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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is "So You Want to Be an Interpreter?" still good?

Hi,

I'm the boyfriend of a girl that's interested in making interpreting a career. She's still a sophomore in college and has been signing for a few years now through classes in high school/college and through deaf community events, and she's pretty decent.

However, I'm not sure she understands the interpreting career as much as she should and I have been looking through these forums/RID/internet sources to get an idea of what a career in interpreting is like. I've gone through this sub forum (all the way back to 2003!!) looking for information/tips/experiences from current interpreters and students. Also, I've been going through the RID site to get as much info as I can about this career field.

One book I see recommended quite a number of times is "So You Want to Be an Interpreter?" People seem to say this is one of the best books to learn about the career and general background information. But what I don't get is if it's so good, why are the reviews slightly disappointing. I know there aren't lots of reviews to begin with, but there seem to be some complaints about the book being 'outdated' or 'disorganized.'

Before I buy the book, I would like to ask if this book is still as good as it used to be? Should I disregard the average reviews and still get it?

Thanks.


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Unread 12-15-2011, 03:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It's still an excellent resource for interpreters.

However, I recommend that your girlfriend consider enrolling in a college level interpreter training program because there's a lot more to it than just being "pretty decent" at sign language.
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Unread 12-16-2011, 08:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would suggest having her read the "So You Wanna" book, and if she's still interested, then she should sign up for an ITP.
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Unread 12-16-2011, 08:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My daughter is an interpreter.

I think the worst part of the job is you still have to put up with hearing people.
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Unread 12-16-2011, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My daughter is an interpreter.

I think the worst part of the job is you still have to put up with hearing people.
It doesn't say much for the hearing.
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Unread 01-06-2012, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is disorganized but it's the best I've found. Good luck!. Interpreter training program is going to get her where she needs to go; and most likely they use that book.
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Unread 01-06-2012, 03:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If she socializes with Deaf people, she already knows more than most people in interpreting programs. If not, it would be a good idea to attend some socials and make some friends.
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Unread 01-06-2012, 11:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is a good book, but a book can only teach you so much. She needs to sign up for an ITP and start watching other interpreters. You can learn so much through observation.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokingskull View Post
Hi,

I'm the boyfriend of a girl that's interested in making interpreting a career. She's still a sophomore in college and has been signing for a few years now through classes in high school/college and through deaf community events, and she's pretty decent.

However, I'm not sure she understands the interpreting career as much as she should and I have been looking through these forums/RID/internet sources to get an idea of what a career in interpreting is like. I've gone through this sub forum (all the way back to 2003!!) looking for information/tips/experiences from current interpreters and students. Also, I've been going through the RID site to get as much info as I can about this career field.

One book I see recommended quite a number of times is "So You Want to Be an Interpreter?" People seem to say this is one of the best books to learn about the career and general background information. But what I don't get is if it's so good, why are the reviews slightly disappointing. I know there aren't lots of reviews to begin with, but there seem to be some complaints about the book being 'outdated' or 'disorganized.'

Before I buy the book, I would like to ask if this book is still as good as it used to be? Should I disregard the average reviews and still get it?

Thanks.


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You are over looking a serious question if you are her boyfriend.

Do YOU understand what an interpreting career means to you?

Can YOU take the stress? Are you secure with yourself and your relationship?

This is from experience. My daughter is a terp.

Her current love interest and I are eating lunch at a popular restaurant with her. She taps on her blue tooth. "Hi,(name) what's up?"

BF, "My god we are eating lunch. Tell them to call back."

She squints at him. "Yes." head nod. "Yes." Frowns. "Twenty minutes." She stands up, wraps some food in a napkin, jams it into her purse.

BF, "Sit down. You can't leave. We are in the middle of lunch."

"Love you dad," she gives me a kiss and heads for the door.

BF, "Why didn't she kiss me goodbye too?"

"You pissed her off." I'm laughing, which does not help matters.

BF, "She didn't even tell us where she is going."

"Hippo law. (Yes, that is the way I pronounce it). Confidentiality. She can't."

BF, "She could be going to meet some guy in a motel right in front of me and how would I know?"

"You don't. You need another girl friend with a different kind of job. Lots of em out there."

BF, "If she marries me she won't need to work."

"If you are rich enough she would work Pro Bono." I add, "For free," in case he does not understand what "Pro Bono" means. "The situation would be the same. She loves what she does."

BF "We came in her car. How do I get home?"

