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How To Learn Sign Language

A Few Minutes In The Life Of A Sign Language Interpreter, The Classroom

Interpreter: Hi, I’ll be the interpreter for
you deaf student this semester. Instructor: Oh, you’re a sign language teacher?>>No, I won’t be teaching anyone. I’ll sit
across from the student and interpret your lecture.>>The student doesn’t know English?>>I’m sure like most seniors in college,
she knows English. She just can’t hear it.>>So you’ll bring her every day and help
her?>>No, I won’t bring her with me. I’ll show
up, she’ll show up, and it will be a beautiful experience for all.>>How will the student get here?>>Probably on the back of a centaur, or carried
on a couch by a bunch of shirtless men, like she’s Cleopatra. I don’t know for sure. Most
students who live on campus walk to class. Maybe she lives farther away and she will
drive, park her car, and walk into the building.>>You think she’s allowed to drive in her
condition?>>What about you? Are you allowed to drive?>>What do you mean?>>Never mind. I think we can safely assume
she has figured out how to get herself to class by now.>>But what if she wants to ask a question?
How will I understand her?>>Remember that thing I mentioned before?
About me interpreting? It’ll be because of that.>>And how will she understand my lecture?>>Again, because of all the hand flapping
I’ll be doing in the front of the room.>>Oh, I get it now. You mean you will do
this kind of thing?>> Holy crap, that’s amazing. Yes, that’s exactly
what I’ll be doing.>>That will be so distracting for the other
students. Maybe you could just listen to the lecture, and tell the student after class
what I said.>>You want me to remember an hour-long biology
lecture, and stay after class for another hour to repeat it for the student? I’m thinking
I might forget a detail or two.>>What about recording the lecture? Then
she can listen to it later on her own time.>>I’ll give you a moment to think about that.>>Oh, right, I guess that wouldn’t work.
Hey, maybe you could teach me a new sign every day. By the end of the semester I will know
sign language too. How do you sign “Hello”?>>Just do what you did before.>> So I should do thatt when I meet the deaf
student?>>You should totally do that. If she doesn’t
understand you, just keep doing it until she gets it. she’ll think it’s awesome.>>Ok, I will keep practicing until then.
This will be fun, learning sign language from you.>> Yes, I think you’re right, it will be fun.
Suddenly I’m looking forward to the semester.

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