpreters who have strong religious affiliations and engage themselves in missionary work, I cannot not but think of the history of 19th century evangelical Protestants of the Romantic Sensationalism school. They took quite a liking to sign language because it was a tangible, visual means of "proselytizing" deaf people and saving them from eternal damnation. That, and they could preach the gospel with their hands.
me_punctured is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-03-2006, 05:40 PM   #55 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by me_punctured View Post
Thank you, Etoile, for bringing up beautiful points! You won't believe how many people have difficulty grasping the simple logic of a fluent signer not tantamount to a translator (and a skilled, trained one).

Personally, when it comes to interpreters who have strong religious affiliations and engage themselves in missionary work, I cannot not but think of the history of 19th century evangelical Protestants of the Romantic Sensationalism school. They took quite a liking to sign language because it was a tangible, visual means of "proselytizing" deaf people and saving them from eternal damnation. That, and they could preach the gospel with their hands.
Well we can't save the world neither did Jesus but the few who will listen are the ones we are interested in. However, that doesn't stop us from talking to all people in all languages worldwide. Jesus told us to preach to everyone door to door and the deaf are not excluded. They have the same right and choice as to whether they will listen or not. We don't do the judging, we are just the messengers. We care about every individual here on earth and we preach worldwide in over 235 lands. And yes there are several congregations in the washington dc area. There are over 98,000 congregations worldwide. Well I stand by what I said but I think the point is moot now and we can probably just drop this. I am unable to make you understand what I mean. I can see from your viewpoint how you can take what I said and think you know what I mean. I am just unable to word things well enough to say it in a good way vs an emotional way. I am not trying to say only JW's can be good interpreters, I would never say that as I too know of other good interpreters that are non jw's. But I was just answering someone's question a long time ago as to the why behind it.
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-03-2006, 05:48 PM   #56 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Etoile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,185
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
Well I stand by what I said but I think the point is moot now and we can probably just drop this. I am unable to make you understand what I mean. I can see from your viewpoint how you can take what I said and think you know what I mean. I am just unable to word things well enough to say it in a good way vs an emotional way.
I'm sorry to hear you're not interested in the conversation anymore; I thought it was a really good discussion. I love chatting with people online.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn
I am not trying to say only JW's can be good interpreters, I would never say that as I too know of other good interpreters that are non jw's. But I was just answering someone's question a long time ago as to the why behind it.
Thanks for reminding us that something was said earlier in this thread about it. I think because your post is the first one on this page, I didn't remember what had been said previously, and I didn't look back to previous pages. I actually thought you were bringing it up out of the blue, which I thought was kind of weird, but I went along with it.

Anyway, I never thought you meant only JW can be good interpreters. I just wasn't sure why the belief was that they were motivated to be good interpreters versus being good signers.

Again, I'm sorry to see you bow out, though I respect your decision to do so.
Etoile is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-03-2006, 08:05 PM   #57 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Not every jw knowing sign language is a professional interpreter. I am not. I am just learning asl the last 8 months. I knew english sign for many years though. But for those jw's that do do it as a profession outside of the religion, all(or most) have a very good work ethic due to living by very high moral standards that are set out in the bible. We have good attitudes, we have love for people and try to give our best to people. We are not out for ourselves and try our very best to make our creator Jehovah and his son Jesus very proud. We know they are watching us and we don't want to disappoint them so when Jesus says we must love our neighbor as ourself, and to love our enemies, we do and we carry that over in all aspects of our lives no matter what we do for a living. So it isn't just for interpreters, it's just JW's way of life that's all.
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-04-2006, 01:37 PM   #58 (permalink)
Crime fighter
 
Interpretrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,440
Quote:
Originally Posted by robbielyn View Post
I am just unable to word things well enough to say it in a good way vs an emotional way.
Well, that is one good reason not to be an interpreter.

Also, I don't think the problem here is "good vs. emotional" wording. The problem is that many of the things you talk about regarding JWs are in opposition to the profession of interpreting. I do see where JWs fully support deaf people and ASL but the reasons why are completely opposite from how interpreters fully support deaf people and ASL. Interpreters should not have "helping the deaf" on their list of reasons to work in the field.

Now I'm not saying I don't believe you that a JW interpreter can also be a professional and ethical interpreter. I have never worked with a JW interpreter that I know of so I have no personal experience. But I'm not convinced that the reasons behind JWs learning sign and becoming professional interpreters OUTSIDE the church setting are appropriate.
Interpretrator is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-04-2006, 11:47 PM   #59 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpretrator View Post
Well, that is one good reason not to be an interpreter.

Also, I don't think the problem here is "good vs. emotional" wording. The problem is that many of the things you talk about regarding JWs are in opposition to the profession of interpreting. I do see where JWs fully support deaf people and ASL but the reasons why are completely opposite from how interpreters fully support deaf people and ASL. Interpreters should not have "helping the deaf" on their list of reasons to work in the field.

Now I'm not saying I don't believe you that a JW interpreter can also be a professional and ethical interpreter. I have never worked with a JW interpreter that I know of so I have no personal experience. But I'm not convinced that the reasons behind JWs learning sign and becoming professional interpreters OUTSIDE the church setting are appropriate.
Not all JW's became interpreters after they were JW's many were interpreters before. And I assure you that they don't mix their religious work with their professional work as I said before they follow RID code of ethics. They would never have any outside contact to promote their beliefs while they are at work. They act as you would. No real interaction outside of their role as interpreters. Now when it comes to finding the deaf in our door to door work we find them the same way we find hearing people, door to door. It is completely separate from their professional jobs. Suppose JW learns asl due to their being in the asl congregation, they take the written and performance test and pass, and then they either freelance or join an agency and sent out on assignments because they desire to have a career in interpreting. When they go on assignment they strictly adhere to their professional responsibilities as you would and religion is not discussed. We save that for our religious work outside of the profession on our own time. I am saying due to their work ethic as a group, it's a good bet that if they are JW, then most likely they will do their utmost to do the profession proud. No breaking RID rules, no lying behind a deaf persons back, no sloppy half baked job with here just for the paycheck attitude. None of that stuff. Now are there lots of individuals who are just as admirable? You betcha. But to find a JW to act the opposite of the above(in a bad way) would be quite rare among this group. This is not limited to just interpreting, it is like that with any job we do. That is what I have been trying to say. But anyways, I am really finished I think with this discussion. It certainly isn't getting us nowhere, but I think possibly you are helping me to be more specific with what I mean in other words I am choosing my words more carefully so that's a good thing I guess.
robbielyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-06-2006, 12:34 PM   #60 (permalink)
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 60,294
Quote:
Originally Posted by Interpretrator View Post
Well, that is one good reason not to be an interpreter.

Also, I don't think the problem here is "good vs. emotional" wording. The problem is that many of the things you talk about regarding JWs are in opposition to the profession of interpreting. I do see where JWs fully support deaf people and ASL but the reasons why are completely opposite from how interpreters fully support deaf people and ASL. Interpreters should not have "helping the deaf" on their list of reasons to work in the field.

Now I'm not saying I don't believe you that a JW interpreter can also be a professional and ethical interpreter. I have never worked with a JW interpreter that I know of so I have no personal experience. But I'm not convinced that the reasons behind JWs learning sign and becoming professional interpreters OUTSIDE the church setting are appropriate.
That's it in a nutshell.
jillio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:51 PM.


Join AllDeaf on Facebook!    Follow us on Twitter!

AllDeaf proudly supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Copyright © 2002-2014, AllDeaf.com. All Rights Reserved.