Posted by: patenttranslator | November 4, 2012

Why Are All Sign Language Interpreters Women?

Every time when I see on TV a woman making gestures that I personally consider highly questionable by using her face, hands and fingers to say things that cannot possibly mean all of the complicated things the person standing next to her is saying, I am asking myself this question.

Have you ever seen a guy on TV interpreting for the deaf the lies that politicians dish out so skillfully for hearing people who just survived a hurricane, tsunami, nuclear reactor explosion, or another Wall Street bailout?

You have not, because the only sign language that guys do is when they give you a finger after they cut you off on the highway or stole your parking spot.

I once had a lunch with a sign language interpreter to thank her for referring a translation job to me, since all she did was sign language interpreting. But I mostly did it because I was curious about her as I never met a sign language interpreter.

It turned out that she was a lesbian. I am not quite sure what conclusion should I draw from that particular incident.

There are some men who interpret spoken language, which is very similar to signing, without the weird, incomprehensible gestures. But most of them are translators of written documents who interpret only when they have nothing else to do. Interpreters who mostly interpret and translate written languages, somewhat reluctantly and only when no interpreting work is available, are always women.

According to this study that I found on the Internet, there are two reasons why almost all sign language interpreters are female “…. the first reason is that women are biologically predisposed to being able to master the complex task of interpreting. Interpreting requires the ability to multitask – listening, analyzing, and signing simultaneously. The second is that the field of Sign Language interpreting is viewed as a helping occupation, which has traditionally been seen as women’s work. ”

So, let me get this straight, men are not biologically predisposed to being able to master the complex task of sign language interpreting ….. because it requires the ability to multitask, which means to be able to do three things – listen, analyze and sign – at the same time?

But that cannot possibly be the real reason. I am a man and I love to multitask. I can’t be happy unless I am doing at least three or four things at the same time, such as 1. translating, 2. listening to music, 3. thinking about a new post for my blog, and 4. doing the laundry. But I sure would not be caught dead using my face, hands and fingers to say, for example, the things that I am saying in this post.

And what is a “helping occupation”? What’s that even supposed to mean? As far as I know, a butler is always male. Isn’t that a helping occupation?

No, the real reason must be different.

Could it be that these women just want to be on TV? They are usually young and kind of cute. Maybe they originally wanted to be actresses but after a while realized that they don’t really have enough talent to make it in the movie business and learned the sign language instead. It was their plan B.

I know that signing language interpreters often have non-hearing people in their own family, which is how they initially learned to sign. But that does not explain why men too don’t learn to sign when they could help somebody in  their own family.

I think that the real reason why these women who go to the trouble of learning how to sign and learn it well enough to get paid for it has nothing to do with multitasking. Women decide to become sign interpreters because becoming a sign interpreter is one way how to become the center of attention. And once in a while they can even be on TV so that the whole nation can admire how skillfully they wiggle their fingers and roll their eyes!

Women will do just about anything to become the center of attention. They spend hours trying on clothes and putting on makeup because they want everybody to watch them.

Us men, we don’t really care that much about our appearance, and we sure don’t want people all over the country watching us wiggle our fingers, make faces and do stuff like that.

Which must be the real reason why men don’t become sign language interpreters.

  • POST SCRIPTUM SEVERAL YEARS LATER
  • If you click on the link in my post to the study about sign language interpreters by Jeremy Brunson, Department of Sociology at Syracuse University, you will find out that the link to the study has been expunged, disappeared and replaced by a biography of some professor of feminist studies. I will not bother to remember her name or the name of the school where she is spreading her feminist poison, nor did I read the biography beyond the first few words – because what she and her totalitarian feminist friends did and are doing to freedom of speech is too disgusting to me. It’s not that I made up the study. The study did exist at one point in our history, before some totalitarian feminists (as if there was any other kind) decided to change the past, since they are so extremely insecure that thy simply can’t deal even with a blog post in which an errant male is daring to make fun of certain female characteristics. My blog post is thus now possibly the only piece of evidence that the study did exist. I will just add that this post is one of the more popular posts on my blog, has many thousands of views, and that it is still being frequently read even now, many years after it has been published.
  • OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS


Responses

  1. Methinks you must be feeling very mischievous today. Either that or you like to live dangerously.

    Like

    • Either that or I’m really bored.

      But I am sure that you are right, it is only a matter of time before politically correct persons start attacking me for things that I am not saying in my post at all.

      Like

      • It’s not about being politically incorrect. You’re simply an idiot. About deafness, ASL, women, and linguistics.

        Like

  2. Hi Steve, maybe you should just get out more often? Plenty of male sign language interpreters over here in Paris, France. Actually, I’ve recently been to several excellent plays presented in French sign language, with interpreters (check out IVT – International Visual Theatre, 7 cité Chaptal 75009 PARIS). Very cool applause (waving fingers in air).

