Finally visited The Clarendon Hotel when some friends stayed. Nice place!
I was looking for a category for my blog posts about accessibility, ethics, politics, human rights, love, relationships, and family, so I Googled some of those terms together, and the top result was lifestyle. A very nice definition I found on Wikipedia was:
Lifestyle may include views on politics, religion, health, intimacy, and more.
This sociological definition helped overcome my reservations about using the term lifestyle. You have to understand that there is a historical tension between straights and gays about lifestyle. You may have heard the expression “the homosexual lifestyle,” as if there were just one lifestyle for all gay people, and as if everything that made up a person’s sexual orientation and entire way of life outside of the bedroom could be reduced to the a lifestyle. I remember a gay activist saying, “so they [straight people who condemn "the homosexual lifestyle"] have a life, and we get a lifestyle” (as if a lifestyle were somehow cheaper than a life). Well, maybe it’s time to let go of those old connotations and embrace the definition of lifestyle as simply a way of living, minus the judgment.
Another reason I picked the word lifestyle for this category is that some people classify blogs as either lifestyle or niche. Since my blog is a combination of niche and lifestyle, I chose lifestyle for those posts that do not fit a niche (like interpreting), but instead are about, well, “life.”
I might change the name of this category, but for now, that’s why I’m calling it Lifestyle.
There is a sign in ASL some call CHA-HEAD because “cha” is the mouth morpheme used in ASL for something big, and the sign for BIG is made around the head level to indicate a “big head” (figuratively speaking). The formal gloss for this sign is ARROGANT (glosses are conventionally written in ALL CAPS). Since ASL has no written form, when people want to write about ASL, or talk about it in English, they assign glosses to signs. The benefit of these glosses is they give us a way to transcribe ASL for the purposes of notation and translation. The drawback of these glosses is they tend to limit our translation of these signs that one gloss, rather than to what the signs actually mean in context.
as any good interpreter or translator knows, words and signs in one languages do not always have single word/sign equivalents in another
One example of a gloss that I believe limits our vocabulary is the gloss ARROGANT for the sign, well, let’s call it CHA-HEAD for lack of a better word other. The thing we might forget is that CHA-HEAD often doesn’t mean anything as extreme as arrogant. A few cases in point: I was interpreting a video relay call some years ago (and of the thousands of call I interpreted in seven years, this is one that stands out), and a Deaf brother signed to his hearing brother something to the effect of YOU HEAD-CHA TELL DAD. I (unfortunately) voiced, “it was arrogant of you to tell him.” The hearing brother said, “I’m not arrogant!” I realized at that moment is was my interpretation, not what his brother said, that he was responding to. I asked the Deaf caller to hold just a moment, and I explained to the hearing caller, “this is the interpreter— sorry about that interpretation. A better interpretation would have been, “you shouldn’ta done that.” I chose that interpretation on second thought because that’s what the Deaf person’s utterance “felt” like when I saw it; in other words, that was the sense of what the Deaf person signed. I had made the mistake of interpreting the form of the word I had been taught for that sign, and the translation was woefully off. When I really thought about it for a moment (and how many “moments” do we really have when we are interpreting a phone call?), I realized not only did the sign not mean arrogant; it really didn’t even translate to a particular word, but more to an expression.
Another case in point, which brought this up for me recently: I was debriefing with a fellow interpreter, and I felt I needed to call them out on something they did on the job that I felt was less than appropriate (as I’ve said, I believe interpreting teams need to be blunt with each other for the sake of consumers. We were conversing in both our languages (as bilingual people often do), and I said, “I thought that was a little [switching to ASL without mouthing] HEAD-CHA.” My colleague said, “it wasn’t arrogant!” Now, you have to understand, this colleague is an intelligent, well-educated, and seasoned interpreter, so if they thought of the word arrogant when confronted with that sign, it tells me the connotation is well entrenched among ASL-English interpreters. What I said to them was, “well, I didn’t mean arrogant; I just meant kind of liberal [in the demand-control schema sense of favoring action as opposed to inaction].” I just felt that they had done something that overstepped an interpreter’s bounds a bit. Of course, that is arguable, and the point is not which one of us was “right” or “wrong”— the point is that my colleague took exception to my ASL sign because of the denotation assigned to it by the English gloss.
A Thesaurus of Translations for HEAD-CHA other than ARROGANT
Since the sign in question means so many things milder than arrogant, here is a list of translations with a range of meanings to match a range of situations. Note these are not all single words, because as any good interpreter or translator knows, words and signs in one languages do not always have single word/sign equivalents in another. These translations are context-dependent, and are not by any means suggested to be one-size-fits-all. Pick and choose what suits the situation. Here’s my list as of now:
- to take it upon oneself to…
- to go right ahead and…
- to just…
- to overstep
- overstepping one’s bounds
- beyond one’s place
- crossing the line
- a bit much, don’t you think?
- the nerve!
- to have the nerve to…
- full of oneself
- taking liberties
- to think [one] can just…
I’m sure the list could go on, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. Do you have any other translations? Please leave a comment. Thanks!
A couple of years ago, I split my multi-topic blog into five blogs, and decided to make my main one about Interpreting and Translation. Since those were the only topics, I decided to make my categories Articles, Editorials, Essays, and Vlogs. This year, however, I decided to reel it all back into this one blog. Since once again my blog would be about several topics, I needed to return to a more topical taxonomy. I changed the old categories to tags, and created new categories to fit my topics: American Sign Language & Deaf Culture, Business, Communications & Media Studies, Creative & Performing Arts, Photography, Education, Interpreting, Linguistics, Food, Lifestyle, and Travel. This taxonomy is a work-in-progress (especially Lifestyle).
I looked to the blogosphere to see how other bloggers were naming their categories and tags because I wanted to make it easier for people to find my stuff. One of the sources I found was this Popular Blog Categories infographic:
That got me wondering what other WordPress bloggers were calling their tags and categories, so I went to the WordPress Reader to explore Tags:
Some of these tags are ephemeral, like Blackhistorymonth; however, most of them are perennial words for what I’ve written about under different headings. I compared them with my tags and decided to go with the majority of bloggers on some of them: I changed essays to musings, editorials to opinion, and I split off posts tagged articles to either research or stories.
Taxonomy is a balancing act between what I want to call things and what others want to call things. I like to have my style, but if most people are using different words for the same things, I am willing to use their words so they understand me… within reason. I still won’t say presently for currently, but I like musings, opinion, research, and stories. Thanks, bloggers!
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Found a relevant rubric today on iRubric for a French Oral Exam that I edited to make it an ASL Interactive Exam. This is what it looks like. Click the picture to jump to the rubric page.
I asked one of my ASL classes to take 3 minutes the other day and write whatever came to mind about how they would like to learn ASL– what kinds of classroom exercises, texts (books, videos), homework, tests, whatever. I did this because it seemed like some things weren’t working for some of the students in the class, and I wondered if they had any better ideas about how to learn. I think it was interesting for them to write, and I certainly got some ideas from them I will put into action; in fact, I already made some changes this morning. In addition to making changes in the course, I feel it improved the trust we have in each other, since they know that I want to listen, and I know that they want to learn– maybe just in different ways.
I have had some of the same thoughts about blogging interfering with my learning and teaching.