Sample of my interpreting & transliterating

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 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: (more…)

July Interpreting Workshops Schedule & Registration Form

Here’s the complete schedule & registration form for the four workshops I’m presenting in July in Phoenix, Arizona. As you will see, several other presenters are offering multiple workshops as well, and it promises to be a great month for learning. I hope to see you there!

If you didn’t notice it before ( 🙂 ), here’s the link:
July Workshops Flier

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All the details about my workshops in Phoenix this July

Here are all the details about the workshops I am offering in July, including date, time, title, and description. I will be teaching Vague Language (VL), Genre Recognition, Oral & Sign Transliteration, and Voice Interpreting / Vocal Technique at the Desert Valley Regional Cooperative, 8055 N 24th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021. You may register by calling 602-771-5225 or emailing The suggested donation for each workshop is $20. Here are the four workshops in detail:

July 6 5p-9p Vague Language— Why people use it and how to interpret it
Participants will study and explore the use of vague language (VL) in both English and ASL, the communicative purposes and social meanings of VL, the importance of retaining ambiguity when conveying vague messages from one language to another, the benefits of leaving language vague instead of interrupting to request clarifications, and specific strategies for conveying VL in both ASL and English. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Define VL and name at least five communicative purposes that VL serves.
  2. Distinguish between language that needs to be clarified and language that is better conveyed as uttered.
  3. Have strategies for conveying VL in English and ASL without interrupting for clarification.
  4. Give a dozen examples of words, phrases, signs, classifiers, and mouth morphemes used in VL.
July 7 5p-9p Genre Recognition
This workshop introduces attendees to genre theory and teaches the skill of genre recognition. Attendees will be guided in the recognition of generic elements of discourse and will be empowered to enhance their predictive skills, thus increasing their self-confidence and composure while improving the accuracy and effectiveness of their interpretations. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Name five narrative genres.
  2. Name at least five elements of genre, including setting, plot, character, conflict, tone, intent, and moral.
  3. Describe the generic characteristics of at least five speech events.
  4. Identify their strengths and weaknesses in their abilities to recognize genres; know resources to strengthen weaknesses.
July 19 5p-9p Transliteration— Put the English on your mouth and hands
This workshop provides an overview of transliteration and teaches the skills of spoken English–to–PSE and spoken English–to–Oral transliteration. Attendees will learn the signs and mouth/body movements they need to produce when transliterating in order to convey messages in the language most readily understood by English–oriented deaf consumers. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Define transliteration as it pertains to all languages and contrast it with interpretation.
  2. Demonstrate at least three signs that may be used for the word “of” and at least two signs for the word “which.”
  3. Distinguish between active and passive voice and explain how to transliterate each grammatical form.
  4. Identify the strengths and weaknesses in their transliteration skills and where to find resources for improvement.
July 21 5p-9p Voice Interpreting— Trippingly on the Tongue
This is a sign–to–voice interpreting workshop with a twist. In addition to learning logistical and processing strategies for voice interpreting, participants will learn the vocal techniques that singers and actors use so that they can enliven their sign-to-voice interpreting, convey affect, and improve audibility. Participants will learn how to enunciate, maintain vocal health, and inflect for affect, and meaning. Participants who take this workshop will leave as better interpreters and speakers. At the conclusion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Outline strategies that can be used before and during an ASL–to–English interpreting assignment.
  2. Demonstrate improved control of the volume and pitch of their voice.
  3. Vocalize the same phrase five different ways for meaning and affect.
  4. Use a microphone effectively, self-monitoring for volume, plosives and sibilants.
  5. Know how to relax their bodies and vocal apparatus for vocal health.

To learn more about the workshops I offer, see my Interpreting Workshops Page.

Workshops I’m presenting in Phoenix in July

I will be presenting four workshops this July in Phoenix at the Desert Valley Regional Cooperative, 8055 N 24th Ave, Phoenix AZ 85021:

  • July 6 5p-9p Vague Language
  • July 7 5p-9p Genre Recognition
  • July 19 5p-9p Transliteration
  • July 21 5p-9p Voice Interpreting

Call 602-771-5225 or email to RSVP. Donations of $20 and up requested.

For descriptions of these and other workshops, see my Interpreting Workshops Page.


The -isms & -ists of Oralism & Oralists

Since so many people responded on my blog to the first video about this topic, “Re Oralism vs Speaking” that I embedded in a blog post, I have been responding and thinking about this issue. One thing that stands out for me is the meaning of the suffices -ism and -ist. These can simply mean “system” or “practitioner” but they also have loaded connotations of strong belief systems and prejudices– and the people who espouse such attitudes and prejudices.

My view is that there is nothing wrong with any mode of communication, be it ASL, signed English, or speaking and speechreading. Although I realize that “oralism” is a hot-button issue with many deaf people for whom it carries heavy emotional associations, I believe that if all of that emotional baggage is put aside, it can be seen that speaking and speechreading are simply ways of communicating. (To quote from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “…there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”)

Far be it from me to tell oral deaf what to call themselves, but (more…)