APSDA Meetings – Interpreters   Leave a comment

At the APSDA (Asia-Pacific SL Development Association) meetings there were the expected interpreters who went from spoken languages to sign languages and from sign languages to spoken languages, including English, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.  However, we also had sign language to sign language interpreters, both Deaf and Hearing.  At this meeting we had two main sign language families.  The “Eastern Asian” family includes Japanese SL, Korean SL and Taiwanese SL.  This family has also has an influence on the sign languages used on the eastern part of the Asian mainland.  The other main sign language family is what I call the “European” family.  It includes those sign languages related to British SL and French SL and their “descendants” like ASL (American SL).  This family also includes sign languages influenced by  these languages.  This grouping is my own and is not historical or scientific but is one based on my experience and which I use to help determine the number and types of interpreters needed.

Below are two Deaf sign language interpreters.  Miya interpreted from the European SLs (especially ASL)  to the Eastern Asian SLs, especially Japanese SL, and also interpreted in the other direction.  Pastor Kang was doing similar interpretation, especially Korean SL.  In short meeting like this one, just 2 days long, signers from the same language family had some communication problems so it was helpful to have the interpreters available.  We also had an interpreter to go to and from Australian SL and New Zealand SL and the other SLs and English.

In the picture below Mac (Australia Deaf) on the left is signing while Miya and Pastor Kang interpret into other sign languages,

In the two pictures below Peter (Australia), Kumiko (Japan) and Aki are Hearing interpreters.  The second picture demonstrates the line-of-sight problems we almost always have with meeting rooms.  (An unnamed interpreter is on the left of each picture.)

At the eastern Asia Deaf TCDW (Translation Consultant Development Workshop)  following the APSDA meetings we do not have any official interpreters.   The group is smaller and most of the participants are from the Eastern Asian SL family.  However, we have many unofficial interpreters as the participants and teaching staff all work hard to make sure that everyone understands.


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