Monthly Archives: December 2013

Top 10 Most Popular Languages on Twitter –via Mashable


While English is the most popular language on Twitter, it may surprise you that the majority of published tweets are not in the mother tongue of the company’s founders.

Just over one-third (34%) of all tweets were in English in September. With 16%, Japanese is the second-most popular language on the microblogging network, while Spanish clocks in at third place.

Created by Statista, the chart, below, shows the 10 most popular languages on Twitter.


To read more of this article courtesy of Mashable, click the link below.

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U.S. sign interpreters undergo rigorous training –via USA Today


ASL interpreters must have a bachelor’s degree and undergo certification through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

As more information about the fake sign language interpreter hired for Nelson Mandela’s memorial becomes available, U.S. interpreters and trainers expressed outrage and sadness that sign language has not been given enough respect.

“The deaf community was outraged, it was all over Facebook and email, we couldn’t believe it was happening,” said Brenda Aron, an instructor of American Sign Language and interpreter trainer in Seattle. “It’s like putting in a janitor to interpret in a high-level meeting. It was just awful.”

“We watched him for about ten seconds and knew that he wasn’t signing anything real,” said AmyRuth McGraw, who lectures in the American Sign Language program at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

“There was utter and complete outrage because the level of disrespect was so huge,” in that those organizing the event did not take the language needs of deaf South Africans seriously, said Melanie Metzger, chair of the Department of Interpretation at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Gallaudet is the only bilingual American Sign Language/English university in the nation.

“I’ve heard some people say that symbolically that there was an attempt to provide an interpreter, and it was so visible and on an equal level with the speakers, so that’s a positive. Though its still outrageous that he wasn’t signing,” she said.

“You would think he’d apologize to the deaf community,” Aron said. “Hopefully this will be a wake up call over there to set up some checks and balances for interpreter qualifications.”

One problem is that there do not appear to be any sign language interpreter training programs in South Africa, said McGraw. In the United States there are close to 200, said McGraw.

U.S. certification standards for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are quite stringent. Interpreters are required to have at least a Bachelor of Arts and to have completed a certification program through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or a state registration body, said McGraw.

To read more of this article courtesy of USA Today, click the link below.

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Mandela Interpretation Debacle Could Happen in U.S. —via HuffPost #interpreters

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Written by Louis F. Provenzano Jr.

This is why you need certified interpreters.

The most unbelievable mishap occurred at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. As part of the ceremony paying tribute to this visionary leader and humanitarian, U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a most heartfelt speech. His remarks effectively captured the essence of the change in South Africa and the heart and soul of the man behind it.

Obama’s message was clear for millions of people around the world who could understand English.

But what about the hearing impaired?

Inexplicably, the person who was hired to perform sign language for Obama was unable to carry out the duties of a qualified interpreter.

Four experts told the Associated Press that the man’s hand movements were “gibberish,” part of neither American nor South African sign language.

This is an embarrassment beyond belief.

Regrettably, the hearing impaired were injured, the profession of interpretation was injured and the credibility of the South African government was injured.

If this was such a milestone in South Africa, why was this interpreter not properly vetted?

Imagine if this debacle had occurred within the setting of a hospital, a first-emergency response or a courtroom. The consequences for not having a credentialed interpreter could be huge.

The significance of not having a qualified doctor or lawyer is also great. Yet these professionals are always either licensed or certified by their respective states.

To read more of my article, courtesy of the Huffington Post, click the link below.

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How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in 24 Languages –via Mashable

In case you need help with your foreign friends, here’s a nice medley of wishing them a “Merry Christmas” in 24 languages.

Thank you Mashable for sharing !

Click below.


Interpreter at Mandela memorial branded ‘fake’ —via USA Today


PRETORIA, South Africa — The sign language interpreter used at Tuesday’s memorial service for Nelson Mandela, and whose image was broadcast around the world as he shared a stage with world leaders including President Obama, was being called a “fake” by the Deaf Federation of South Africa.

Bruno Druchen, the national director of the federation, sent this tweet as the event was taking place at FNB Stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Associated Press also reported the allegation Wednesday, saying that three sign language experts who watched the broadcast said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages.

“It was horrible, an absolute circus, really really bad,” Nicole Du Toit, an official sign language interpreter, told the AP. “Only he can understand those gestures.”

USA TODAY was not able to independently confirm the allegations, which if proved true would be an enormous embarrassment to South African officials at a time when the nation is looking to celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

South Africa’s government said it is preparing a statement.

Collins Chabane, one of South Africa’s two presidency ministers, said the government is continuing to investigate the matter.

To read more of this story courtesy of USA Today, click the link below.

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