SUBJECT TO INTERPRETATION

The Unique Aspects of Sign Language Interpreting

November 01, 2019
SUBJECT TO INTERPRETATION
The Unique Aspects of Sign Language Interpreting
Chapters
00:13:41
Jump to Agustin and Carla's Interview
SUBJECT TO INTERPRETATION
The Unique Aspects of Sign Language Interpreting
Nov 01, 2019
Agustin De La Mora
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This episode can be watched in video format here.

What's the difference between sign and spoken language interpreting? Find out in this episode where Agustin interviews sign language interpreter Carla Mathers about the many topics in interpreting, such as language access rights, ethics, and demands of the job, and what they mean for sign language interpreters compared to spoken language interpreters.

This episode opens with Gabby and Kayla's guest, Katie McKay, who will discuss her experiences with learning and interpreting sign language.

Learn more about our upcoming FCICE Oral Exam Prep, beginning November 12th, here.

Get your ConVTI tickets before our $50 ticket special ends here.

Find more information and register for Finding the Parallels here. 



Speaker 1:
0:01
Hey everybody. Welcome to subject to interpretation. My name is Gabriela Villalba and I am the creative media director here at the LA Institute. And I would personally like to thank you for tuning in. This is our space for professionals and friends in and out of the field to discuss topics that are relevant to interpreters. We pride ourselves in being one of the very few podcasts for professional interpreters out there. So I hope you benefit from today's episode and find some inspiration. Maybe you learned something new and simply enjoy it. Welcome to subject to interpretation. This is a very special episode. Obviously we're here in video, so if you're listening to us on Les Brown, Spotify, anywhere else where you listen to podcasts, um, if you have a chance to get into our YouTube, get to know our faces. So we're doing this because we have a very special podcast guest today.
Speaker 1:
1:02
Obviously it's better to be interviewing Carla mailers. She's a sign language interpreter and she has a lot of experience in the fields. She's going to talk about her story a little bit. She's going to talk about how she came to notes profession and also about the biggest differences that there are the differences and similarities between spoken language interpreting and sign language interpreting. So it's going to be really fascinating. I definitely encourage you listen until then. It is great and I hope that you enjoy it. But for now we actually have Kayla and Katie with me and we invited Katie on today because she has a little bit of experience with sign language. She does a little bit of interpretation. She's taken some classes on it and she with, she's going to share with us her experience with sign language had possibly teach us a little bit yes if you signed to date.
Speaker 1:
1:56
So I took um, about four semesters of sign language classes in three different colleges. So I've had a few different perspectives from different teachers and I never went down the route of becoming a professional certified interpreter. But I do regularly interpret for my church. I turned the servings on Sunday morning. So through that process and the years that I spent studying it, I learned a lot about the differences between find language and spoken language. A lot of people think they're pretty much the same and in sign language is just English with your hands. I taught for as long as sign. So that's pretty different. Yes. Great. Very different. It's an entirely different grammar. So English, we know we need to put this kind of word in front of this kind of word and it's all very linear because when we write it's on a page.
Speaker 1:
2:47
But um, sound language is a 3d language. So you use the space around you to tell the story pretty much. So instead of conducting a lot here, you just put a lot. Yes. It's all in this space, right? So everything, it turns into three D it's an entirely different way of thinking. So I'm wondering what grammar looks like. Yeah, really curious. 3d grammar. Uh, it's part of your face is your grammar. So for instance, if I wanted to ask you, do you like cookies? I do. You can hear my tone of voice if it's a question. But when I say if I want to ask you that in sign language, I wouldn't just say you like be because my eyebrows didn't do anything cause you can't tell. It's a question. Okay. So eyebrows are important. Eyebrows, they're important. Yes. They need to be seen. So if I wanted to ask it, I would say you liked the cookies and I can tell that your facial expression is questioning.
Speaker 1:
3:50
Yes. So with my eyebrows like up [inaudible] I'm asking a yes or no question. If we want to ask, what is your favorite food? I started to do it already. I was going down [inaudible] English. You exaggerated. So your favorite food. What? Okay, so there's a different one. That's good. Yes. Okay. Your question, words go at the end and usually hold it out longer. What your favorite food? What you say? He's assuming that's the truth, but your grammar is your face. It's your body language. If you ask a question you like lean in, tilt your head. Hmm. So all of that is part of your good grammar for your, the sentences. It's a lot of things like that that we don't, we would never think about unless you had to actually use this language. The other thing is when you're talking about, you're telling a story in English, you can go in whenever you, whatever order you want.
