Flying to Albuquerque to teach a workshop on interpreting into English. I call it “Tripplingly on the tongue” after Hamlet’s speech to the players.
Is “freelance” a setting? I’ve heard people say they used to be “educational” and now they’re “freelance.” What they mean is they used to be employed full-time at a school and now they work as an independent contractor for agencies. Yet interpreters can work full-time in schools and be “freelance” if they’re working at that school as independent contractors. By the same token, there are interpreters who work for agencies as full-time employees, and they do doctor’s appointments, business meetings – the same kinds of work as interpreters who call themselves “freelancers.” I think interpreters get their settings and specialties mixed up, and I think it can cause confusion to those entering the field, those who hire us, and even ourselves and each other. Knowing what’s what can give everyone a better understanding of what we do. Here is how I suggest we distinguish interpreting settings from interpreting specialties:
- Academic, post-secondary
- Business, corporate
- Church, religious
- Court, criminal justice, law enforcement, legal
- Educational, K-12
- Mental health
- Performing arts, music, theater
- Recovery, substance abuse, 12-step
- Social services
- Video remote interpreting (VRI) or video relay service (VRS)
- Close vision, tactile (for Deaf-Blind populations)
- Oral transliteration
“Freelance” is neither a setting nor a specialty; it’s just a way of making a living. Tactile, oral transliteration, and trilingual are not settings, since one can interpret for special populations anywhere; it just takes specialization to be able to interpret for them. Of course, some settings require specialization, such as court requires legal.
What are some of the settings you work in? What are your specialties? Do you have any pet peeves about the language people use to describe where interpreters work and what kinds of work interpreters do?
- Redefinition of the (Sign Language) interpreter’s role? (interpretings.net)
- CAAG’s Video Remote Interpreting Revolutionizes Interpreting Services For Deaf And Hard Of Hearing (prweb.com)
- The Professional Interpreter: One Profession. One Real Profession. (terptrans.com)
I’ve posted some tweets lately with questions to the interpreting profession, but I’ve seen no replies. Maybe you can change that — reply to these tweets or leave a comment here.
ASL or other signed-spoken language interpreters: do you do consecutive interpreting & if so, take notes? Any concerns re: confidentiality?—
(@TerpTrans) April 25, 2012
Oh, and another one just for fun (although I do take grammar very seriously).
I could really use your help to find one word — and it has to be a NOUN — for this facial expression people use in both English and ASL (American Sign Language) when they’re using Vague Language (VL). Maybe my facial expression / noun pairs will help you. Now maybe you can help me… thanks!
This was the first time I had photographed a presenter giving a workshop in sign language. Those who know American Sign Language (ASL) can guess what Dr. Dennis Cokely was talking about. Those who don’t know ASL– well, they can have even more fun guessing. I don’t want to give away the content of his workshop to those who know ASL; rather, I encourage them to take his workshop themselves! As for those who don’t know ASL, there would be so much lost in translation if I simply said, “Dr. Cokely is signing X,” that I would be guilty of oversimplifying his message. And his workshop “Interpreting Culturally Rich Realities” is all about not oversimplifying any interpretation! I thank Dr. Cokely for his permission to photograph him as he worked.
While I don’t want to give too much of his workshop away, I do want to use these photos to help myself and others who took his workshop recall some of this repeated points. One of the things Dr. Cokely repeatedly discussed was having multiple lexical items in one’s “mental files” to choose from when confronted with signs or words that represented “culturally rich realities,” or words that are not easily conveyed from one culture/language to another in a 1:1 ratio.
As a photographer of a speaker presenting in ASL, I used the textual analysis and predictive skills I’ve developed as an interpreter to study Dr. Cokely’s rhetorical devices so that I would be prepared with my camera to capture him at the very moment when he would repeat one of his themes. As an instructor, he was very deft at using repetition to drive home a point.
You may view my set of photos of Dennis Cokely on Flickr.