Mi desarollo como intérprete trilingüe

Yo sigo en aprender español para que yo lo añada a mis lenguas de interpretación. Afortunadamente, aún a este punto intermedio de mi desarollo, a veces yo puedo hacer un poco de interpretación trilingüe. Por ejemplo, quizás yo interpreto para una cita médica en esta manera: hay un médico oyente que habla español e ingles, un miembro de familia oyente que habla español y el lenguaje de señas, y un paciente sordo que usa el lenguaje de señas americano. Cuando el médico y el miembro de familia hablan con juntos, yo interpreto al paciente sordo lo que están diciendo; cuando el paciente seña, el miembro de familia comprende el paciente y yo interpreto al médico en inglés. Si a cualquier tiempo no entiendo el español del médico o del miembro de familia, este doctor es dispuesto a decírmelo en inglés. !Se sale bien!


I continue to learn Spanish so that I can add it to my interpreting languages. Fortunately, even at this point in my development, sometimes I can do a bit of trilingual interpretation. For example, perhaps I interpret for a medical appointment in this way: there is a hearing doctor who speaks Spanish and English, a hearing family member who speaks Spanish and sign language, and the Deaf patient who uses American Sign Language. When the doctor and the family member speak with each other, I interpret to the Deaf patient what they are saying; when the patient signs, the family member understands the patient and I interpret for the physician in English. If at any time do not understand the doctor’s or family member’s Spanish, this doctor is willing to say it to me in English. It works out well!

2016 Review and 2017 Preview

I know the end of January is later than years-in-review usually come out, but since I have not blogged in a long, long time, I thought it best to share what I’ve been doing all this time and what I plan to do this year.

One thing I have spent a lot of time on the last four years has been teaching ASL at the community college level. I tend to spend “however long it takes” on projects rather than say to myself, “I’m going to spend the next hour on this” or “I’m going to limit my work on this to three hours a week,” so I think it’s fair to say I have been spending too much time grading homework– and even maybe giving my students too much homework. I recently looked at my profile on RateMyProfessors.com to see what some of my recent students wrote, and I looked at a few other ASL instructor reviews out of curiosity. One student said of another teacher, “Plus, no homework!” I was like “whaaat??” I have a hard time believing that’s even true, but it jolted me enough to wonder what it would be like not to have any homework to grade, and it reminded me that I spend way too much time grading homework. Now, that doesn’t necessarily translate to “I make my students spend way too much time doing homework”; it means I am being typically me and spending too much time on work. I’m sure many of my students spend much less time doing their homework than I spend grading it, so honestly — as selfish as it may sound — the idea of grading less homework is more for me than for them. Suffice it to say that I spent too much of 2016 grading homework, and I plan to spend less time on that in 2017.

I taught some workshops in 2016 — well, I taught people in workshops — and I hope to teach as many if not more in 2017. Last year, I traveled to Aberdeen, South Dakota, Flagstaff, and Tucson to teach, and I taught a local workshop and two national workshops in Phoenix, two of them being at the joint conference of the National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. (You can see more in my CV).

Which brings me to blogging. I ran by the warm-hearted Dale Boam in the hallway between sessions that the NAD-RID conference, and he said, “I miss your blogs! Share more of your insight with us!” or something to that effect. It was one of the sweetest things a reader/viewer and fellow interpreter/trainer ever said to me. It reminded me that indeed there are people out there who read my blogs, watch my vlogs, and appreciate what I have to say. I want to spend less time grading homework in 2017 and more time sharing my insight through writing and videos. I need to remember that I am a professional, not just a professor, and I owe it to myself and my colleagues to spend time in my profession reading, researching, writing, informing, discussing, and generally improving my and others’ understanding of the world.

I also did some other fun stuff in 2016, much of which you can see in my Flickr feed, and I look forward to more adventure and travel in 2017. One thing I do feel good about, looking back on the year, is all the good times I spent with friends, and I very much look forward to doing more of that this year. I also got involved with making new friends around the world by chatting with people in English and Spanish through an app called HelloTalk. I might even visit some of them in 2017! One of my goals this year is to take a summer vacation with my husband to Spain, visiting not only Barcelona — which we went to in 2008 — but also Madrid, Seville, and Málaga. I am steadily improving my Spanish with the aim of becoming a trilingual interpreter, something I did to a very limited extent in 2016 and hope to do more of in 2017.

Well, that was far from an exhaustive review and preview, but those are the points I wanted to hit in my first blog post of the year (and my first long-form post since November 2015, yikes!). I did some “microblogging” on my Twitter feed and a few public posts on my Facebook timeline that I might post here retroactively, but this is my first real blog post in a long time. I hope the next time I blog won’t be in another 14 months! See you soon.

Paul & Tina’s Signalong: Haters gonna hate

I am not as offended or concerned about Paul & Tina’s Signalong as some people are. I think exposure to ASL can be a good thing, regardless of who’s signing. Personal experience: the first time I was truly impressed with the beauty of ASL was at a monologue competition in 1985, when a hearing girl spoke and signed a monologue from Children of a Lesser God. I have no idea, in retrospect, how good she was at signing; all I remember is I thought it was beautiful. The fact that she spoke and signed at the same time made it accessible to me. I don’t think I would have gotten the same impression at the time if I had seen a Deaf woman delivering the same monologue, even if it were interpreted. I might have been more intimidated than entertained. I might have seen more differences than similarities. I might not have been ready for the culture shock.

If you read the comments on Paul & Tina’s Signalong Facebook page post about taking down their donation site, you’ll see a variety of views, both supportive and critical, both from hearing and Deaf people. I think this dialogue is a good thing. The comments from d/Deaf people were more supportive than those from interpreters, though, and I think that’s telling. If Deaf signers want to be offended by Paul & Tina, and educate them about their language and culture, that is their job. It’s not ASL/English interpreters’ job to be offended for Deaf people.

It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish

Where you start isn’t necessarily where you end up. It’s not Paul & Tina’s job to be Deaf, and they’re not trying to be. They’re just being themselves and having fun with it. They’re not the be all, end all; they’re just doing their thing. Where people take it from there is their business. Time will tell whether future interpreters might have first thought ASL was fun by watching their videos. Eventually, we learn from Deaf people if we get that far. And if we don’t get that far, what’s the harm?