Speaker 1:
4:54
You could say, I saw a dog, Israel is at the park and I saw this dog when I did this, this, and the other and sound language. Or she want to say yesterday, yesterday because they're sitting at the time first, let's start with the time for y'all to start big and work smaller. We're sitting at the time now, I don't want to say the place apart. Okay. I saw, no, so we started at the big details or smaller. Okay. But actually it does make sense when you put it that way. So place park yesterday or no, yesterday park. I saw a dog, yes. Okay, that's interesting. So you're setting it up so someone can start visualizing it and you're in their mind. A lot of sign language is about storytelling, making sure you have things in order to show where it is. Because it's a very visual language.
Speaker 1:
5:48
You want people to be able to see it in their minds when they hear you talk. I see. So that makes you kind of wonder like how do you suppress things? Like I can't show you. Yeah, time, but in some language we just assign them a place. Okay. So the past, it's like a could've Macada passes behind you. So this is before, okay. Before, this is way back like one, once upon a time. Once upon a time when I was a kid, it was lot of time. Okay. Yesterday. No. Yeah. Yesterday. But yeah, that's still gonna be the first what you start off with. Okay. And the present is right here now. Today. Your future future.
Speaker 1:
6:35
The same time for will. I will do that. Okay. Future or will. Interesting. So you're looking ahead to the future. Past is behind, you couldn't Metabo and then presence right here. Okay. Yeah. So there's a lot of interesting things like that. You assign things a place when you want to talk about them. So if you want to have a list of like three different people, you could have a list, a physical list to show people. My thumb is now, this is me and this is you. Okay. Or you can say, so for instance, if I was talking to someone else and I wanted to tell them about this podcast, and I want to say that Katelyn and Gabby were there, I would say Kayla
Speaker 1:
7:20
and County. So I've assigned a place for Kayla place for Gabby. And you spelled out our names. Yes. So if I wanted to say no, she did such and such, she, all I have to do is point to your space. Okay. Even if you're not there, I will say find your space. This little right here is, Oh, Kayla. Okay. So those are just a couple of things I learned while studying this that I thought were fascinating about the difference between the two languages. So a lot of differences to think about. It's not as simple as knowing the sign for each word in English. It's also restructuring it right. Put the sentence completely backwards like you in Spanish, sometimes you have to put the sentence completely backwards. Same thing. It's sign language, the typing, mix up your subjects, your verbs and your objects into a completely different order.
Speaker 1:
8:11
If it's a list you have to [inaudible] for instance in sign language, if someone started talking about a list in English, it can go on and on forever. With that list you don't know how long it is. Six in sign language, you want to know how, how many objects do I need for English and how many five or how do I start this list if I don't know how many things are on it. So it's a lot of things to consider. There is a lot to consider. It's almost like whenever we ask like have you said this in another language? And sometimes it's not that simple. Sometimes it's like you have to add a bunch of stuff to make any sense. You're kind of more like, instead of translating the actual word, you're kind of just interpreting the meaning of what you're trying to say. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
8:49
So someone wants to tell a story as, as an interpreter going into sign language. I want to know first of all the scene, tell me the scene. But if you start with telling me who the characters are and how my order's a little out of whack, it could be a little bit harder for the audience to understand. So is it important for sending with interpreters to kind of have that briefing of knowing you know, what they're about to get into or is it kinda hard for them just to walk in and someone's just already talking about it's best to know as many details as possible for him it's not always possible, but I interpret sermons. I don't have the notes, the preachers notes or anything and they can tell whatever story. It could be about sports, it could be about, um, something that happened to them in college.
Speaker 1:
9:32
It could be about anything because you know, preachers talk about anything. So I never really know what I'm going into, you know, I can practice like, okay, I know signs for, you know, God, Jesus Bible, I know all those. But when the, the preacher starts going in depth into a football analogy and I don't know the science for touchdown or things like that, then it gets a little bit more difficult and you have to improvise and describe, use all these different techniques, but you know more information the better. You can know what scene you might be describing, things like that. So those are just a couple of things. Wow. I have another question. I don't know if you know the answer. So I'll, for spoken interpreters, spoken language interpreters, there's obviously three modes. And then with the sign language interpreters, do they kind of follow those same modes or is it always kind of important for them to do it consecutively since they kind of get to like hear what they have to say and then reorder it to go ahead and sign to make it make sense?