    Like

  3. Hi Chris:

    It’s true, I haven’t been to France since 1982.

    My wife keeps saying that the French language is so gay. I wonder if there is a connection there.

    (I don’t agree with her, of course).

    Like

  4. I am a (female) conference interpreter and translator in Europe, and I worked once with, or indeed for, 2 sign language interpreters, a man and a woman. It was a difficult technical conference and they did really well, given the awkwardness of the setting, the “linguistic” issues attached to developing the terminology, and the general lack of recognition for the value of their work.

    Like

  5. My brother is an Interpreter in four languages. American English, American sign language, Spanish, and Southern if ya’ll know what I mean. Although he is a sign language interpreter I doubt he will ever be seen on TV, as he is not pleasant to the eyes. I don’t think makeup could improve it at all. So, although I can get technical, basically I agree with that redicious rant. :~}

    Like

    • 1. See my response to Nadine Touzet.
      2. I didn’t know that “redicious” was a word. But I kind of like it. It goes well with the word “rant”.
      I hope you don’t mind if I use it in a future post.

      Like

      • This is what happens when I try to type on my smart phone!

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  6. @Nadine
    According to Jeremy Brunson, Department of Sociology at Syracuse University, the overwhelming majority of sign language interpreters are women and he gives the two reasons which I dispute in the post.

    The few men working in that profession would seem to be the exception confirming the rule.

    Click on the link in my post if you don’t believe me.

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  7. This is the first post of yours that I find embarrassing and ill-informed. If you would take ASL classes taught by Deaf people (yes, capital D), you might learn as much or more about yourself than you dreamed possible. You might even come away with admiration of ASL and qualified interpreters. We “linear language” people initially have difficulty learning ASL without EVER hearing a word, but we hopefully wake up to the fact that ASL is not translated English and that it “works” in a totally different way.

    Once you have been “into” ASL, your life and attitudes change forever. You may even learn just a bit more about prejudice and preconceived ideas and notions, but it takes effort, willingness, and an open mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. But I did not say anything about deaf people in my post.

    I was talking about differences between men and women.

    Somehow you missed it.

    That’s quite an achievement.

    Some “effort, willingness, and an open mind” on your part would be a nice change. If not, perhaps it is time to stick to more politically correct blogs where you will not be offended.

    Like

  9. Hi Steve, a friend of mine ia a sign language interpreter, he interpreted for deaf children at schools, as a way of integrating them with other children. He is also an actor, musician and model for commercials, altogether 😛 A couple of years ago he performed in a musical for hearing and non-hearing people, so they could enjoy the play together. It was hard work but they really enjoyed it 🙂
    Cheers

    Like

  10. Then why don’t they show him on American TV?

    I never saw a man interpreting sign language here.

    Are you saying that it is not true that most sign language interpreters are women?

    Maybe that guy from Syracuse University got it wrong?

    Like

  11. Believe it or not, rolling one’s eyes and making faces constitute grammar and syntax in ASL, as do spatial cues and directional shifts, which require a person to move around. Perhaps the majority of hearing men are just too uptight to sign properly. Lots of people are held back for that reason. They have the signing equivalent of a mumble.

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  12. 1. Believe it or not, that’s why I mentioned it.

    2. “Perhaps the majority of hearing men are just too uptight to sign properly.”
    I don’t quite follow you here. But it sounds like it could be an interesting idea, if you could explain what you mean.

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    • Perhaps uptight wasn’t the right word, although the definition “rigidly conventional” fits. What I meant was self-conscious, concerned about appearances.
      You said, “But I sure would not be caught dead using my face, hands and fingers to say, for example, the things that I am saying in this post.”
      Maybe I’m reading self-consciousness into your statement. If that’s not it, what did you mean?

      Like

      • I have to agree with you here, Paula.

        Most men, with the obvious exception of the gentlemen in pajama bottoms in liquor store on Saturday afternoon mentioned above, are definitely much more self-conscious than women, many morbidly so, and you are correctly interpreting what I said about myself as a Freudian slip.

        But wouldn’t that in a way confirm my working theory that one reason why women perform so well as interpreters is that unlike most men, most women love being the center of attention?

        Like

  13. Sorry, I love interpreting and I hate being the centre of attention. I always have. As for the clothes and make-up, they are not for any man, they make ME feel better about MYSELF.

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    • Hi Diana:

      Thanks for your response. At least you are not hitting me over head with something as Wenjer put it in German.

      But I think that the notion that women put on makeup to feel better about themselves, not to look good to people around them, men and women …. is not very convincing.

      I saw a guy in a liquor store on a Saturday afternoon who had on pajama bottoms instead of pants a few months ago. It must have been afternoon because here in the Bible Belt they open liquor stores on Saturdays after 12 AM.

