Interpretation and Translation

The Interpretation Program offers a multidisciplinary approach, with a special focus placed on theory and research. Course research, as well as encouraged research, are done as ways for students to exercise theories and explore new strategies in problem-solving. The results of research done by students, faculty, and staff continually provide new insight to the interpretation field. Through its recently established Center for the Advancement of Interpreting and Translation Research (CAITR), the Interpretation Program also offers opportunities for scholars and students to collaborate on projects and promote initiatives that advance interpreting/translating research nationally and internationally.


'Deaf Studies Digital Journal'

ID: 831
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2008
End Date: January 2025

Description

The Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ) is a peer-reviewed, digital journal in American Sign Language and English text dedicated to advancing the cultural, creative and critical output of work in and about sign languages and its communities, in the form of scholarly video articles, original works of signed literature, interviews, reviews, and historical resources. This project will preserve and migrate past issues of DSDJ to a new open-access, technologically sustainable platform, which adheres to and advances accessibility standards in publishing through fully bilingual video and text articles, advanced interactive videos, integration into library databases, and innovative peer-review processes that support the exclusive use of sign language to produce the next iteration of DSDJ in an effort to transform scholarly communication.

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ASL and Deaf Studies Department (2012). Deaf Studies Digital Journal, Vol. 3. Retrieved from http://dsdj.gallaudet.edu

ASL and Deaf Studies Department (2014). Deaf Studies Digital Journal, Vol. 4. Retrieved from http://dsdj.gallaudet.edu

ASL and Deaf Studies Department. (2009). Deaf Studies Digital Journal, Vol. 1. Retrieved from http://dsdj.gallaudet.edu

ASL and Deaf Studies Department. (2010). Deaf Studies Digital Journal, Vol 2. Retrieved from http://dsdj.gallaudet.edu

Bauman, D.H. (2017, August). Digital embodiment: Sign language publishing and the Deaf Studies Digital Journal. Presented at the Society for Textual Embodiment Scholarship Conference. University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Boudreault, P. (2017, August). Deaf Studies Digital Journal: The Next Generation. Deaf Academics Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Boudreault, P. (2018, July). Deaf Studies Digital Journal: The preservation, publication and dissemination in Sign Language. Presented at the National Association of the Deaf Conference 2018. Hartford, CT.

Boudreault, P. (2018, September). Deaf Studies Digital Journal: Publishing ASL Poems. Presented at the Center for the Humanities, City University of New York, New York, NY.

Willis, A., Codick, E., Kushalnagar, R. & Boudreault, P. (2018, July). Multimodal visual languages user interface, M3UI. Poster presented at the STM Poster Session, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.


Address practices of deaf undergraduate students and deaf faculty: A study of language use, identity, and community

ID: 3525
Status: Ongoing
Start date: February 2018
End Date: December 2019

Description

In this study, we investigate the use of American Sign Language to establish and maintain social distance between deaf undergraduate students and deaf faculty members. One of the functions of language is to mark social standing and convey respect between interactants. Drawing on prior studies of spoken language in postsecondary settings, in this study we examine the use of address terms, reference terms, and introductions in ASL. Address terms are used in language to get attention, to single out an addressee, and to convey social and interpersonal meanings between individuals; reference terms convey social and interpersonal meanings, and provide cues for the existing relationship between the speaker and the referred person; and introductions reflect the current relationship between people, and how people expect the newly acquainted individuals to address each other. We will engage in two types of data collection: (a) observational data of natural language interaction, and (b) interview data with deaf undergraduate students and deaf faculty about their use and perceptions of these linguistic forms. The results will shed light on how deaf students and faculty create and sustain social distance and boundaries in the postsecondary setting.