Speaker 1:
10:32
I can't tell you that most sign language interpretation is done simultaneously because it's easy to think that, well, if you're not talking, you know, you don't have to worry about them talking over the speaker. It's fine because they sign, it gets quiet. But you know, you're still, it's still difficult because you're going into different grammar, but everything is still simultaneous interpretation, which is very difficult. Yeah. You're flipping everything around, right? Yeah, that's, that's the way most interpretation is done. Like I said, I didn't go into that route specifically. So simultaneous interpretation is the only one I'm familiar with. Okay. I've never done consecutive, um, sign language interpretation before because I'm used to just doing it for the preacher who speaks continuously. That is, that is how most sensitivity interpretation is done is simultaneous. Oh yeah. All right. Well thank you so much. Yay for talking about all this with us.
Speaker 1:
11:35
Eye eyebrows are important. That's important. Interpreter guys, we're going to go ahead and move out of here to talk about some things that are coming up like always. And let's see, next thing on the calendar. It is, it looks like it might be our last class, second to last class of the year. So this is our FC. I see oral exam prep for the federal oral exam. So this class is going to begin on November 12th and it's going to be taught by an editorial grantor. She's a wonderful instructor as I'm bragging about her before. So definitely take a look at the links in the description of this if you're interested in that. And then of course like some of that description will also contain the links to register for, I need the parallels and con VTI yes, we are officially two weeks away. [inaudible]
Speaker 1:
12:24
yeah. So you know, we're so excited for that. You guys, I know we've talked to you about this before, but don't forget we have that free welcome reception for finding the parallels happening on November 15th and then before that we actually still have our flash sale going on for coming tonight tickets until November 8th. Um, so yeah, it ends next week. So be sure to go ahead and grab your tickets before it's too late and join us for our conferences. You guys can network, you can get CEU credits and also we have a very special app that we're in the process of developing. So you'll be able to be a part of that as well if you decide to join us or what you hope you all do. Yes. So when you register, we send you an invitation to register for the app, settle more conferences. That is really cool. And this company that has been so generous to us called Pathable so we're really happy with them and we're really excited to release this. Yes, yes. So that is all I have for you guys today. I really hope you enjoyed this interview with Augustine and Carla and we will see you next week. Have a great weekend. [inaudible] sudden language [inaudible]
Speaker 2:
13:43
[inaudible]
Speaker 3:
13:46
hello everyone and welcome to another edition two subject to interpretation. Our podcast where we always bring to you our colleagues in interesting conversation with one rod colleagues that is in the field. And today I'm super happy to have my friend Carla Mathers here because this is the first time we have somebody who's an expert in sign language interpretation, which, uh, is a complete, eh, Mr. West, a complete mystery for me at the beginning. And now I understand a little bit more because of Carla. So Carla is an interpreter and an attorney and all that and a bag of chips. So I let her introduce herself. So I'm Karla. How are you doing?
Speaker 4:
14:31
I'm good, I'm good. I'm thrilled to be here. Thank you for inviting me. Um, I think you've said enough about me, but the thing that people usually ask is whether or not I was an interpreted first or an attorney first. And then of course the, how did you learn sign language thing? I was interpreted first. I started being interested in legal interpreting and I took my training initially with um, 20 sign language interpreters in 60 Spanish interpreters at Montclair state college at the time in New Jersey. And it was exciting to, you know, see the similarities and differences between us. Um, and so I practiced interpreting for about seven years and then I went to law school and practiced law for about 20, 25 years. And for the last,
Speaker 3:
15:22
when you were about 10 or so,
Speaker 4:
15:24
there you go. Um, and for the past three, two years I've been a freelance interpreting just in court. Um, and I love it and I, I should've done it a long time ago. I think I was kind of afraid not to have that two week paycheck. But you know, if you work everyday you get a two, two paycheck anyway.
Speaker 3:
15:46
That's right. So, so you've been doing, you went away from the, uh, grind of every day, the office style and became a freelancer. But tell us a little bit about interpretation. I always ask the same question to almost everybody, and in your case might be a little different, but I ask people, did you, uh, when you were a kid, did you want to be an interpreter? Was that your your choice? Hey, I want to be an interpreter or, or did you like myself fall into it?
