04 October 2006


by Cecily
Dear Internet,
I didn't forget about you. Well, I kind of forgot about you. Mostly though I just have other things to do.

Here is an interesting thing that happened in my life recently: lots of interpreting all at the same time! A group of educators and students from Vietnam visited my school. (I think they are still visiting really.) Some of them are Americans, one hearing and one Deaf, who set up a Deaf Ed program in Hanoi. Some of them are Deaf Vietnamese students from that program. One of them is a hearing Vietnamese woman who runs the high school. And a bunch of them are other Education Ministry officials from Vietnam. And one guy from Japan I think, although I'm not totally sure why he was there.

Anyway they all came to one of my classes last Monday to observe Deaf Education in Action. That class has one professor and five students. And on Monday we also had 10 plus visitors and two ASL interpreters. So we all shared some information about ourselves and it went like this (for example):

1. Cecily (ASL)
2. interpreter (ASL to spoken English) and
interpreter (ASL to Vietnam sign language)
3. interpreter (English to spoken Vietnamese)

then for a reply (for example)
1. Vietnamese official (spoken Vietnamese)
2. interpreter (spoken Vietnames to English)
3. interpreter (English to ASL)
4. interpreter (ASL to Vietnam sign language)

1. Deaf Vietnamese student (Vietnam sign language)
2. Interpreter (Vietnam sign language to ASL)
3. Interpreter (ASL to English)
4. Interpreter (English to spoken Vietnamese)

Sometimes there were shortcuts. Like straight from Vietnam sign language to spoken Vietnamese. Then everyone would have to back up to make sure all the languages got their turns in. Or sometimes more than one step happened at once. Like simultaneous Vietnam sign language to ASL and to spoken Vietnamese. Or simultaneous ASL to spoken English and Vietnam sign language.

Those conversations took a long time! It was very fun and interesting. And the school program in Vietnam that these guys are running is super impressive. American Deaf schools could learn something from them.