More than just looking for signs that are recognizable
We’ll focus on... well, focusing. Listening for intent and context is more than just looking for signs that are recognizable. Listening and attending includes both how interpreters access source materials but then also convert messages through comprehension.
Here are some bullet points/learning outcomes of which we might want to be aware:
- What is being said and communicated but not overtly?
- What other inherent factors contribute to the rhetorical choices that the signer or speaker makes?
- What other aspects of discourse analysis — genre, voice, ideology, gender — and intertextuality are you seeing or hearing in a signed or spoken text?
This is a pre-published version of this article by Dennis Cokely, Dean of the ASL Program at Northeastern University, regarding meaning in ASL vocabularies and interpretations. (Published citation/reference: Cokely, D. (2001). Interpreting culturally rich realities: Research implications for successful interpretations. Journal of Interpretation, 2001.) We’ll be using this article to talk about message intent, vis-a-vis listening. Required
This is chapter 5 in Hauser (2008) Deaf Professionals and Designated Interpreters by colleague Elizabeth Morgan. This reading addresses the concept of power language and the role of gender in creating power/less language. Required
A more-recent corollary to Morgan’s article, this discussion of resume writing styles in Fortune Magazine explores an interesting point about the different (perceived) narrative style of men and women. Author Kieran Snyder observes differences in writing length, detail inclusion, credential inclusion, and personal background. How do these styles impact message creation, (does it) impact Deaf narrative creation, and interpretation approaches?
Listening to humor and comedy
President Obama’s performance and Cecily Strong’s standup set from the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. How does a listener (much less an interpreter) learn to distinguish from surface-level language choices and deeper semantic intent? Where does the comedy actually take place? Is the ‘funny’ in the delivery or the semantic intent? What is required to render L1 semantics in an L2?
Admittedly, this article has nothing directly to do with SL interpreting; it’s about user experience design, the practice of getting into the psychology of web/internet use. But replace “design” with “interpret” and the sentiment takes on a new light. Is there room for ‘user/consumer’ empathy in our work?
It feels a little pointed beginning in the first paragraph (“…about this thing we women tend to do when we talk…”), however this article about powerless language (it used to be called ‘feminine language’; perhaps that’s why women are called out in the first sentence?) describes the perception of those who hear this kind of language.
Bonus thesis by Amanada Wilson (2009) about powerful and powerless language in employment interviews explaining real-world application of how powerless language is perceived in opportunities for self-presentation. (Think about what a deaf interviewee sounds like if/when powerless language is used.)
Eye fixation study results show how we actually read and process texts. What implications does this have for interpreters?
Aug 13, 2019 Next