Speaker 4:
16:15
It's funny. Um, we lived in California, I was seven and my best friends named Maria and she was Latina and her mother made the best tortillas. And so I decided when I was seven, I wanted to be a Spanish interpreter. Yeah, the vote problem that I didn't know Spanish aside, still don't know Spanish, but I worked with some wonderful Spanish interpreters down in DC superior court. Uh, so and, but then in high school and stuff, I always wanted to be involved with the loss. I'm fortunate to be able to combine the two. Um, there's some, I think people don't think that your field and might feel dark as similar as they are in terms of the mental processes involved in interpreting. Those are the same. We're working with in two languages. You're working within two languages. Um, our mode is just different. It's a visual of language instead of an auditory language.
Speaker 4:
17:09
Our laws are also different in our lives, much broader. So there aren't protections afforded to deaf people that aren't afforded to afforded to LEP individuals. Um, for example, we end up in jury room with deaf jurors a lot. And you're really fortunate, you don't have to do that cause you really want to kill him by the end of the day. Um, another difference that I've noticed that is really important is that deaf people under our statute have a right to access to all of the proceedings. So even in the department of justices, technical assistant manual example, it gives us, if a person, a member of the community wants to go into court off street and, and observed the court is obligated to provide a reasonable accommodation. So that's why you see us either sitting there or in front of the deaf person and interpreting everything up until their case. I have noticed that Spanish interpreters were spoken. Language interpreters don't do that. And I think, right. And what happens with sign language interpreters is that they take their cues from you guys. And so they assume that they're not supposed to do it either. And then the court gets into trouble and the deaf person [inaudible]
Speaker 3:
18:21
see. And, and I think that's very interesting because some people, including our friend Patricia Mikkelsen King thinks that if we're in the courtroom and the LEP is in the courtroom, we should be interpreting also,
Speaker 4:
18:36
I find myself agreeing with her once again.
Speaker 3:
18:39
That's right. And, and some of us are, many of us, the way we were trained was, no, you don't need to because that's not their case. And my biggest concern about that is that, that you immediately establish this relationship with, with the LEPs or any assets, and then they start wanting to ask you questions and, and wants you to, Oh, well you were interpreting for me here. How about you accompany me to the clerk's office to pay? And then again, if we were a deaf person, the interpreter would correct.
Speaker 4:
19:13
We would definitely, if, if the court told us to go to the clerk's office and pay, we would do that. Yeah. Because the, the deaf person has the right to access information in the same way as a person that can hear does. Now, attorneys sometimes want to take advantage of us, right? Yeah. Right. Yeah. Um, and, and I'm from with them. Our, our policy of the court I work at is we'll give attorneys five minutes either pre or post as per se, and then they have to get there and interpreters, and I have lots of attorneys who are real uncomfortable with that, but I also provide them information on how to get those because most of our attorneys are appointed so they can have interpreters appointed as well.
Speaker 3:
19:59
Got it. So, so then they can comply with that part of the rule, which is something that we definitely don't have for spoken language interpreters. Um, we don't, uh, people don't have that. It's interesting because they do not have that. Right. As a matter of fact, in some States, and I want your opinion both as an interpreter, as an attorney, a about some jurisdictions that don't even cover anything that is not a for language spoken languages. If a person requires an interpreter but they're not risking jail time, they don't get an interview.
Speaker 4:
20:36
Wow. Well, I knew that the language access kind of movement really exploded when president Obama decided to enforce president Clinton's executive order. But I haven't seen cases interpreting that to say, this is where there is a right to language access and this part isn't. I would be surprised if that court didn't have a complaint filed against it. I just read a case in Indiana where a deaf son filed a complaint because the court didn't provide him an interpreter for the audience when his mother was involved in a DWI case. So I know there's some litigation and so some, some case law with us, but I don't know about anything with you guys. But think about, think about how much a person learns about if they're sitting there waiting for their case to be called. They learned about the judge minds. They learn what other people say, what excuses work, what excuses, doubt. And it just, you know, not
Speaker 3:
21:39
to ask for. I, I remember, uh, uh, you reminded me of an interesting, uh, thing that happened in Florida some years ago. I think they closed that loophole. But, uh, about 20 or 25 years ago, one of this attorneys found out that there was in the statutes, if you were stopped by the police and they gave you a ticket, they had X number of days to take that ticket to the clerk's office and many of them that we just get all their tickets and ticket whenever, maybe the end of the month. And many of those tickets were outside that time. Well, nobody had challenged that until one attorney founded and challenged it successfully in front of the judge, said, judge, you know, the police is supposed to present this within let's say 72 hours or whatever it was. And they didn't. So I say, you should dismiss the case because they're outside and the, they didn't have the right to bring it so late. The judge agreed and the next person that stood up was not in a trainee and said, Oh, mine also was from and started asking for that to be dismissed. Yeah. And so you're right, the even person that needs an interpreter goes in here that then they, they lose that opportunity. Huh.
