Many people look down on us – Sign language interpreters

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Thu, 7 May 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

A sign language interpreter, Love Amissah has bemoaned the treatment meted out to interpreters by some event organisers in Ghana.

According to her, many people do not value their profession hence disrespect them anytime they are contracted to sign at events; completely disregarding the efforts they put in to get the information across without missing salient points.

Speaking to GhanaWeb, Ms Amissah said they are disrespected,

“They disrespect us, we the interpreters. They think ‘you just come there and throw your hands, what’s so special about this”

Her colleague, Clement Sam adding his voice to this, noted that some speakers even doubt the signs they make during events.

“They tend to think that well he’s just an interpreter so is he really sure what he is doing? Is he really telling the story as it’s supposed to be?”

He added that this happens because the speakers don’t take time to get to know them before presentations.

The interpreters also noted that they have to put in extra efforts to capture the important information speakers are putting across at all times because they don’t have the luxury of going through speeches before they are presented.

“Sometimes you don’t have enough time to even meet the person let alone asking for the person’s speech. So what we do is that we try to imagine what is going to happen and if a producer who called you is still available we want to find out from the person what the programme is about… and with this information, we can do a little research about it and get something so that when you go, that person who is speaking and does not even think about you as an interpreter will not surprise you,” Clement noted.

Love added that the failure of speakers to give them speech ahead of presentation is partly due to mistrust.

"Someone might think ‘she’ll go and leak the information before the speaker comes so I’ll rather keep it to myself when it’s time for me to go and give the speech then she’ll follow me’.”

They further revealed that many sign language interpreters have other professions; disrespecting any one of them will be inappropriate because it might just be an act of disrespect towards a doctor, nurse or even a lawyer

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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