Thursday, April 28, 2011

Watch Your Language

About a week or so ago I went to a conference named Watch Your Language.  It was for BSL interpreters and CSWs (neither of which I am, but I have decided that I will make sure that in September 2013 I will be enrolled on my interpreter training) and was held in London.  I do start my BSL level 3 in September (finally!) so I figured this conference would be good experience for me.

It was.  Days like these improve my receptive skills, knowledge of the Deaf world and understanding of the professional side of things.

In the morning there were presentations on the role of the interpreter and CSW, and they discussed how to be a Deaf ally whilst remaining professional.  The second speech was on Deaf people's perceptions of interpreters, the role of deaf clubs and the advancement of technology and how this has changed things in the Deaf community.

Lastly there was a presentation on choosing interpreters, and how much choice Deaf people should have in picking an terp.  Does it matter if the terp is registered?  How does registration affect co-working?  How effective is the complaints procedure?  How do terps maintain competency?  So many things to think about!

These presentations were all in BSL and voiced over into English.  This was particularly interesting as I have recently gone on 3 voiceover workshops (run by Deaf Matters), which were probably more useful (in terms of working) than any of my language classes have been.  Anyway, I could see how the professionals worked when doing voiceover and I was able to recognise some of the techniques we were taught on the workshops.

The afternoon consisted of 2 workshops.  One on Visual Language, what is it, how does it differ from BSL, does it have structure etc.  Very interesting discussion but unfortunately my receptive skills failed me at critical points.  Very embarrassing.  There was lots of food for thought offered up in this session and I still haven't come to a conclusion about what visual language is!

The final session of the day was on interpreting English idioms to BSL.  Considering I don't always understand the meaning of the idiom when presented into English, this was a very useful topic as I got to learn things!  The problem with idioms is they are specific to a language and culture, and their literal and figurative meaning is entirely different.  For example, dime a dozen, stuck between a rock and a hard place, drop in the ocean.

It was a very good day and just reinforced to me how much I miss working with Deaf people.  Oh well, I'll get there in the end!

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