Speaker 4:
22:59
Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
23:01
Well, it's interesting because also, like I said, in some States they don't even provide interpreters for civil cases if it's not criminal, too bad. And now you work in Washington D C they do provide interpreters for spoken languages for every case, correct?
Speaker 4:
23:18
Ah, yes. For everything. Civil and criminal. Um, our self help center, our resource centers, everything that I'm in DC, Spanish is the, it's used about 75% of the time. The second most interpreted language is American sign language. And the third is a Mark. Uh, wow. We have just contracted with the national center for state courts and we got a grant from the state justice Institute to create, um, an a Mark language test. Oh really? That's interesting. Yeah, there is, there is none. And so that was just announced last week and I'm sure you're gonna be around the San Francisco area. Yeah. Okay.
Speaker 3:
23:59
I might, I might end up there. Yes. Uh, so yeah, it, it, and, and they're developing now and I'm a Herrick test.
Speaker 4:
24:08
Yeah. And I do before, I know we have short time, but I want to talk a little bit about our ESL test because, um, I think the, the court administrators need to understand that the rad no longer has a legal interpreting test. So there's like 253 in a 300 of us who, um, have that sort of credential and it's not being given and it's not coming back and state courts and relied upon our ID, which was our registry of interpreters for the deaf for testing all these years. And so they need to kick the ball up themselves. And I think DC is interested in that. California is interested. I've heard of interest from Washington state and from Oregon. So try to put that plug out there in case there's any court administrators.
Speaker 3:
24:53
Right, right. And then maybe the clack will try to pick up that Slack. Huh? Because, uh, I, I, you know, it's, when I started this business, really sign language was not even in the Raider for us. I mean, it was like a different planet or something. And then I started realizing, wait a minute, they're interpreters. We're interpreters, we do the exact same thing. It might be a different language. It's like it would be between Spanish and Vietnamese, but it's still the same function. And I was very pleasantly surprised when I met you in Pennsylvania because not every state trains, uh, ASL interpreters at all, even in the, uh, in the same way that they train spoken language interpreter as far as demanding a in orientation or, or, uh, compliant with the, with the code of ethics for code interpreters, which is an interesting thing that I wanted to ask you about. I'm assuming the, our ID still is gonna certify people just not in the legal field or not even that
Speaker 4:
25:59
there are a D you got itself too. So they created a independent LLC as Lee and I can't remember what that stands for. He does all of the testing, but it's owned by R and D. so, and R I D is in the position now that it wants to be able to recognize other entities tests. So if the national center for state courts created one and the state courts paid for it, our ID would recognize it.
Speaker 3:
26:27
[inaudible] so we could have an our ID recognized specialty for sign language interpreters.
Speaker 4:
26:33
Right. And as of yesterday, our board met and appointed a task force to try and make this happen and guess who's running it? So there's that.
Speaker 3:
26:43
Okay. Okay. Good luck. All right, so, but tell us a little bit less, let me back track a little bit about how you became, you wanted to be a Spanish interpreter but you're not, but you're a sign language interpreter. How did that happen?
Speaker 4:
26:57
Well, I grew up near a bunch of deaf people, but I didn't use sign language except the dirty signs.
Speaker 3:
27:03
Okay. I think that's what everybody learns first when you learn another language. Right?
Speaker 4:
27:08
Yeah, absolutely. Um, I, I don't have any deaf people in my family. Um, but I knew that it existed cause I believe very close to the school and did that. And so when I went to college, I was kind of floundering and I found an ESL club and I found a school, and it's, this is the important part. The school that I wanted to go to was not in Idaho, which is where I'm from. It was in New York, which is where I wanted to be. So I applied and this into, you know, sign language. And I said, yeah, no, that's why I'm applying. You're supposed to teach me. And they said, go learn some sign language and apply again. So I learned at the school essentially. And then over the years I've been doing it for about 30 years now.
