Been thinking about ditching my SVRS (Sorenson)

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
I've been thinking about switching my VRS for about a year. I'm a bit frustrated with SVRS interpreters lately. I don't know if I am too cultured for my interpreters to understand me when I spell foreign and scientific words. I usually discuss heavy subjects with my family, because they're scientists and naturalized citizens.

Anyway, I called my husband to stop by to pick up a few items at a store. I spelled corn tortillas, and interpreter was a bit confused and wanted to be sure. She thought I meant tortilla chips. I told her no, that's not what I said. I repeated corn tortillas. My husband realized interpreter was still confused, and told her he knew I was saying corn tortillas, not chips. He had to describe corn tortilla to her, and she finally got it. I tried to spell masa harina before, but it did not work, and some interpreters cannot pronounce it. I was forced to change the words, so they can pronounce it easily. My husband usually helps interpreters to pronounce it correctly.

Most interpreters I notice cannot spell Chinhuahua, so they spell Chin-Wa-Wa instead. When it comes to German words, yeah, that is difficult for interpreters to grasp it. My family start saying German words, and interpreter has to stop and ask for a spelling such as klopses. My family even give them German pronunciation lessons briefly.

I check my SVRS messages, and they're so bad. I have to replay it several times to be sure.

Should I be much less cultured and speak English only? Is there a good VRS with certified interpreters out there? I cannot help but noticing that SVRS interpreters' skills are lacking now. :/
 

The Highlander

New Member
I've been thinking about switching my VRS for about a year. I'm a bit frustrated with SVRS interpreters lately. I don't know if I am too cultured for my interpreters to understand me when I spell foreign and scientific words. I usually discuss heavy subjects with my family, because they're scientists and naturalized citizens.

Anyway, I called my husband to stop by to pick up a few items at a store. I spelled corn tortillas, and interpreter was a bit confused and wanted to be sure. She thought I meant tortilla chips. I told her no, that's not what I said. I repeated corn tortillas. My husband realized interpreter was still confused, and told her he knew I was saying corn tortillas, not chips. He had to describe corn tortilla to her, and she finally got it. I tried to spell masa harina before, but it did not work, and some interpreters cannot pronounce it. I was forced to change the words, so they can pronounce it easily. My husband usually helps interpreters to pronounce it correctly.

Most interpreters I notice cannot spell Chinhuahua, so they spell Chin-Wa-Wa instead. When it comes to German words, yeah, that is difficult for interpreters to grasp it. My family start saying German words, and interpreter has to stop and ask for a spelling such as klopses. My family even give them German pronunciation lessons briefly.

I check my SVRS messages, and they're so bad. I have to replay it several times to be sure.

Should I be much less cultured and speak English only? Is there a good VRS with certified interpreters out there? I cannot help but noticing that SVRS interpreters' skills are lacking now. :/


Sorry to heard that. I don't understand why you dont text your husband for pick up a few items. It's a lot quick and simple than call relay.

You are not the one. I use IP relay for nerd or mechanic words or order the parts with LONG items number like 38101A0422B.
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the comments, guys. That's too bad. I guess, I will be using my emails/texts/IM from now.

Sorry to heard that. I don't understand why you dont text your husband for pick up a few items. It's a lot quick and simple than call relay.

You are not the one. I use IP relay for nerd or mechanic words or order the parts with LONG items number like 38101A0422B.

I do text my husband daily. That is the incident where I made an impulse decision to call my husband instead of texting him, because he could come home any minute. I didn't want him to drive back and forth.
 

ohmylight

New Member
Why not try apps instead of switching vrs? I primarily use Sorenson also... But convo started a deaf businesses listing called CODE (out this fall) and I was forced into having a second vrs to have a listing for photography. Their relay services and sign mail are HORRIBLE - they start taping half way through the message or simply leave a message that they hung up... The connection or interpretation of the message has been the best for me from Sorenson. I know sometimes you can't predict the topics that come up but if its a business call perhaps take 2 min before connecting to tell them key words you'll be using? I did that before calling my NILMDTS headquarters to tell them what might come up for clarity.

Apps you might try using with your husband: Tango video calls? Avocado for a shared grocery list (my boyfriend and I use that iPhone to Android)... Glide video messages?
 
