Deaf Interpreter: A Case Study

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The goal of this assignment was to not only prepare us for future situations where we may have to explain the role of an interpreter to someone who is unfamiliar with the profession. It also led to an in-depth critical analysis of my interaction, revealing interesting strengths, and areas that I definitely want to change and improve on for future interactions. Once I found a willing volunteer (for the purposes of this paper, I will call her “Jane”), I explained the mock scenario for the assignment, and what her role was: she would be interviewing several candidates for a job, and that one candidate was Deaf, which was why I, the interpreter, was there. Prior to meeting with Jane, my plan was to act as if I was meeting her approximately ten…show more content…
1), so everyone could have access to the information being shared in the interview, without any communication barriers. Before my meeting with Jane, I struggled with whether I should discuss how different Sign Language is from English in its grammatical and syntactical structure, and if it would be beneficial to discuss the difference between hearing and Deaf culture. I decided to avoid such topics. Many of our readings stress that interpreters are working with "two languages that have very differently constructed grammars, used by two groups of people whose cultures also differ greatly in at least some respects" (Janzen, 2005a, p. 71). While it is important when educating the general public about Deaf culture and the Deaf community to discuss the differences in culture and language, I tried to focus on this as a real situation. I had minimal time to explain my role as an interpreter, and I assumed the hearing interviewer would be more focused on wanting to get the interviews done, rather than learning about the richness of Deaf culture and Sign…show more content…
2). Having almost finished my first year as in this interpreting program, I now understand that creating a trusting environment is a critical component to interpreting. In class, we learn that Deaf participants have to share information that can potentially be emotional, stressful, and extremely private. As a hearing person, I have the luxury of not necessarily needing a third person involved when I go to the doctor’s office, or a job interview (unless it is in front of a panel, but even then, those people are strictly there for the interview). Also, before this year, I once attended an alcoholics anonymous meeting, where an interpreter was present. I remember how uneasy the hearing AA members were, because they did not feel comfortable sharing stories in front of a non-AA member; someone who, they thought, might share their information, because the interpreter was not bound by AA anonymity. I was also reminded of our first day in Consecutive Interpreting, when the class established class norms, and our collective decision to “leave it [information shared in class] in Las Vegas [the class]” (Nicholson & Reynolds, 2016, p. 1). Now that I have a better understanding of AVLIC’s Code of Ethic, I felt it necessary
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