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Case Studies of the Cognitive Apprenticeship Approach to Develop Writing Skills of American Sign Language-English Interpreting Students

ID: 3367
Status: Ongoing
Start date: August 2017

Description

Effective writing is taken to be a measure of academic development at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, but interpreter education has not provided guidance for how to develop these skills in our students. Using a case study approach, the co-investigators will focus is on the development of students' cognitive maturity and self-authorship by examining their perceptions of the Cognitive Apprentice instructional approach during their writing coursework. An ultimate aim of this study is to determine whether cognitive apprenticeship may be a useful approach in guiding interpreting students in the development of their academic writing skills and, if so, to disseminate this information to other interpreter educators.

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Deaf mental health professionals’ perspectives on desired attributes of ASL-English interpreters when working with hearing clients

ID: 4045
Status: Completed
Start date: January 2020
End Date: June 2020

Description

Deaf mental health professionals may elect to utilize the services of ASL-English interpreters when providing therapy to hearing clients. Although several studies and books discuss Deaf mental health therapy to date, no studies have examined the attributes that Deaf therapists seek in interpreters who work with hearing clients. In this study, I examine the perspectives of three Deaf mental health professionals regarding their preferred interpreter attributes. Drawing on both quantitative data (attribute ratings) and qualitative data (interview comments), I report findings on the necessary educational, professional, and personal attributes that Deaf therapists seek in ASL-English interpreters. The aim of this study is to enhance the performance, traits, and qualifications of interpreters when working Deaf therapists.

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Deaf Perspective on English to ASL Interpreting Repair Strategies

ID: 4039
Status: Completed
Start date: November 2019
End Date: October 2020

Description

This study explores the Deaf perspective of five interpreting repairs utilized in English to American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting events by means of analyzing the group discussion amongst ten Deaf professional participants. This paper discusses various interpreting repair categorizations and highlights the heretofore gap in interpretation and translation research that considers the Deaf consumer’s perspective of the effectiveness and various impacts resulting from interpreting repairs. This study uses academic interpreting source samples and involves only Deaf professionals and Deaf Ph.D. students from Gallaudet University in order to examine the successfulness of English to ASL interpretations through the lens of Deaf individuals in advanced and technical settings. The analysis of the focus group data will focus on Deaf participants’ identification of interpreting repairs, the change in interpersonal dynamics between interlocutors and interpreters, and the feelings of trust in an interpreter and his/her ongoing interpreting work. This study will be the first of its kind to address the growing community of Deaf individuals in advanced academic and professional settings along with their perceptions of accuracy and trust regarding common interpreting repair strategies.

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Examining how Deaf translators negotiate concepts that are not conventionalized in Hong Kong Sign Language

ID: 4020
Status: Ongoing
Start date: August 2017
End Date: August 2022

Description

In American Sign Language (ASL), fingerspelling is often used to represent English proper nouns, technical words or other concepts that have yet be lexicalized. Conversely, in Hong Kong Sign Language (HKSL), fingerspelling is used on a very limited basis. As a result, sign language interpreters in Hong Kong who work from Cantonese to HKSL frequently report difficulty in relaying concepts for which a conventionalized sign has not yet been developed. This research proposes to engage with the Hong Kong Deaf community to investigate this issue. Translation data will be collected from Deaf bilinguals in Hong Kong who are recognized for their work with translating and interpreting between Deaf monolinguals and the hearing society. Research participants will translate written Chinese materials in either of these two settings: 1) A monologic environment where no specific audience is present; 2) An environment where Deaf audience with specific background and relationship with the Deaf translator is present. Qualitative data will be collected pre-, mid-, and post-task. The aim of this research is to produce a taxonomy of discourse strategies that are used by the Deaf translators and to characterize the cognitive processes that underlie the strategies.

