As an assignment for the Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies at Western Oregon University (WOU MAIS), I completed a videotaping of myself spending about 20 minutes interpreting a source text I had not heard before: Simon Lewis’s talk “Don’t take consciousness for granted,” at TED.com. There is an interactive transcript that you can view by following the link.
I would like to think this is not a sample of my best work, but I am humble enough to accept that there are times when this is the best I can do with such an unfamiliar topic and fast pace.
Here are some facts about me and the circumstances under which this sample was recorded:
- The hearing speaker appears to be a 50-something-year-old white male from a foreign English-speaking country (South America, Australia, England?).
- I am a 44-year-old white American male.
- I began learning ASL when I was 21.
- I have 21 years’ experience as an interpreter and transliterator.
- I earned my RID CI in 1998 and my CI in 1999.
- I earned my RID NIC Master in 2010.
- I earned a Bachelor’s degree in 2003.
- This is my first recorded video assignment for the Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies at Western Oregon University (the WOU MAIS).
- I recorded this in my own home using a tripod, camera that records HD video, laptop connected to TED.com, amplified computer speakers connected to the laptop, and both artificial and natural lighting. I set up all of the technology myself just before recording this sample.
- I had no audience for this recording; all that was in front of me was my camera and my home.
- My only preparation was reading the “About this Talk” and “About the Speaker” paragraphs before interpreting/transliterating the video.
- I planned before I recorded this to publish it on YouTube for a global audience, even though this was not a requirement of the course assignment.
I post this more for educational purposes than as a part of a résumé, but if a potential employer were to judge my work based on this sample, I would not discourage them from doing so [unless I have posted more recent interpreting samples]. As I said, this may not be my best, but it is an acceptable sample of current work considering the circumstance listed above.
Do you have any questions about any part of this video or the making of it? If so, please leave a comment.
2 responses to “Sample of my interpreting & transliterating”
UPDATE: I have decided to disallow comments for this post because I don’t want to receive criticism and I can do without praise. The way I feel about sharing it with the world is “love it, hate, learn from it what to do and what not to do… but I don’t want to hear about it. Talk amongst yourselves.” Someone gave me some unsolicited criticism about this video on my blog yesterday and my feelings are still hurting. I know I’m not as good an interpreter as I would like to be. I probably already know almost all the mistakes that could be pointed out. It is one thing to know what to do and it another thing to do it. I work hard all the time to be a better interpreter. I’m not going for my master’s in interpreting studies right now just so I can research and teach interpreting; I am going because I know I can always do better, and I want to do better. I created this video so that I can receive feedback from my professors and classmates, not so I could get feedback from people outside of that trusted circle. Call me silly for sharing it with the world and not accepting feedback on it, but I think there are things you are courageous enough to share with the world but not thick skinned enough to be criticized about. I know that people will criticize my work, and I encourage them to do so respectfully amongst themselves. I am happy to be an example of an interpreter working to do his best and not always doing it. I’m just too sensitive to hear about it from the world right now.
Let me make something clear: I created this video for feedback with my trusted professors and classmates. I am willing to put it out there for people to watch, but I am not looking for praise or criticism. I deleted someone’s comment just now because their attitude seemed to be that they could stomp in here and give me unsolicited feedback on my performance. The things they said may be valid, but the way they said them is inappropriate. Besides, I am not keen on allowing anonymous commenters here. If you have something to say, you should say it respectfully and declare your identity. God knows I’m willing to put my identity on the line. So should you.