What, interpreters are still a thing in America?

15 May

Interesting thread by Woke Capital, starting here:

I don’t think this is a thing up here, that I’ve noticed; not for decades! (I do remember it in the 70s and 80s…)

I mean, we’re so used to having, in our news coverage, an English-language-dubber the moment a politician switches to French, that I can’t imagine they’d want to have an extra layer on top of that, complicating things…

I always liked how, back in the 70s, SNL parodied interpreters with their “News For the Hard of Hearing” sketches, simply having Garrett Morris cupping his hands and yelling whatever was being said by the anchorman, rather than signing…


9 responses to “What, interpreters are still a thing in America?

  1. electricangel

    May 15, 2020 at 9:04 am

    It hadn’t occurred to me. My guess: Americal Sign Language is international, while closed captioning in English is only for English hard of hearing.

    Of course, there was that interpreter in South Africa:

    • Will S.

      May 15, 2020 at 10:11 am

      ASL is only international for English-speakers, though; other languages have their own versions of sign language.

      That was hilarious!

  2. Dave

    May 15, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Sign languages are not artificial constructed languages like Esperanto; they emerge spontaneously wherever deaf children are separated from their families and housed together. The older children create a simple pidgin of nouns and verbs, which younger children then transform into a true language.

    Sign languages have their own geography unrelated to spoken languages. Deaf people in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, southern Europe, and Russia all use variants of French Sign Language, which is completely different from British/Australian/New Zealand/South African Sign Language.

  3. Sean

    May 15, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    All “health”-related PCs have someone doing ASL interpreters here in Alberta.

  4. freemattpodcast

    May 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    From an ASL student I know: Sign language is the spoken language. Actual interpreters dont walk around with dry erase boards to relay messages.

    Writing is not a deaf persons spoken language, it is the backup in case of a fumble.


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