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Jun 29, 2003
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Have any of you had any problems regarding interpreter mis-information? I know interpreters aren't perfect and they're only human, but mis-information can be very annoying and very dangerous - especially in the medical and legal areas. The Deaf Society where I live has to cut down on the interpreting service recently because of not enough government funding. They're only allocating interpreters to the most important and needed areas such as court visits and university interpreting.

I'm concerned about this because it means that people cannot always get interpreters for weddings, and tupperware parties and such because it is not a necessity, although in my eyes it is a necessity because deaf people should not have to rely on their families for interpreting. Because many deaf people I know have low literacy skills, it is difficult for them to gain the confidence they need to go to doctor's appointments etc and when they cannot get an interpreter for this, they may not go, and it may become life-threatening or serious.

Before I go off-topic, I just wanted to ask about mis-information regarding written English as well as interpreter mis-information when they're not interpreting correctly or in a way the deaf person would not understand. I believe it should be considered a major issue.

obviously if the interpreter is constantly misinterpreting you need to inform the agency paying the interpreter (ie: dvr, court, etc) immediately. If YOU are the one paying the interpreter FIRE her/him on the spot.
the law in USA requires that we are to be provided for interpeters for any needs, and U are right abt not wanting to rely on ur family for interpeting needs they will NOT interpet FULLY cuz they also have other people talking to them and say * oh i ll tell u later* which is not fair for us who wants to be involved, ITS important to have interpeter fully on call for anything and i mean ANYTHING, if ur country isn t providing this for u, u should make a sound *vocalization* to fight for your rights, ANd i dont blame any cilents who don t want to feel like they can't do anything when they CAN do anything, cuz we deaf poeple have the right to be heard and seen not to be degraded into the MOST important needs, NO matter what, agencies MUST bill the hosptials, or dr.s office or courts or other areas of means for interpter needs, not deprive them of that! We need to be fully informed NOT rejected on account of money!
Yeah, we all have rights to be fully informed of everything, because even though we're deaf, we're capable of everything a hearing person is except getting information clearly and efficiently like hearing people and we shouldn't be deprived of that. That's why interpreters' jobs should be taken seriously, so that we all get the right information.
i'm a terp and have a deaf brother, so i can really understand the need for professionalism within the interpreting field. the fact is most of the interpreters i meet i consider signers. as you know there is a big big difference. anyone can do their homework in an ITP and get a degree. until ITP's graduate students based on skill instead of course work the field will never improve. i learned from the deaf community and hands on experience, but i would be willing to go back to school to get an intepreting degree. wait i'm already certified, why bother. just kiddin, good luck and weed out those "so called interpreters."

one more thing, who said "fire them on the spot." does that mean if i am intepreting on a cruise for you and let's say for example i sign incorrectly you would make me swim to shore. man this is a tough crowd. hey, just joking trying to lighten things up a bit. i fully understand everyone's position. good luck and god bless.
Fire them for continual poor interpreting that is. Examples of poor interpreting are when you're clearly unable to keep up with the academic rate or speed of the person talking but don't say so... while I allow most of my interpreters to make mistakes occasionally (hey, we're all human), I don't allow my deaf society to pick an interpreter they think is best for me but isn't really, I choose the interpreter for the subject so I know how well they will cope with the subject, and how well I will be able to understand them whilst writing down things and reading black/whiteboards.

It's best to get the right terp and it's also best to ask for one with specialised knowledge of the area you want to study/learn about. Such as legal knowledge for work in the court or such things. Are deaf people allowed to work in courts anyway? In the United States that is.
Hmph, it is not always our faults, illustrator.

I tend to ignore the interp if s/he is doing a lousy job (talking on phones or friends on-duty, "oh it is not important", not interp'ing when the teacher/doctor talks) and this gives me a cruel reputation of being a harsh client for the interperaters in San Diego... :squint: 'susci moi for using my rights! I tend to mouth off the interps, "Excuse me but is it your job to interp what he is saying? I would like to say waht he is saying. i dont care if you think it is not important. it is all about me, not you, okay?" HISSY... yeah I am a meanie... :nana:

back in high school, there are interperaters who are actually RID certificated but they still are *lousy*. Just because you got apporved by a big organization doesn't mean you know how to sign fluently to enable understanding for your deaf clients. Hmph. It tends to be the old ladies that are losing their touches...

I am good at lipreading some teachers who have clear pronunciations and I tend to compare the teacher and interp to see if the interp is actually signing what the teacher is saying- and those RID-certificated has a tendency to put in their OWN words.
for example, the teacher would say, 'I want you all to study and be sure that you know the whole chapter for the quiz next week, no big deal, okay?" the interp signed, "You must study all, know strong chapter because quiz next week, warning". that is giving the wrong tone for the deaf students. this gives the deaf students the wrong impression about the gravity of the quiz. I hate those kind of interps who inputed their own words and interperation. altho remeber, they are not "TRANSLATORS"... they are INTERPERATERS... they tell you in their OWN words, not the teacher/doctor's words. Little ironic.. i would love to have a signing TRANSLATOR, period.
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sometime i see one like that.. sometime It gets on my nerves. some interpreters are great to use. some aren't... I have seen few "wonderful interp" lately.. because at hospital for my son's surgery, dr visits etc.. I request for Interp because I do not want to mess up with my son's life Even tho I have cochlear Implant but I never had CI for whole of my life soo I only just got it 2 years ago.. so I still consider with having Interp begin there for ME to make sure I am getting full educations about my son's treatments etc.. that is very important for me to know.. and Im very thankful for Interp there.. some Interp I notice misinformations too when I see that I would ask repeat please or what's that ? I would make sure they tell me exactly what dr said if I notice different.. one I notice when she call dr for me to ask if he could see my son's stitches for last minute due of leak.. but I was kinda disappointment because she's Adding this and that.. I didn't sign for that one! so i decide not to say anymore then I asked one of the tech if she think It was good idea for me go up to doc's office and see if they could "see him for few min" so My husband and I did that (whew).... then Dr say come back at 1 pm (which it was almost 12 not a problem cuz He was with patient and he did "quick look and said it should be ok at 1 pm to come back ) so we did that.. He was fine so far since then.

Sometime I think Interp want to make sure the person is carefully understood clearly... it depend on each students I can see what snorkly try to say like read whole chapter etc.. some of them have different explainations..

I feel that we all should say "excuse me, you mind not to do that again" something like that or try to get them to say different way if they don't then complain to the office that you want new interp or so..

I find three Interp so far that I take my son to doctors are doing great job! Ohh add 1 more.. 4th interp was great too! Grins...

since i am at 4 different hospitals for my son Ohhh.. *dizzy*

Dorkette, I might be able to help you here. Although it is primarily the the job of the interpreter to match your style and should on every occasion you could remedy the situation by informing the interpreter/transliterator that you prefer he or she sign exactly what the speaker is saying. remember a translator is somone who takes one language and changes it to another on paper. the word translator should never be used when talking about any signing mode. It sounds like you need is more of an english based signing system using ASL, of course. some terps are not experienced with different signing systems and are unaware of the deaf/hh language needs. chatting before an assignment with a deaf/hh client is simply not enough to determine what style should be used. there are so many factors that i've come across. some include setting, speaker's goal and content, and familiarity with the client. these are just a few. in the future you may want to inform the terp whether you want the message interpreted, transliterated, SEE, or whatever mode you choose. don't cheat yourself, let the terp know what you need. heck, i remember code switching 3 times in 20 min. last week. it's all about communication and teamwork.. God bless and good luck