Speaker 3:
27:48
Right. And, and another thing that I didn't know there, so you're obviously not a native signer and that people who are signers could recognize the difference between a signer and a native signer. How does that work? It's interesting for me,
Speaker 4:
28:07
it's, it's, it's an accent. So I haven't non-native accent. Okay. And some of us aren't. Most many of us are not very good, so we'll just put that out there. And so people who have it as a native language, oftentimes some of the better interpreters, we call them, um, interpreters with deaf parents and codas got children of deaf adults. [inaudible] so yeah,
Speaker 3:
28:35
so you would say that they are better interpreters?
Speaker 4:
28:38
They can be, they can be. It can be learned just like any language can be worded right. But they think it's really the best interpreters are actually deaf. So I work with a group of people called certified deaf interpreters who not only are they native, they're, they're using the language 24, seven, three 65. So, um, we're fortunate to have a number of them that were regulated in down in DC. That's my cat.
Speaker 3:
29:06
All right. Hi cat. Now now delve a little bit, this is fascinating for us, at least for me as a hearing person. I'll be honest, the first time that I got a call in the courts and said, somebody said, we need a deaf interpreter. I thought, Oh, they don't even know what they're talking about. If he were deaf, then how's he going to interpret if he's deaf? And then it turns out you do have deaf interpreters. How does that work?
Speaker 4:
29:35
We do. And you use the same process when you work with languages of limited diffusion and you have a relay in place. So that's how we work. So I would, I would listen to whatever spoken English is and then I would, um, render my interpretation to the deaf interpreter that would then render their interpretation to whoever the client was. We use them in situations where they're young children, we use them when a deaf person has an additional handicap and additional disability, um, maybe a cognitive disability. We use them with people who have emerging language who might have a fully functioning foreign sign language. So you know that someone which isn't universal. Right? Right. So someone from Britain only is British sign language is not mutually intelligible. Like our speeches, our language came from French sign language. So there's much more similarities there. Um, so yeah, we use the intermediary process quite frequently,
Speaker 3:
30:36
right. So cause I thought, well, if I, so the assumption for me was everybody who's deaf uses American sign language. But that's not always the case.
Speaker 4:
30:48
No, it's not. A lot of, it depends upon when you became deaf, where you went to school. Um, and cause sometimes the makeup of your family, about 10% of deaf people have deaf parents. They're the ones who really perpetuate the culture and the language because they are, they have communication from the, from the jump. Lots of times a person who has a deaf kid and they spend all those precious language learning years trying to fix their ears. And that doesn't work even with the implant surgery. So that person has more of a struggle later on trying to acquire any language. Yeah. Then some, so some people just read lips. I don't know how they do that, but they do.
Speaker 3:
31:33
Yeah. I w I wanted to ask you about that because I thought that was only in the movies because it seems very difficult. I mean maybe eith I Mao that like that, but normal speech, how do they tell? But apparently it's possible.
Speaker 4:
31:49
Well, first of all, you have to have a strong command in English language in order to read lips in English. And so if you have spent all your language learning years trying to get your ears fixed and that didn't work, you're not going to have a strong language base. Got it. 30% of the length of the words and the language is what I've heard can be distinguished on the lip. So you're not, it's a guessing game.
Speaker 3:
32:13
Yeah, that's right. But if you, you know, I like football and for many years now the coaches have been sending instructions to their players by covering half their face and I heard that it was because some coaches were hiring lip readers to tell them what the instructions were from the opposite team was, you know, at the beginning, didn't matter. But TB had constant close ups of the coaches and whatever and the Nick could see the instructions. Then they started using this method and I always thought, Oh, come on. That's not even possible. Who's going to be where it is?
Speaker 4:
32:54
It is. I've heard, I know of a person who was hired to read the lips of the queen of England ones, but back to football. Okay. The only time you ever going hear me talk about it. Okay, let's do that. Invented by deaf people, the huddle, you know at the end really. And there's also a deaf professional baseball player back in the, around the turn of the century who created the sign, those gestures or those things that they do. Yes. Obviously he did much to those sports world.
Speaker 3:
33:29
Oh that's very, very interesting. And the huddle was like that because then they could sign to each other,
Speaker 4:
33:34
right. Wrong that the opposing team knowing or standing cause sign. I can just like that where we got a made, I can talk to somebody in another building or another car. [inaudible]
Speaker 3:
33:46
yeah, that's always my complain about classes because you know, when I'm teaching a class, uh, most people are not going to be having conversations because people can hear them and you go, Hey, what sign language interpreters. I've seen them what? Teaching the class and they are signing sometimes and you know, it's hard to notice unless you're looking directly at them.