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Experiences of Deaf Gay Males in Interpreted Interactions with Medical Professionals

ID: 4042
Status: Completed
Start date: January 2020
End Date: June 2020

Description

Deaf gay males represent an intersectional minority group in the U.S. Studies suggest that Deaf gay males may have a higher than average rate of sexually transmitted diseases and related health issues. Critically, Deaf gay males may have reduced access to medical information and treatment due to language barriers, a situation amplified by having overlapping Deaf and gay identities. In this study, I gather interview data from five Deaf gay males about their lived experiences in medical settings; specifically, I explore their experiences with signed language interpreters in medical settings. The goal of this study is to document the experiences and perspectives of Deaf gay males in medical settings with the ultimate aim of improving interpreting practice for this population.

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Exploring Attrition of Novice American Sign Language-English Interpreters Using Multiple Case Study

ID: 4038
Status: Completed
Start date: October 2019
End Date: September 2020

Description

Communication access is a legislated right for deaf people in many settings in the United States; however, the number of professional signed language interpreters does not meet the demand for services (NCIEC, 2009b; NIEC, 2015). One factor of the demand-supply imbalance may be attributed to the number of individuals who exit the interpreting profession at an early stage in their career while still novice interpreters. Using the theoretical framework of attraction, selection, and attrition (ASA) from applied and organizational psychology (Schneider, 1987), along with person-organization fit (PO Fit) as described by Caplan (2011), I examined attrition of individuals from early professional interpreting practice. I surmised that throughout the cycle of ASA, individuals and the profession are continuously examining dimensions of PO Fit and, for some, disruptions arise in the conceptualization of fit. The results of this multiple case study will increase understanding of attrition in the signed language interpreting profession and may lead to a set of strategies to help individuals assess their fit with the profession. Further, the findings may assist the members of the interpreting profession to develop ways to address issues of fit when barriers arise. Critically, retention of signed language interpreters may result in a greater number of available practitioners to provide communication access for the deaf community.

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Interpreting for Deaf professionals: Linguistic comparison of a novice and expert ASL-to-English interpretation

ID: 3639
Status: Ongoing
Start date: December 2018
End Date: May 2020

Description

This shift in workplace dynamics continues to see a growth in the number of active Deaf professionals (DPs), a phenomenon which requires an increase in the pool of interpreters with advanced ASL to English competencies. In an effort to meet the needs of this population, additional attention has been given to the "Deaf professional-Designated interpreter" model of linguistic and cultural mediation; however, the challenges surrounding DPs' access to qualified interpreters on the job persists. Previous research has examined this issue from the perspective of DPs and documented the impact of interpreter's work on the perceptions of DP's hearing, non-signing colleagues. Yet, those studies have not focused on effective linguistic tools employed by expert interpreters in practice. Through comparison of a novice and expert interpretation, this study aims to identify linguistic strategies that can be used to refine ASL to English interpretations and bridge the gap between general practitioner and specialist with regard to business and government related subject matter. Study results gathered through discourse analysis, interviews and focus groups can elevate the level of awareness and effectiveness of interpreters working with Deaf professionals in the workplace which can result in more socioeconomic success among the wider Deaf community.

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Language Attitudes about Interpreters

ID: 3369
Status: Ongoing
Start date: August 2017

Description

The notion of language attitudes has a place in psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, and history, among other disciplines Bilingualism and minority languages are not topics that are confined to linguistics or language studies, but are debated in a wide variety of fields, including Interpretation and Translation Studies. Drawing from data on social media sites, this study addresses the following questions: 1) What language attitudes do signed and spoken language interpreters, translators, and lay persons hold, specifically in relation interpretation and translation work? 2) What attitudes do signed and spoken language interpreters, translators, and lay persons hold about languages, specially in relation to one another's work? The aim of this project is to confront issues of attitudes within interpretation and translation and to show that they will refine and improve our understanding of how we view one another in Interpretation and Translation Studies.

