Tips for Effectively Working with a Sign Language Interpreter

By hissign|June 12, 2024|Blogs|0 comments

Roughly 3.6% (or 11 million individuals) across the United States are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Due to this staggering statistic, more and more organizations are choosing to hire sign language interpreting agencies for events and daily operations. Yet it can be intimidating for those inexperienced with an ASL translator to enter into an interpreted conversation. You can ensure clear communication between all parties involved by planning, speaking clearly, and following basic etiquette. 

Howard County, MD, organizations can contact HIS Sign Interpreting for reliable ASL and CART services. Since 2009, our team has advocated for and facilitated accessible communication between Deaf and hearing individuals. Whether your need is in a corporate, medical, or educational setting, HIS Sign professional interpreters can ensure seamless translation. Call (877) 458-7408 to request our interpreting services today!

Below, we offer a guide to working with a sign language interpreter: 

What Is the Role of an Interpreter?

American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters ensure equal access to information and interaction between Deaf and Hearing individuals. They possess a high level of fluency in sign and spoken language, meticulously translating spoken words into clear and expressive signs and vice versa. 

However, their role goes beyond simple translation, as they also capture the nuances of communication, including tone and intent, to facilitate a natural flow of conversation. Settings where interpreters are commonly found include legal proceedings, business meetings, medical situations, and everyday interactions in social and public events.

How to Work with an ASL Interpreter

1. Plan Ahead 

Proactive planning is key when working with a sign language interpreter. If you know you’ll be working with an interpreter for a dedicated event, provide them with materials beforehand. This could be a presentation, agenda, or technical terms used in your discussion. This allows the Deaf individual to grasp the conversation fully and improves the overall flow of communication for everyone involved.

2. Speak Clearly and Directly 

The better an interpreter can understand you, the more accurately they can translate it into sign. Mumbling, complex sentence structures, or jargon can introduce confusion and delay the interpretation process. By speaking concisely, enunciating well, and maintaining a natural pace, you ensure productive communication for everyone involved.

3. Face the Deaf Individual 

ASL Translators Howard County

Sign language is a visual language. Therefore, facial expressions and body language are crucial in conveying meaning. By making eye contact and directing your gestures towards the Deaf person, you’re including them directly in the conversation. This allows them to pick up on nonverbal cues alongside the interpreter’s signs, creating a richer understanding of the conversation.

4. Avoid Interrupting

Resist the urge to jump in or speak over the interpreter. Interpreting requires focus and concentration. If you frequently interject, it can disrupt the interpreter’s flow and potentially introduce confusion for the Deaf individual. They are professional at facilitating communication, so trust them to do their job.

Work with Professional ASL Translators in Howard County, MD!

Following these general guidelines, you can communicate effectively through an ASL translator. Howard County, MD, businesses seeking to improve accessibility can rely on the seasoned interpreters at HIS Sign Interpreting. To request our ASL or CART for your event, call (877) 458-7408 today.

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