Speaker 4:
34:08
And it's also actually, um, it's S it's a sign that they're engaged. I know it appears room, but it's a cultural thing. It's like you're talking about what the professor's saying. You're not just having a conversation. If you are just having an off the wall conversation, that's rude. You should take it outside. But generally, um, if deaf people, if I'm interpreting and they're talking to each other and I could see they're talking about what's going on, that tells me they understand the interpretation part too.
Speaker 3:
34:36
Oh cool. Cool, cool. So it's not necessarily that they're just checking out. It actually could be that they are engaged. Crazy. We're learning a lot, a lot of things with this. Ah, now how, how do the once, once you got sir, did you get certified as a sign language interpreter? How was that the first step?
Speaker 4:
34:56
Yes. I took a degree. I have an undergraduate degree in interpreting and I worked for a number of years. I got certified as a generalist, which is, it's just everything but legal. We had a couple of different tests created for specialties. The legal women's, probably the most well known. So I took that exam twice. I passed in both times. But the first time it wasn't complete. So out we took alphabetic and I'm right, there was about 200 250 of us with that and there's 10 deaf interpreters who have do took that exam and passed it as well.
Speaker 3:
35:38
Good. And then, uh, do they have a medical interpreting or did they used to or have they had it?
Speaker 4:
35:45
Yeah, there's great interest in it. We have a st Catherine's university received a huge grant from the federal government and so they're doing a lot of training in healthcare. I know that there's a spoken language interpreting organization that has a certification and I know
Speaker 3:
36:04
actually two of them, two medical [inaudible],
Speaker 4:
36:06
one of them I believe is working with our people to try to make sure that I'm a sign language interpreters can get certified. There's one degree program in New York for medical interpreting, so that's definitely coming for a long time. We've had training through, it's bizarre, but it's through Alabama and they come up with the qualified medical mental health interpreter credential. So it's, it's growing. Medical is certainly one of the fields that we're in quite often. The problem that I see with all kinds of interpreting in this is going to hit you guys eventually, I'd be interested in your take on it is they're trying to put video re video remote interpreting everywhere and it doesn't work in court on a website system, on your iPhone. It just doesn't work. Right, right. Yeah. I'm on a committee for the national association for the death, trying to create a position paper on the use of a video remote interpreting in court for us because they've sued so many hospitals over there. Terrible, terrible equipment. And I know you have an interest in that.
Speaker 3:
37:18
Yeah, I do. And, and I can see how, because if we have problems, sometimes if the bandwidth is overused or there's something wrong and you sound a little choppy or whatever, I can imagine that in signing that that's like all of a sudden it's a different language altogether so you can't use it. Um, and as a sign language interpreter, I can see why, uh, the intervene, the closeness is a lot more important. And any little sign that is ms is Parker's. Another thing that I noticed and I think I've asked you before is I see a lot of facial movement when people are assigning. And I thought, Oh that, that may be cool. But then I found that as part of the communication, right.
Speaker 4:
38:03
Part of the grammar where our adverts are grammar, our adverbs are here, our question types are on our eyebrows. So rhetorical questions. Yes, no questions. Wh questions. I'll have a different eyebrow and head tilt and it is very standard in American sign language.
Speaker 3:
38:19
Right. And I thought they were just like a little overdramatic but now they're actually using punctuation or something. Right?
Speaker 4:
38:25
Yeah. They're also a little over dramatic.
Speaker 3:
38:29
We have all kinds. We do. Now, you know, one of the things that you say it's coming and uh, a friend of mine already started talking about that data presentation a couple of years ago, is this similarities actually points of connection that we're having between legal and medical. And as an attorney I would like, what do you think, eh, what do you think is the first approach or the correct approach? Because a judge orders a mental health evaluation for defendant to see if they're competent tried. Right. Okay. So that's court ordered. The what do the courts do? They hire code interpreter
Speaker 4:
39:17
cross training.