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Letter or Spirit of the Law: An Institutional Ethnography of Effective Communication Access in U.S. Hospitals

ID: 3923
Status: Ongoing
Start date: February 2019
End Date: October 2020

Description

Federal legislation mandates effective communication for deaf U.S. hospital patients. Despite this directive, evidence indicates that access to healthcare remains inadequate, inappropriate, or unethical. This study employs an institutional ethnographic approach to investigate established policies for legislative compliance vis-à-vis medical professional actions and deaf patient experiences within a U.S. health care system. Participant observation, interviews, and textual analysis can isolate points of disjuncture and reveal institutional processes implicated in negotiating access. The aim is to identify systemic factors contributing to disparities reported by deaf patients.

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Sign-to-voice interpreting considering clients with differing language experiences

ID: 4019
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2019
End Date: September 2021

Description

This study is designed to investigate ASL-English interpreters’ management of signed texts from different sources, including individuals who are early and late/emergent learners of ASL. The aims are twofold: 1) to document linguistic patterns that are produced by early and late learners, (e.g., pronominal forms, use of tense and temporal adverbials, etc.), and 2) to examine the management of those linguistic forms by professional ASL-English interpreters. The first phase of this study will involve creation of the signed texts. We will recruit four deaf signers to tell a twenty-minute narrative, two who are native signers and two who have been signing for one year or less. These texts will be analyzed for linguistic patterns and differences and will serve as the source texts for the second phase of the study. Up to twenty interpreters will each interpret one native and one emergent signer text into spoken English. These interpretations will be analyzed for patterns for each type of signer. Additionally, the impact of preparation materials on interpretation will be investigated. The results are expected to shed light on late language acquisition and strategies that interpreters leverage during simultaneous interpretation.

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Translation and Interpretation Studies Special Edited Issue

ID: 3366
Status: Ongoing
Start date: September 2017

Description

Translation and Interpreting Studies (John Benjamins) accepted proposals for a special thematic issue on signed language interpretation and translation to be published in April of 2018. The editors bring together papers that address critical issues in the linguistic analysis of interpretations and translations that occur between a signed language and spoken or written language. The volume includes data driven papers on the spectrum between a microanalysis of one specific lexical item to the examination of a full interpreted or translated discourse. Papers may take a descriptive, applied, or theoretical approach to interpreting and translation of a signed language. The editors encourage a broad range of methodological approaches and theoretical frameworks, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.

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Scholarship and creative activity

2018

Shaw, Emily. (2018, July). Interpreting multimodality between hearing and deaf interactants in a task-based exchange. Presented at the International Society of Gesture Studies, Cape Town, South Africa.

Shaw, Emily. (April 28, 2018). Back in time: The history and etymology of American Sign Language. Presented at Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, IL.

2018

Boudreault, P. & Gertz, G. (2018) Case studies of international conferences: A social justice framework for interpreting. In T.H. Holcomb & D. Smith (Eds.), Deaf eyes on interpreting (pp. 145-161). Washington, D.C.: Gallaudet University Press.

2017

Boudreault, P. & Supalla, T., (2017, August) Sign Language Tool Kit. Deaf Academics Conference. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Boudreault, P. (2017, August) Deaf Studies Digital Journal: The Next Generation . Deaf Academics Conference 2017. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Boudreault, P. (2017, May). Technology and sign language: Deconstructing and disembodiment of academic texts. Presented at the Society for Textual Embodiment Scholarship Conference, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

2017

Cagle, K., Metzger, M. & Hunt, D. (October 2016). Interpreter Education: AA, BA, MA… Oh My!. Presentation given at the CIT Biennial Convention, Lexington, KY.

Cagle, K., Nicodemus, B. Beldon, J., & Swabey, L. (2016, October). My fellow citizens. Presentation given at the CIT Biennial Convention, Lexington, KY.

2017

Mayhew, H. (2017, March). Social Issues Education Among ASL-English Interpreters. Presentation at the Symposium on Signed Language Interpretation and Translation Research, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

2017

Shaw, Emily (April 2017). Winning charades or achieving common ground? A micro-analytic take on gesture in multiparty interaction. Paper presented at the Iconicity in Language and Literature Conference at the University of Brighton, UK.