Interpreter Training Workshop
1-3 June 2009


Friday   |   Saturday   |   Sunday   |   INTERPRETER TRAINING

1 June 2009

The University of Malaya sponsored the International Seminar on Sign Language Research on Saturday and Sunday, 30-31 May, 2009, and followed that with a workshop on training sign language interpreters. Both events were held at the Faculty of Linguistics at the university. Charlie Dittmeier and the two sign language researchers participated in the seminar, supported by Tashi Bradford and Justin Smith, and then Veasna and Som Vichet took the sign language training, again with the assistance of Tashi and Justin and also Martin Hiraga.

In the opening exercise, all the interpreter training participants introduced themselves to their colleagues who came from Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines, India, and the Maldives. Here Veasna, a DDP interpreter in our job training program, signs her name.

Veasna introducing herself

The interpreter trainees were mostly young and mostly at the beginning to intermediate stages of interpreting.

Interpreter Training class

Martin Hiraga is an interpreter and interpreter trainer from the United States. He is working with the Deaf Development Programme in Cambodia for several months and came to Malaysia to assist with communications for the DDP interpreters who are not strong in the English used by the presenters.

Martin Hiraga introducing himself

Dr. Zubaidah Ibrahim-Bell is a professor of linguistics at the University of Malaya and the person responsible for organizing the sign language research seminar and the interpreter training. In the opening presentation for the interpreters, she gave an overview of the different types of interpreting.

Dr. Zubaidah Ibrahim-Bell

Samuel Chew is an enthusiastic interpreter who was visible throughout the seminar and interpreter training. He works mainly interpreting orally between English and Mandarin but also as a sign language interpreter.

Interpreter Samuel Chew

The participants were exposed to many ideas about interpreting and then had opportunities to put some of them into practice in small-group work.

Small group activity

The end of the first day of the interpreting workshop.

End of the first day

Many of the interpreter trainees were staying at the YMCA in Kuala Lumpur and came together there after the formal session ended for the day. The Y in Kuala Lumpur is noted for its programs for deaf people.

A gathering at the YMCA

One activity at the YMCA is a deaf drumming group. Twice a week the group comes together for two hours to practice their routines with their teacher, seen here giving them instructions for their practice this evening.

Deaf Drummers and their instructor

The drumming routine involves not only actual drumming but also a good deal of choreography, as here when the drummers spin and whirl and beat each other's drums without missing a beat.

Drumming plus choreograph

Go to Activities page on DDP website
Go to Charlie Dittmeier's home page