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The Highlander

New Member
Thanks for the comments, guys. That's too bad. I guess, I will be using my emails/texts/IM from now.



I do text my husband daily. That is the incident where I made an impulse decision to call my husband instead of texting him, because he could come home any minute. I didn't want him to drive back and forth.

Just texted him then call him and said check his text then hang up. :lol:
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Excellent advice. I think this is best route for long term.

FCC is screwing the quality of VRS and not aware of this. Sad! I don't blame on VRS providers. I blamed on John Yeh! He is the epicenter of the destruction on quality of service for Relay services across the platforms. Even worse, John Yeh himself is Deaf!

Recently, there were three Deafies busted for VRS fraud, they all are from Los Angeles I think. Shame!

Just texted him then call him and said check his text then hang up. :lol:
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
Christine, Hmm.. You got me thinking about apps. I like your suggestions better. I use Android, so it should be fine. Thanks very much!

Wow. Sorry to hear about Convo thing. I thought they used to be good.
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Yeah, I now text with my parents and hearing relatives.

I am also wondering why all sudden silence from Ed Bosson Telecom Alert. Usually they have something to say on monthly basis or more often. Now nothing since last February and I am not sure why sudden silence from them. Wondering if they were too upset about FCC decision?
 

VacationGuy234

Active Member
I have Sorenson, but I don't use it. However, it makes sense that the interpreter checks the words for accuracy. And, I'm sure if I were signing old language or scientific names they might question it.

This is an interesting issue. Should you need a high level interpreter for high level subjects? That would mean very skilled interpreters, perhaps. I wonder if they group interpreters by years of experience? Maybe you could request a skilled or specific one? My guess is companies have people on hand with that type of knowelge for news updates, etc. I wonder places like NASA and Lincoln Labs do?
 

Barbaro

Well-Known Member
While I was discussing medical subject with my mother, she loves to throw me at long medical words. You should see terps' reactions. I thought that particular terp's eyes were going to pop out of her sockets. My personal observation is most of them cannot spell words like thrombosis, fructose, carcinoma, neuritis, etc. I remember one of the SVRS terps started to get frustrated and asked us to hold our conversation, because she told us her time is up and will transfer us to another interpreter. We both knew anyway.

If you want to be a bad-ass interpreter, you have to be a level 5 interpreter. If you're a 1-3 level interpreter, you cannot interpret in legal rooms or courtroom. That's what I am told.
 

diehardbiker

Active Member
Yup, it depends on Terp skills and the area of knowledge. Average terp can't know everything. I ran into same problem when having legal issues and yes they messed up badly, that is one reason why my legal case was so complicated.

One of ADers suggested set up specific group of terp, it is not possible since I was inside VRS company and see how they work. They all are time sensitive. They can't wait for specific skills terp due to FCC regulation on average response time. For VRS, until last month was 3 minutes or less at 80% of the time. Right now it is 30 seconds average 85% or more of time. And this requires re-writting program on the system. The system is massive. I see why text would be best route of conversation in situation like this.

While I was discussing medical subject with my mother, she loves to throw me at long medical words. You should see terps' reactions. I thought that particular terp's eyes were going to pop out of her sockets. My personal observation is most of them cannot spell words like thrombosis, fructose, carcinoma, neuritis, etc. I remember one of the SVRS terps started to get frustrated and asked us to hold our conversation, because she told us her time is up and will transfer us to another interpreter. We both knew anyway.

If you want to be a bad-ass interpreter, you have to be a level 5 interpreter. If you're a 1-3 level interpreter, you cannot interpret in legal rooms or courtroom. That's what I am told.
 

VacationGuy234

Active Member
Yup, it depends on Terp skills and the area of knowledge. Average terp can't know everything. I ran into same problem when having legal issues and yes they messed up badly, that is one reason why my legal case was so complicated.

One of ADers suggested set up specific group of terp, it is not possible since I was inside VRS company and see how they work. They all are time sensitive. They can't wait for specific skills terp due to FCC regulation on average response time. For VRS, until last month was 3 minutes or less at 80% of the time. Right now it is 30 seconds average 85% or more of time. And this requires re-writting program on the system. The system is massive. I see why text would be best route of conversation in situation like this.

I didn't realize this either. Interesting.
 

ohmylight

New Member
I have Sorenson, but I don't use it. However, it makes sense that the interpreter checks the words for accuracy. And, I'm sure if I were signing old language or scientific names they might question it.

