TerpTopics: DEAF CONSUMERS ASK about interpreting.

 

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Savvy Consumers Want To Know

We hope you find the information useful, and encourage you to contact us with questions or comments.  Our list is by no means exhaustive and, frankly, we could use your support in building and refining it.

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... this page partially complete ...
 ... we're continuing to work on it ....

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1.  What do interpreters like most about interpreting?

 TerpTopics cannot speak for all interpreters.  Here are a few things that come immediately to mind:

 Getting to know people we would otherwise not have met.

 Satisfaction after having done a job well and with professionalism.  (This one doesn't happen all that often for some interpreters because they are incredibly self-critical and live riddled with doubt.)

 Learning things we would not have otherwise known, because we interpreter communication related to so many different topics, activities, etc.

 

2.  What do interpreters like least about interpreting?

 TerpTopics cannot speak for all interpreters.  Here are a few things that come immediately to mind:

 Facilitating tragic news.  Some interpreters deeply feel the pain of others.  It can be a struggle to recover from intimate and sustained exposure to the tragedy of others.

 Violent or potentially violent situations.

 When a platform presenter turns all the lights off.

 Kill-the-messenger syndrome: When a consumer blames the interpreter for what the other consumer said.

3.  What are the greatest challenges faced by interpreters?

 TerpTopics cannot speak for all interpreters.  Here are a few things that come immediately to mind:

 

 

 

 

4.  What are the greatest rewards for interpreters?

 TerpTopics cannot speak for all interpreters.  Here are a few things that come immediately to mind:

 

 

 

 

5.  When I directly ask the interpreter a question, I do not intend it to be voiced (interpreted into spoken English).  Why do interpreters feel like they have to announce my question to everyone in the room?  Sometimes I feel embarrassed when that happens.

Number 6 (below) relates to this question, as well. 

 

 

6.  Sometimes when I ask the hearing consumer a question, the interpreter thinks I'm asking him/her and either answers or says something like, "I don't know; you should ask him/her."  Well, I just asked the appropriate party, so now I have to ask again?  How come terps don't understand?

 Number 5 (above) relates to this question, as well.

 

 

7.  When the interpreter and I are faced with a hearing consumer who hasn't used interpreter services in the past, it can be an awkward experience.  Why don't interpreters just go ahead and orient hearing consumers to interpreter-use?  Why is that so often left to me to take care of?  Seems like explaining their role would be the job of the interpreter, not the consumer.

 

 

 

8.  Why should I care if an interpreter is an RID member?

 

 

 

9.  I know what I think is a qualified interpreter.  What do YOU think makes interpreters qualified or not qualified?

 

 

 

10. During an interpreted professional workshop I attended, one part of the interpreted information was clearly incorrect.  But, I wasn't sure who had messed up, the presenter or the interpreter.  What's your advice for the next time something like that happens?

 

 

 

11. Interpreting service was provided when we settled on our new home.  Every time the interpreter signed PAY, s/he initialized it with the letter P.  I corrected him/her again and again, but s/he couldn't get it right.  Other than that, I thought s/he did a fine job.  In fact, a few weeks later, I requested the same interpreter again but s/he declined the assignment, stating that s/he did not feel qualified.  What?

 Perhaps the interpreter felt that s/he was not able to meet your performance standard.

12. Over the last year or so, it just so happened that my spouse and I used the services of a particular interpreter several times.  We both liked this interpreter very much and thought we would enjoy his/her company socially, so we invited the interpreter to a dinner party at our home.  The interpreter declined, citing the Code of Professional Conduct as the reason.  Is that right?  Does the CPC say you can't socialize with deaf consumers? 

 As far as TerpTopics understands the CPC, it does not say interpreters are not permitted to socialize with consumers.

 Perhaps the interpreter anticipated future professional encounters with you, and felt s/he would risk becoming unqualified because s/he might feel less able to render objective, unbiased interpretations if you and s/he became friends.

13. During one of my appointments. I met an interpreter whom I thought would do a wonderful job at my place or worship.  But, when I asked him/her to do it, s/he cited the Code of Professional Conduct and said s/he is not qualified.  As far as I was concerned, s/he was more than qualified and probably could have done a very nice job.  What happened?

We can only guess: Perhaps the interpreter held strong feelings that would have conflicted with the assignment you offered.

 Again, we are guessing: Perhaps the interpreter does not understand the subject or beliefs held by the people who would have become consumers of his/her services, so s/he is not qualified because terps should understand the material before they can say they are qualified to interpret it.

14. I have the hardest time getting my doctor's office to provide interpreting services.  They say they can't afford it, but my health is vitally important to me; I deserve clear communication so I can make informed decisions, and so on.  What should I do?

 We are not qualified to give legal advice; however, we can refer you to resources that may assist you.

 Try these: ADA Consumer Guide; TerpTopics: Laws & Statutes; NAD: ADA; Advocacy, Inc.; Disability Rights Education; or the American Medical Association (AMA).

15.  Our adult daughter was taken to the emergency room and was naturally very frightened.  The hospital told us an interpreter was on the way, so we felt a little better knowing our daughter would not be all alone until we could arrive.  We were 150 miles away, but rushed to get to her side as quickly as we could.  That's when we learned that our daughter had spent most of that time alone, with the interpreter sitting outside the curtain reading a magazine!  Where was the interpreter's heart? 

 

 

 

16. Is there a "bill of rights" for consumers of interpreting services?

 We do not know of a U.S. national bill of rights for consumers of interpreting services.  Seems like a good idea, though.

 Speaking of bills of rights: The NAD has a site page about a bill of rights for children (click here).

17. Do interpreters ever feel like they are taking advantage of deaf people?  You know, earning money from our deafness?

 TerpTopics does not presume to speak for all or most interpreters; we don't know if any interpreter has ever felt that interpreters are taking advantage of deaf people.

 At TerpTopics, we have not felt that we are taking advantage of deaf people or deafness.  People have needs or wishes that are met by practitioners, businesses, or government.  Neither do we feel that opticians, United Nations translators, alerting device manufacturers, or cultural business consultants are taking advantage of people; we feel they are legitimately meeting a need.

 At TerpTopics, we feel that interpreters are professionals who provide interpreting services.

 

This page was edited: 09/13/2009
This page has been visited Hit Counter times since: July
2, 2009.
TerpTopics is a trademark and service mark of TerpTopics, LLC. © 2008; 2009. All rights reserved.

TerpTopics™ is an independent entity; as such does not claim or attempt to claim, represent, or imply by any means whatsoever that it is associated with any other entity that may or may not offer services, goods, or information of interest to interpreter, Deaf, or student communities.  The opinions expressed here those of TerpTopics unless otherwise stated.  Please keep in mind that, while every effort is made to present correct, appropriate, and reasonable information that is based on our experience, anecdotal experiences of others, or developed during the general course of study and professional development, we do not represent TerpTopics as having cornered the market on wisdom (heck, no!) or experience; one reason why links to several other good and reliable resources are made available throughout this site, and we hope that earnest seekers of knowledge will take advantage of them.

 

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Gifts, goodies, and prezzies!  Shop 'til you drop!!  =)

Did someone say
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;)
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Books, books, and MORE books!

So many books;
so little time ...
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Movies, movies, and MORE movies!!

Discover films of interest to ASL or interpreting students here.