What a sign language interpreter means

A person who is knowledgeable in  converting or translating spoken language or written documents into signs, facial expressions, and movements,  to the impaired persons is what we call a sign language interpreter. Sign language interpreting or translation is also so complex, it needs a well-trained person both in the field and the target sign language. Why do I say so? An interpreter must have time doing research for some technical or complex terminologies, here he or she will be visiting dictionaries before the real interpreting exercise draws at hand, the reason for doing that is to have the work delivered perfectly and accurately to the sign language clients.

Skills that a sign language interpreter should have

A sign language interpreter is not only required to have skills in spoken language and the target sign language, the other important thing is to have critical listening and communicating skills. He or she must have the ability to remember what is said in spoken language  and translate it in sign language accurately so as to avoid risks.

Areas where a sign language interpreter is very important

It’s just like hiring interpretation or translation services for places like hospitals, schools, community gatherings where people speak and understand different languages, the role of a sign language interpreter is also common and necessary in the same places to help the deaf persons understand.

In Hospitals or clinics; sometimes we may lack specific hospitals for the deaf people and they have a right to acquire medical services, this is where we see medical sign language interpreter or a translator’s role necessary. His work is to watch carefully what the deaf patient is communicating in sign language and interpret that to the doctor, as well as critical listening to the doctor’s speech, about the patient’s problem, medical prescriptions and have the information translated into the patient’s sign language. This needs a professionally experienced medical sign language interpreter because he has to provide medical translation for medical documents as well, such as; patients medical reports, discharge reports from and into sign language

Schools; even the deaf community has a right to education, the interpreter is vital here without failure. A sign language interpreter will also work following the school programs for classes, he has to be attending classes in order to interpret for the pupil or a student, actually from nursery to university level, the interpreters do an important role to the deaf students. The interpreter will listen to the teacher during the lesson and then interprets for the student, if the student has a question, it’s possible that the interpreter will forward the question in spoken language to the teacher and the learning process continues.

Video relay services (VRS), also known as video interpreting services(VIS) that allows people with hearing disabilities and who use sign language to communicate with voice telephone users through video equipment rather than typed texts. The phone calls will mostly be done with appointments, for example, making a doctor’s appointment, bank inquiries, and other critical issues.

Community; the sign language interpreters will be available in community service places like banks, churches, courts of law and community outreach programs (where medical programs like immunization and health education are carried out). The work schedule depends on the clients’ time of convenience hence making the interpreters be flexible with their work. They also need to  be trustworthy, signing nondisclosure agreements and keep clients’ information confidential.

For that matter, a sign language interpreter or translator plays an integral role to help people with hearing problems to understand in different areas as mentioned above. Sometimes, these people feel isolated in the community just because they can’t hear what other people say, but they too have a right to get different services provided to other people. So to bring sign language users to feel part of the community interpreting services have to be in place for them.

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