Sign Language Interpreters Pros and Cons
August 14, 2019
Hey guys I’m Amanda and I’m Deaf! In today’s video I’m gonna be talking about interpreters. Alright let’s start with the story that inspired this video: you see I had a gynecologist appointment the other day… Yeah you see where I’m going with this..? So, I show up at the doctor’s office right after requesting an interpreter for this appointment and I’m sitting in the waiting room and this woman shows up. And I was like “Oh, thank goodness it’s a woman!” I never met this woman in my life. Never. Complete stranger, and this complete stranger goes into the gynecologist appointment with me. So, I have like my legs up on these stirrups right? I have a Doctor poking around down there and I have a stranger standing next to me signing everything my Doctor is say. Awkward. Now I love my interpreters I think they’re amazing but… oh my gosh you guys! Gynecologist appointment. Stranger. Awkward. So, I’m going to start with the four thingsI love about our amazing, friendly, neighborhood interpreters. Ok, so first is: they give us access to information. Access to doctors appointments, and when we go to the theater, all this stuff. Information we wouldn’t get otherwise. And they’re kind of like angels and amazing human beings who dedicate their lives to doing that, to giving us access, so love them! mmm most the time. Right. The second thing I love about interpreters is they’re so entertaining to watch! Like when you go to Disneyland or when you go to a concert. Watching them sign the music is so entertaining! It’s even more entertaining than watching the actual show most of the time. One of the other things I love about interpreters is they tend to also be advocates for the Deaf community and help educate their friends and family and people that are around them about deaf people. So, they spread information about our community, about our our lifestyle, about how to communicate with us, and that is so valuable! One of the last things that I love about interpreters is that they give me so much confidence. When I go into a work meeting, when I go into a speaking engagement, I know that because I have an interpreter with me I’m going to get the information. I don’t have to stress about it. I don’t have to worry: “Will I understand when people ask me questions?” or “Are people understanding me?” My interpreter has my back and that gives me so much confidence walking into a meeting or walking into a presentation. I don’t have to worry about it. They got me. It’s all good. Now I’m going to talk about a few things that I… kinda hate when it comes to interpreters. You really have to trust them. Like, you’ve never met this person in your life, it is your first time, you know, seeing them ever and they’re going into important meetings, they’re going in there helping you have important conversations. You have to trust that one: there actually interpreting what you’re actually saying. Two: they’re actually saying what you’re signing. Or three: that they won’t go home and tell their friends everything that just happened. Yeah… I really had to trust that nice young woman who went into the gynecologist with me to interpret. Like she could have you gone out to a bar afterwards a been like: “You guys Amanda had a gynecologist appointment today, it went great, I just wanted to let you all know that; so, the next time you see her you can give her a nice thumbs up!” You know? Like we really have to trust them to keep our information private. Which leads to the next thing which is… you see them everywhere. Most interpreters are also involved in the Deaf community, or have lots of Deaf friends, because we become friends, because we work so close together. But it’s so awkward, like if I ever see that specific interpreter again, like at a hangout or Deaf event, I’m gonna be like: “So… Hi…. great to see you… I’m fully clothed right now… no hospital gown… you know, actual pants, and so you might not recognize me…” You know? Like oh my gosh! Or even somebody who interprets for like videophones like: “Hey… You helped me interpret my phone break up my boyfriend last night… I appreciate it… thanks for really, you know, getting that anger in your voice that I was feeling at the moment… because I needed that…” uh-huh Ok. The next thing I’m kinda hate It’s so expensive! I mean, you guys totally deserve top dollar, you rock, but I’m not made of money. I’m not rich and giving a company or an organization to pay for an interpreter is like pulling teeth because they don’t want to spend the money. And it it just gets really frustrating sometimes. Which leads me to my next thing… it’s hard to get an interpreter for event. Especially at the last minute and, you know, life happens at the last minute. Not everyone plans two months in advance where they’re going to be so that they have time to get interpreter and all of that. Like… Life happens, you can’t just go, as a Deaf person, spontaneously, to a theater and watch Wicked. You don’t get to be spontaneous and go and do events and stuff because we need have an interpreter. And getting an interpreter takes time, and effort, and lots of phone calls, and emails, and scheduling, and working, and coordinating with the theater, or the organization, or the company, to make sure the interpreter gets paid. And it’s just… you’re getting the idea. It’s hard, it’s hard, and it’s expensive. And that is what I have to say about interpreters today. Thank you all for watching! I know this video is a little bit longer my videos normally run but i hope you enjoyed it. To all those interpreters out there, we love you, we appreciate you! I’m not hating on you, I promise. Please still interpret for me! I love you! Alright guys, hope you enjoyed this video. If you liked it, subscribe to my youtube channel and thanks for watching! See you later!