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How To Learn Sign Language

A Few Minutes In The Life Of A Sign Language Interpreter, The Job Interview

Interpreter: Hi, I will interpret for the
deaf applicant who’s coming for an interview today. Office manager: Great, thanks for coming.
Since you’re here early, we can talk about him before he gets here.>>You mean talk about the interview, like
what questions you’ll ask?>>No, I mean let’s talk about this deaf guy
who’s coming in. Do you think he’s a good candidate for the job?>>I have no idea. I’ll go wait in the lobby,
and when he arrives we will sit out there and talk about you. I mean, we’ll come into
your office for the interview.>>I’m worried he’ll be late to work every
day, because he won’t hear his alarm clock.>>There are alarm clocks deaf people can
use to help them wake up. Devices that shake the mattress, for example, or flash bright
lights.>>That might not work. What if he’s a deep
sleeper?>>In that case, he probably has the device
that catapults him out of bed in the morning, or the one that releases a screeching monkey
from its cage.>>I just remembered something really amazing.
I saw a deaf person in the food court at the mall last week.>>>>I think we must have different definitions
of “really amazing.”>>He was selling pencils. I bought a pencil
from him to help him. Maybe it’s the same guy.>>You think the man coming in to interview
for the computer programming position is the same man who sold you a pencil in the food
court?>>If it’s not the same person, maybe it was
a friend of his.>>I’m sure it was, since all deaf people
know each other.>>I bet it’s easy for you to communicate
with people in other countries.>>I will probably regret asking for clarification,
but what do you mean?>>You can travel to other countries and always
find deaf people to talk to, since you know the universal language.>>Are you referring to the language of love,
or Klingon?>>I mean because you know sign language.>>American Sign Language isn’t universal.
Different countries have their own signed languages, like they have their own spoken
languages.>>But why isn’t sign language universal?>>I think someone set it up that way just
to be annoying. But I’m not sure how that would happen– people all over the world who
have no contact with one another using the same language.>>Whoever invented sign language should have
made it universal.>>Yes, the inventor of English should have
done the same thing. In fact, we should tell all the other countries that from now on,
English is the universal language. That will be so much easier.>>But that’s ridiculous to expect people
all over the world to use the same language. I don’t see how that’s feasible.>>It is ridiculous, isn’t it? Silly me.>>So what’s your regular job?>>As opposed to my irregular job?>>You must have some other job you do full
time, since there can’t be much need for sign language interpreters. But it seems like it
would be a fun side job or hobby.>>A hobby, like being an office manager?>>I wonder where the applicant is. It’s almost
time for the interview. Do you know where he is?>>Probably standing in front of Sbarro’s
for his pencil-selling gig. I really should go wait in the lobby.>>Can you call him on the phone and ask him
where he is?>>No, I cannot call him on the phone.>>Will you stay for a few minutes after the
interview, to tell me what you think of him?>>Will you open the window so I can throw
myself out of it?>>You must be great at lipreading.>>Why would I be?>>Because you work with deaf people. You
must have picked up a lot of lipreading skills. That would be such a helpful skill to have.>>Only when I’m working as an international
spy. Oops, I shouldn’t have said that. Now you know about my regular job. I hope I can
trust you to keep my secret, or I’ll be deported to a dreadful place where people don’t know
the universal language.

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