"I'll take you. But first I'm going to finish my lunch. In the mean time there is a cute waitress over there. I'll bet she never gets phone calls like that." I watch the waitress and pretend I don't notice how he is glaring at me.
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Unread 01-07-2012, 09:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If she socializes with Deaf people, she already knows more than most people in interpreting programs.
I disagree. I've met my share of people who are good signers but terrible interpreters. Socializing might give you a leg up on the language, but it doesn't teach you anything about how to process information and effectively interpret from one language to another, nor does it teach you how to conduct yourself like a professional or give you the tools you need for effective decision making when facing ethical dilemmas.

Besides, any interpreting program that doesn't actively encourage socializing with the Deaf community is worthless.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 06:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm in an introductory interpretation class now and we're using that book. It is somewhat scattered, but it does outline a lot of useful information for you to consider when entertaining the idea of interpreting. Also, the author refers you to many other sources to delve deeper into the issues she raises, so it's a very good starting point.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 06:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I asked my daughter why she doesn't want to be an interpreter and she said she doesn't like it when deaf people get too emotional (get out of control). She experienced it many times with her emotional mom. Usually hearing people on the other end keep cool while some deaf people don't.
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Unread 02-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I asked my daughter why she doesn't want to be an interpreter and she said she doesn't like it when deaf people get too emotional (get out of control). She experienced it many times with her emotional mom. Usually hearing people on the other end keep cool while some deaf people don't.
Most hearing people, especially the professionals, train themselves to an unemotional, uninvolved, detached, robotic, mindset, somehow believing this is an attitude of superior intellect and reason. It comes from an ancient idea that humans are somehow superior to animals because they deny their emotions and their instincts and engage mind alone. The Greeks started it, and it has managed to continue to this day.

I frankly believe it is an unhealthy attitude.

Those who are the best at it are those who don't care about anyone or anything. What does that tell you?
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Unread 02-20-2012, 09:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I asked my daughter why she doesn't want to be an interpreter and she said she doesn't like it when deaf people get too emotional (get out of control). She experienced it many times with her emotional mom. Usually hearing people on the other end keep cool while some deaf people don't.
Say what?

I've been interpreting for more than a few years, and I've never considered this to be a problem.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 05:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Most hearing people, especially the professionals, train themselves to an unemotional, uninvolved, detached, robotic, mindset, somehow believing this is an attitude of superior intellect and reason. It comes from an ancient idea that humans are somehow superior to animals because they deny their emotions and their instincts and engage mind alone. The Greeks started it, and it has managed to continue to this day.

I frankly believe it is an unhealthy attitude.

Those who are the best at it are those who don't care about anyone or anything. What does that tell you?
I know people like this. Trust me on this one, you do not want to know such people. They will wreck your life if you let them.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 10:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyPaul View Post
I asked my daughter why she doesn't want to be an interpreter and she said she doesn't like it when deaf people get too emotional (get out of control). She experienced it many times with her emotional mom. Usually hearing people on the other end keep cool while some deaf people don't.
Say what?

I've been interpreting for more than a few years, and I've never considered this to be a problem.
Nothing like making assumptions about millions of people based on a handful! Gees.

Of all the Deaf ASL users I've known there's maybe one that fits into the "over emotional" category.
That over emotional etc type of behaviour is an individual "human thing" and has nothing at all to do with someone being hearing , Hoh, deaf or Deaf.

It's too bad she's basing a career choice on 1 or 2 people, because she's just as liking to run into this in the Hearing World as the Deaf one.

I'm a bit curious why her Dad didn't correct her on this misconception of Deaf people, and in stead let her continue believing it.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 03:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Say what?

I've been interpreting for more than a few years, and I've never considered this to be a problem.
There are some deaf people who have poor anger management. Of course, some hearing people have it, too.

BTW, what I meant in my post is that my daughter doesn't like to interpret angry messages. I am sure that some deaf people call through VRS and express anger for some reasons. For example, a deaf person gets pissed off when he got a letter from SSA stating that his application for SS disability benefits was rejected because of lack of evidence or something like that. Then he calls SSA through VRS and expresses anger.

At my workplace, one deaf co-worker was angry at her supervisor and the interpreter asked her to calm down but she refused so the interpreter had to be patient with her "yelling" for like 30 minutes. I can tell that the interpreter was glad that the meeting was over and left the building immediately. LOL

So you know, some people have a problem with their anger management.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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There are some deaf people who have poor anger management. Of course, some hearing people have it, too.

BTW, what I meant in my post is that my daughter doesn't like to interpret angry messages. I am sure that some deaf people call through VRS and express anger for some reasons. For example, a deaf person gets pissed off when he got a letter from SSA stating that his application for SS disability benefits was rejected because of lack of evidence or something like that. Then he calls SSA through VRS and expresses anger.

