How “faithfully” or “literally” should interpreters convey signed English (or Contact Language) into spoken English when sign-to-voice interpreting? Does it make sense to use the “meaning model” or “sense theory” to receive the signed English message, drop all the mouthed, signed, and fingerspelled English words, phrases, and figures of speech, conceptualize it, and speak the “meaning” of it in English?
I tried doing consecutive interpreting lately on 1:1 consultative assignments with deaf consumers who are visiting doctors, social workers, etc. These consumers signed fluently in a mostly English word order. I tried to receive their signed English, conceptualize the message more deeply than I usually do in simultaneous transliteration, and remember some of their word choices. What I found was that the processing time helped me avoid miscues or “false starts,” but I forgot some of their wording.
Does it matter if the interpreter loses some of the deaf consumer’s word choices, turns of phrase, etc.? Or is it more important that the interpreter convey the consumer’s conceptual meaning regardless of language? I would like to hear from sign language interpreters and deaf & hearing consumers of interpreting services.
I based this discussion on sources I have read, but I cannot remember whom to cite. I did read these articles this morning to jog my memory and find something specific I could use as a citation:
Anukriti.net About Translation.
Vicars, B. (n.d.). American Sign Language: contact signing. On “American Sign Language University” at Lifeprint.com – A resource for ASL students and teachers. American Sign Language: Contact Signing.
Wikipedia – Language Contact. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Language_contact.
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