Interpreter Tips Blog Articles

Interpreter Q & A: Wearing a Brace While Interpreting

Interpreter Q & A: Wearing a Brace While Interpreting

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Interpreter Q & A asks: I am currently wearing a brace on my wrist for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Today during a break the Deaf client came up to me and asked me to remove my brace because she found it distracting and it affected my clarity. She also said it made her feel guilty for having to make me work. What do you think I should have done? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Signs That Are Close... But Not the Same - Set 2

Signs That Are Close... But Not the Same - Set 2

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This article is part of our “Signs That Are Close... But Not the Same” series, which highlights signs that look similar, but have different meanings. The signs discussed in this article include (1) PLEASE vs. ENJOY, (2) HOT vs. YELL, (3) BROWN vs. BEER, (4) FOOD vs. EAT A LOT, and (5) READ vs. DANCE.
Interpreter Q & A: Asking Questions vs. Being Nosey

Interpreter Q & A: Asking Questions vs. Being Nosey

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Thursday, July 21, 2016

This Interpreter Q & A asks: In an educational setting, a student asked me to accompany her to interpret a conversation with one of her teachers. On the way to the teacher’s classroom, I asked “What did you need to see the teacher for?” The deaf student responded, “It’s none of your business, you are the interpreter and you will do what I tell you to do!” Needless to say, I was shocked at this answer. I always try to prepare myself and avoid misunderstandings. For example, before going into a doctor’s office, I ask the client why they’re there, to prepare myself as well as to get a feel for the client’s signing style, etc. I’m not being nosey and I feel this response was very curt and rude. Is this how we are viewed? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Interpreter Q & A: Giving Feedback to Interpreters

Interpreter Q & A: Giving Feedback to Interpreters

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Monday, May 16, 2016

This Interpreter Q & A asks: Interpreters who are not easy to lip-read can be rough for me to understand. It makes it difficult for me to know the tone of the conversation. A lack of proper facial expressions just further compounds the problem. Is this something I should point out to even a nationally certified interpreter? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.
Signs That Are Close... But Not the Same - Set 1

Signs That Are Close... But Not the Same - Set 1

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Friday, April 8, 2016

This article is part of our “Signs That Are Close... But Not the Same” series, which highlights signs that look similar, but have different meanings. The signs discussed in this article include (1) SICK vs. DISEASE, (2) ASK vs. QUESTION, (3) SENATE vs. COMMITTEE, (4) SCIENCE vs. EXPERIMENT, (5) CONVINCE ME vs. CONVINCE YOU, (6) PRAY vs. REQUEST, (7) ATTENTION vs. FOCUS, (8) RUSSIA vs. BRAG, (9) DRINK (as in "drink something non-alcoholic") vs. DRINK (as in "drink liquor"), (10) DON'T MIND vs. DON'T CARE, (11) GLASSES vs. GALLAUDET, (12) EMPTY vs. AVAILABLE, (13) SAD vs. FRIENDLY, (14) MARCH vs. FUNERAL.
Interpreter 4-1-1: 6 Tips for How Interpreters Can Stay Healthy

Interpreter 4-1-1: 6 Tips for How Interpreters Can Stay Healthy

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Friday, February 26, 2016

We as interpreters are notorious for not taking care of our bodies. We see lots of Repetitive Motion Injury among colleagues. We spend a lot of time in our cars. We may develop unhealthy habits (eating fast food or a lack of exercise). In a profession where the primary focus is other people, we need to keep ourselves healthy. Here are 6 tips for how Interpreters can stay healthy...
Interpreter 4-1-1: Ways Interpreters Can Stay Passionate

Interpreter 4-1-1: Ways Interpreters Can Stay Passionate

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Tuesday, December 15, 2015

You will meet interpreters who are burnt out and no longer care about doing their best. Perhaps they are satisfied with their entry level certification. Or they only go to workshops to get their required CEUs. Here are some suggestions to keep that spark that drew you into the Interpreter profession in the first place.
Interpreter 4-1-1: What to Pack in Your Interpreter Bag

Interpreter 4-1-1: What to Pack in Your Interpreter Bag

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Freelance interpreters may find themselves going from a college class in Physics to a hospital emergency room to a theatrical performance all in one day and even when we think we are prepared, "things happen." The instructor decides to show a non-captioned film and turns out all the lights. The ever-prepared interpreter pulls out their handy dandy flashlight. Don’t let surprises ruin your day, pack these items in your interpreter bag so you can be prepared for whatever life brings your way...
Buying Guide: What to Pack in Your Interpreter Bag

Buying Guide: What to Pack in Your Interpreter Bag

By Jillian Winn  |  Tuesday, September 22, 2015

You’ve probably seen many articles on Signing Savvy by the amazing Brenda Cartwright - she’s a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language books. She came up with this great guide of what to pack in your interpreter bag, so when she told us she was giving the keynote address at the Illinois’ Annual Statewide Interpreter Conference, we wanted to show some love to the interpreters by sending a few fully stocked interpreter bags with her for giveaways.
Interpreter Q & A: When Interpreters Omit Information

Interpreter Q & A: When Interpreters Omit Information

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Tuesday, September 1, 2015

This Interpreter Q & A asks: I have noticed that an interpreter that I team with nearly every week (she has been an interpreter for over 20 years, and trust me, she never lets me forget it for one minute) tends to omit information. Either she doesn’t think it’s important, or she just doesn’t understand it herself. Forget suggesting giving her "feeds" from me, I’ve "only" been nationally certified for 5 years, and still am a baby in her book. My problem is that she always asks me to do team interpreting assignments with her, and asks for nobody else. I know you’re going to tell me to say something to her, but our community is so small I can’t afford to anger her, financially or professionally. How can I handle this? This article is part of our "Dear BC, Interpreter Q & A” series, which answers questions on interpreting and Deaf culture from multiple perspectives.