Speaker 3:
39:19
Well that's the thing that, you know, traditionally if you ask anybody, Oh, well, yeah, well I'm according to her, I'll go through that. Then you go, but it's not a legal encounter. And the provider is a doctor, right? It's a mental health or, or a or a health professional. Right? And now the encounter is not adversarial as it is in court. It's more collaborative. So what happens with the very strict, uh, adversarial, uh, traditional interpretation in court where you're taught you as an interpreter Jurek conduit, that's it. But in medical interpretation, you have this, uh, incremental intervention approach. If clarifying is necessary, if cultural broken is necessary, even advocacies and they say you can within certain parameters of, so how do you handle that as an interpreter? That you use one set of rules or the other because it's court ordered, but it's a medical encounter. What do you think?
Speaker 4:
40:24
I th I think assuming the interpreter has both sets of skills that you would go with what the, the context of the interaction requires its medical interaction. So I would, I would choose to follow that medical set of rules at the same time. Um, it still is a part of the adversarial system. The Dr. May or may not have to testify if the interpreter is functioning more as a community based interpreter and if there is a question about the interpretation, then they have to be prepared to explain that as if they get called to testify. So, um, yeah, that's, I thought about that before, but it's very interesting.
Speaker 3:
41:07
Yeah, it is very interesting because we had a case for instance and interpretation in contemplation interpret what was said and that's it during the mental health evaluation, uh, my friend, um, he was confronted with, one of the questions that this, uh, doctor was asking is, for instance, a tongue twisters. Right, right. Well, so how do you, first of all, you can interpret it Trisha, because they usually plays on words and whatever. Right. And they're culturally based. Yeah. So even if you could potentially come up with a similar, it's a different ballgame altogether. And, and how do you handle that when you're supposed to just be a conduit? That was a question. Here's a question and that's the answer he said instead of, and she said, right. I felt absolutely impossible to continue interpreting unless I talked to the doctor dad because it does as well. We'll just use the same words. Uh, no, that's not possible. So how you said something about cross training. You said we should have cross training or,
Speaker 4:
42:16
yes, I was thinking in terms of the court interpreter should have both court interpreter training and medical mental health. But that's different than the scenario you pose. But it does bring to mind what I do. I have never done this, but I have taken training and no interpreters who've done lie detector tests and with deaf people. Um, some of the questions are very similar to those. Like they want to know how to spell something. Well, maybe it's something we don't have a sign for, so we're going to have to spell it to them and then we just give them the answer back. So what those people do, uh, who interpret lie detector test is meet with the practitioner at a time and say, these are the kinds of things that cause problems for interpretation. That's kind of a proactive approach you could take. But if it happens in the middle and you can't interpret that, I think your friends absolutely correct you, you make your record than you can interpret this because it's not possible in your language.
Speaker 3:
43:17
That's right. That's right. But she, that's why she did the presentation because she said, I think maybe we should do. And what you've meant, she didn't call it that. But it seems to me that there should be cross training. What you propose is that the incremental intervention approach should be taught to legal interpreters in case they're confronted with a situation where they're not in a legal adversarial situation, but they're more in a medical encounter.
Speaker 4:
43:45
No, I, I've taught a class w um, with a guy who runs that mental health program in Alabama and we talked about the intersection of legal in medical and like with the police go and they want to talk to someone that they're interested in as a target in the hospital, you know, and you're the medical interpreter, what do you do if you know, this is going to be part of the investigation and you may be subject to testifying later.
Speaker 3:
44:11
That's right. And that's kind of the reverse thing because now you, you are used as an interpreter in a medical field to be a lot, have a lot more leeway, but because this is illegal encounter, maybe you shouldn't have that. [inaudible] exactly. So I think Carolyn, we're going to have to have another conversation just about this topic alone. I, you know, and in November we're having our, uh, conference here, we're calling it finding the parallels because we, we are, and I think we should find the parallels not only between legal and medical, but also between spoken language and sign language interpreting. And, and we did have a case here some years ago where we have two defendants, one who was deaf, and the other one who spoke Spanish. So that was an interesting table for the defense. You know, we had the Spanish interpreter as a sign language interpreter. We had the proceeding interpreters in sign and Spanish. So that was a lot of fun. So, um, we promise you half an hour and believe it or not, it's been half an hour. We could be talking forever, but I don't want to keep you, I know you have something else to do and somewhere to go. So I really appreciate it, but be prepared. Cause maybe we'll ask you to come back and continue conversation with us. I'd be happy to. All right. Thank you again for inviting me. Thank you. Bye bye Carla.
Speaker 2:
45:39
[inaudible].
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