This is an interesting issue. Should you need a high level interpreter for high level subjects? That would mean very skilled interpreters, perhaps. I wonder if they group interpreters by years of experience? Maybe you could request a skilled or specific one? My guess is companies have people on hand with that type of knowelge for news updates, etc. I wonder places like NASA and Lincoln Labs do?

My college terps had "specialties" or at least passions. I had certain terps who I'd request who knew names of artists and how to spell colors better (when your colors become "phthalo" it makes a difference!). Some of my college terps would volunteer to do nano for another local college. Others would jump into history more. Some would work with all of us then be called upon specifically to interpreter for Deaf-Blind students. Along the same lines I had some interpreters (religious) who turned down working for my painting and drawing courses because of nudes in the room. And an SVRS interpreter handed me off to another person when I called into headquarters about photographing a stillborn baby.

I think the hardest thing is knowing what the interpreters for SVRS are going to be good at. I'd expect they probably have experience in a classroom or doctors office before they started for Sorenson. But how many SVRS interpreters are there and what are the chances of finding one who used to interpret for chemistry etc?
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
First I don't think it is realistic to expect terps to know how to spell foreign word or technical vocabulary or jargon. Not being able to follow fingerspelling which is quite common for less experienced interpreters is frustrating. However VRS really has outstripped the Interpreter pool for supply and demand. It takes a really skilled interpreter to do VRS well....
I would contact the interpreter trainers at the specific VRS provider and share your concerns. I am sure they will get added to the company training workshops to be addressed. also I would try asking for a more skilled interpreter if you are going to have a technical conversation esp if its part of your business....
I sometimes will explain what I know is going to be confusing because its jargon or technical and not common knowledge to the VRS interpreter before they make the call. that way they have a general idea of the topic/subject...
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
My college terps had "specialties" or at least passions. I had certain terps who I'd request who knew names of artists and how to spell colors better (when your colors become "phthalo" it makes a difference!). Some of my college terps would volunteer to do nano for another local college. Others would jump into history more. Some would work with all of us then be called upon specifically to interpreter for Deaf-Blind students. Along the same lines I had some interpreters (religious) who turned down working for my painting and drawing courses because of nudes in the room. And an SVRS interpreter handed me off to another person when I called into headquarters about photographing a stillborn baby.

I think the hardest thing is knowing what the interpreters for SVRS are going to be good at. I'd expect they probably have experience in a classroom or doctors office before they started for Sorenson. But how many SVRS interpreters are there and what are the chances of finding one who used to interpret for chemistry etc?

I do think we as the Deaf consumer need to be a bit considerate of the interperters. while I feel they should be able to interpret anything from an ethical standpoint, I understand that with VRS they don't have an opportunity to decide if they want to take the assignment like with regular interpreting. For example, a terp that had been a victim of sexual abuse may not want to take an assignment for a counseling appointment for such subject. It is obvious to see how this could be emotional overwhelming for the interpreter even if she was trying to be totally professional.

If you are calling on a subject that you know might be difficult for some its nice to ask them and give them a chance to switch interpreters for you... Just say "I'm calling the dr about abortion. or calling my Girlfriend/Boyfriend and we tend to have pretty kinky conversation, are u comfortable interpreting this call or would you like connect me to a different interpreter?" I assure u either way the interpreter will appreciate you asking them
 

soutthpaw

Active Member
Yup, it depends on Terp skills and the area of knowledge. Average terp can't know everything. I ran into same problem when having legal issues and yes they messed up badly, that is one reason why my legal case was so complicated.

One of ADers suggested set up specific group of terp, it is not possible since I was inside VRS company and see how they work. They all are time sensitive. They can't wait for specific skills terp due to FCC regulation on average response time. For VRS, until last month was 3 minutes or less at 80% of the time. Right now it is 30 seconds average 85% or more of time. And this requires re-writting program on the system. The system is massive. I see why text would be best route of conversation in situation like this.

This is where VRS needs to do a better job of keeping the Deaf community informed of the facts not using melodramatic scare tactics when FCC proposes changes. second the Deaf community needs to become more involved directly with the FCC, not using a cut and paste letter but in their own words, explaining where the problems are and what FCC should do to address them...
 
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