Fingertips for Interpreters – Adjust Is a Must – Part 3

Interpreter: Adjust is a Must

 

Interpreting situations can differ, even in the church setting.  Some interpreters interpret the same way all the time and never change.  However, the wise interpreter will notice when needs and situations change and will adjust their interpreting to match the need at the time

Adjust to technology or lack of technology – When you cannot hear the speaker because of poor microphone placement or broken equipment, you may need to move to a different location.  The same may be true when a video presentation begins, but you are seated or standing in the wrong place to interpret it well.   You must also decide how much of a video to interpret.  Sometimes it is good to interpret all background noises.  Other times it may be best to interpret only the main spoken story.  Many factors influence these decisions.  The overall situation or speaker’s apparent goal will affect your decisions.  Be willing to adjust to meet the needs of different interpreting situations.  Be flexible and you will become more effective.

Adjust to either party changing attitude  – When either the Deaf person or hearing person begins to become angry, you must adjust your facial expression and body language to match what is being said and the way it is being said.

Adjust to accept criticism  – Sometimes a hearing speaker, Deaf person, or another interpreter may criticize your interpreting.  Learn to accept constructive criticism and change to improve.  

Someone once said, “I would rather change and succeed, than have my way and fail.”  Being flexible and willing to make positive changes in interpreting can make the difference between success and failure, understanding and miscommunication.  Interpreter, adjust and improve!

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