Recently, while using my phone to create videos for our online ministry, I noticed several areas for improvement. A phone is a great tool for interpreters!
Set your phone to record video using the front camera. If possible, turn it on landscape mode (horizontal). Listen to an audio of your pastor’s sermon or music from your church and interpret to the phone, as if it were a Deaf person. (Be sure to record a video and not to post on Facebook or YouTube – Smile.) As you see yourself, try to improve. Wait a while, then view your interpreting with the sound off. Write notes about the following:
- Were my signs clear and understandable?
- Did I make clear transitions between sentences, topics, people, and things?
- Did I sign too fast for the message to be clear?
- Did I interpret or transliterate appropriately to meet the communication needs I normally face?
- Would my Deaf friends understand this message?
- Did I use correct placement to separate between people and places?
- Did I introduce new words or signs in an understandable way? (Spell word, show sign, spell word again – or something similar)
- Did my facial expressions and body position help make the message clear?
Viewing yourself interpreting is humbling, but you will notice ways to improve. Change a little bit each time you interpret and you will change a lot! “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10). So, use your phone to help you.