Archive for the ‘interpreter’ Category

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.


Day 12 – Bujumbura, Burundi (16 November 2011)   1 comment

Yes, this post is late.  With the last minute details of leaving Burundi and then folks arriving in and leaving Kenya it didn’t get posted.  We had folks stranded at an airport when their flight was cancelled.  We had folks miss their flight when the road to the airport was closed for six hours due to a terrible accident.  Now Geri and I are on our way to Korea, having already made a quick trip to Malaysia.  We have Deaf people from many places in Asia and the Pacific coming for meetings and some of them do not have visas yet.  Please pray.

Burundi has about ten million people.  There is no accurate count of the number of Deaf but there is probably at least 30,000 to 50,000 Deaf people.  In the whole country there are only two interpreters.  My interpreter for the trip was Bill Ainsley.  He spent a lot of time with these two interpreters.  Here is a short piece he wrote, using third person.

While in Burundi, our interpreter, Bill Ainsley, had the opportunity to meet with the two interpreters serving the entire deaf population of Burundi…1) Nijebariko Alain Chabel (taller one in picture), and 2) Koudra Massepe.  (BTW, Bill is the guy in the middle.)
Neither interpreter has had any formal training, so much time was spent sharing “interpreter stories”…how to handle certain ethical situations, features of sign language grammar, cultural mediation, etc.  They ended up with 11 pages of sign language grammar items and interpreting tips!  These “items” and “tips” gave “titles” to what they have already been doing as interpreters, thus creating a mental toolbox of skills to strengthen their interpreting.  Bill wants to collect a box of sign language and interpreting resources to send to them (books, articles, etc.).  The sign language of Burundi has strong roots in American Sign Language, so if you have anything you can donate–please contact Bill at  Anything would be so appreciated!
The two interpreters have called 5 other interested people who are supposed to have met on Monday evening, November 21, 2011, to discuss establishing a National Interpreter’s Association.  (We haven’t heard from that about the meeting yet.)
They have asked us to pray for 1) their efforts in establishing an Interpreter’s Association and 2) their continuing efforts to recruit and train additional interpreters.
Bill Ainsley