At my workplace, one deaf co-worker was angry at her supervisor and the interpreter asked her to calm down but she refused so the interpreter had to be patient with her "yelling" for like 30 minutes. I can tell that the interpreter was glad that the meeting was over and left the building immediately. LOL

So you know, some people have a problem with their anger management.
I wouldn't find it surprising that CODAs would be more reluctant to become professional interpreters than non-CODAs. There are some youtube videos about that, some CODAs were talking about how everyone just assumed they would become professional interpreters and it was the last thing they wanted to do.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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...At my workplace, one deaf co-worker was angry at her supervisor and the interpreter asked her to calm down but she refused so the interpreter had to be patient with her "yelling" for like 30 minutes. I can tell that the interpreter was glad that the meeting was over and left the building immediately. LOL....
The interpreter asked her to calm down? What about the supervisor?
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I wouldn't find it surprising that CODAs would be more reluctant to become professional interpreters than non-CODAs. There are some youtube videos about that, some CODAs were talking about how everyone just assumed they would become professional interpreters and it was the last thing they wanted to do.
Yeah, I wonder why. My son, daughter and three nieces are CODAs. I told them that an interpreter makes good money but they are not interested. Oh, well, that's their decision.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The interpreter asked her to calm down? What about the supervisor?
The supervisor was like speechless.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:29 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah, I wonder why. My son, daughter and three nieces are CODAs. I told them that an interpreter makes good money but they are not interested. Oh, well, that's their decision.
The number one reason they gave was because they had been interpreters their entire childhood and have had enough. They want to be selfish as adults and do what they want to do, not what they had to do.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The supervisor was like speechless.
Still, the interpreter isn't supposed to "take over" the supervisor's responsibility. If the supervisor says nothing, the terp signs nothing.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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The number one reason they gave was because they had been interpreters their entire childhood and have had enough. They want to be selfish as adults and do what they want to do, not what they had to do.
What about good pay (easy money)?
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Still, the interpreter isn't supposed to "take over" the supervisor's responsibility. If the supervisor says nothing, the terp signs nothing.
Oh well, you know when a deaf person gets angry, he/she signs too fast or big in an angry way so the interpreter didn't get all of the messages. The interpreter was not certified. She is no longer interpreting at my work since VRI was installed.

I am curious when you interpret angry messages, do you do it the same way or in a calm way?
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:49 PM   #26 (permalink)
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What about good pay (easy money)?
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Unread 02-21-2012, 04:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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What about good pay (easy money)?
Doesn't matter. It's not what they want to do with their lives. Many many children of deaf parents have talked about the stress of interpreting for their parents. Can't be easy on a kid when your parents and the doctor or whomever get impatient with you because you didn't sign fast or well enough even though you're just a kid, not a trained professional interpreter. I can see why after a childhood of this, they don't want to deal with it anymore and live life on their own terms.

I can understand this completely. I've gotten impatient with my sons a few times when they were just trying to help and I feel really bad about it. It's quite a burden to put on a child.

You should check out some CODA videos on youtube for their first hand accounts as to why they don't want to be professional interpreters.
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Unread 02-21-2012, 05:11 PM   #28 (permalink)
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...I am curious when you interpret angry messages, do you do it the same way or in a calm way?
I use whatever expression/tone the signer/speaker uses. Otherwise, the message is incomplete.

That doesn't mean that I stomp my feet or pick up a club to mimic the person. I do try to keep my signs and speech clear.

However, I'm not there to referee.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Nothing like making assumptions about millions of people based on a handful! Gees.

Of all the Deaf ASL users I've known there's maybe one that fits into the "over emotional" category.
That over emotional etc type of behaviour is an individual "human thing" and has nothing at all to do with someone being hearing , Hoh, deaf or Deaf.

It's too bad she's basing a career choice on 1 or 2 people, because she's just as liking to run into this in the Hearing World as the Deaf one.

I'm a bit curious why her Dad didn't correct her on this misconception of Deaf people, and in stead let her continue believing it.
Unfortunately the very act of "using your hands" (When I was young a lot of jokes centered around Italians and Jews being unable to talk without waving their hands in the air like ______), using facial expressions, talking loud, (It was often said Blacks and Puerto Ricans couldn't sit down and have a quiet "civilized" conversation like "white" people, they always had to "raise their voices to high heaven") is often considered to be "over emotional" by many conservative hearing white folk.

I find it interesting that when I was young the standard used was "Like white people" but now that use is politically incorrect what is said is, "They are not acting professional". But when you lay down the old standard for "White conduct" and the new standards for "Professional conduct" except for those "codes of ethics" the standards are exactly the same.
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Unread 02-22-2012, 07:57 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I've heard of those ideas and stereotypes, Berry.
the parallel between "professional conduct" and " 'WASP'-conduct" is something to think about-
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