      That guy looked to me like he felt good about himself, and he had no makeup on.

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  14. Ha, politically incorrect? I chuckled all the way down reading your post.

    There are differences between Yin and Yang, male and female, men and women, and all those that are dichotomous and complimentary at the same time.

    Why are all sign language interpreters women? Well, not exactly, but you are right to refer to that guy from Syracuse University. Give me some time and I’ll be back to you with my probe answer.

    Ha, ha, ha, I like your politically incorrect statement of “Women will do just about anything to become the center of attention. They spend hours trying on clothes and putting on makeup because they want everybody to watch them.” Glück, dass keine Kolleginnen dir deswegen richtig einen auf deinen Kopf hauen!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks, Wenjer.

    If my post made at least one person on this planet chuckle, I have not lived my life in vain.

    And as far as the title of the post is concerned, not all of them are women, of course, that’s called licentia poetica (poetic or dramatic license).

    But according to the study linked in my post, about 80 percent of sign interpreters are women. Only 1 person so far clicked on the link although there have been quite a few responses, and nobody so far proposed an alternative to my theory.

    Like

    • 1. As if I didn’t know what “licentia poetica” is? I can look over it this time.

      2. Yes, I downloaded Jeremy Brunson’s essay. His 5 hypotheses are partly factually correct and partly politically incorrect. You see, each time I hold a translator/interpreter meeting in Taiwan or on Mainland China, I always wonder why the majority of participating translators/interpreters are females. Are there some reasons why women are more “geeignet” (apt, fit, suitable, skilled, eligible, qualified) for translation and interpretation? In fact, I haven’t the answer yet. I don’t even have the statistics of the translator demography.

      3. I am sure that ASL is a language per se with all the features that a language demonstrates. I watched this talk at TED some time ago and I am fascinated by the ways how dancers express with their body movements to build “phrases of dance”: http://www.ted.com/talks/wayne_mcgregor_a_choreographer_s_creative_process_in_real_time.html. Instead of words, phrases, sentences (syntactical constructions), ASL uses body movements to convey meanings.

      4. I wish I had the time and were articulate enough to explain how I feel about ASL and my reasoning about why there are more female ASL interpreters than male ones. Forgive me to drop this topic at the moment. What I can say at this point is that I believe that there must be a relation between ASL and dancing (articulation with body movements). There must be something artistic/literary in ASL performance similar to the performances in spoken/written languages.

      5. It must be very interesting, if ASL interpreters come together with us translators/interpreters of spoken/written languages. Chris suggestion makes a lot of sense to me.

      Like

      • Thank you for your long comment.

        I hope you watched the clip from Jeff Whittaker below. It’s so funny, especially the first “interpreter”.

        I have just more remark: politically incorrect means almost always factually correct.

        Like

  16. Have you seen this video from SNL? It is a parody poking fun of the sign language interpreter during a recent news conference regarding Hurricane Sandy.

    Like

  17. Thanks, Jeff.

    Very inappropriate humor.

    Very funny.

    Like

  18. Steve, I’ve been thinking about this since your initial post, and (since you are read by all sorts of people) would like to suggest an “event” that will change the lives of people who attend:
    Local/regional/national translators’ groups should consider inviting a(n articulate) speaker from the deaf community to speak, with sign language interpreter(s) — not necessarily talking about ASL or signing in general, just on a topic of interest.
    The French translators’ association SFT did this a few years back and it was absolutely fascinating. Well, it sure opened my eyes, but also those of many other people who have commented along similar lines. And I can’t help but think that translators/interpreters *everywhere* would be particularly interested in a similar event.
    For uniformed/misinformed people (and they/we were many) who thought (without really thinking) that signing was simply exaggerated gestures, it became clear as the deaf/signing presenter presented and the signers translated — but also as the audience asked questions and the interpreter signed to the speaker and s/he responded and the interpreter translated back orally — hey, it became abundantly clear that sign language is a genuine language with nuances every bit as finely honed as oral languages. (Apologies to sign-language users to whom that may sound condescending or disrespectful). *Seeing* the interpretation into *and out of* sign language is essential. What a rich world we live in.
    I’m not trying to be politically correct here, simply commenting that whatever it was that set you off with this post is a minor (really minor) issue.

    Like

  19. Hi Chris:

    Nothing “set me off” to write that post, really, except that I was genuinely wondering why every time I see a sign interpreter on TV, it’s a woman – they have been showing them a lot after hurricane Sandy here.

    This is the style that I use sometime to write my blog and some people may take offense. But you can’t be funny if try not to offend anyone, so I try not to worry about it.

    I do think that it would be a good idea to learn from sign language interpreters about the differences and similarities in their work and our work.

    I for one would be really curious to find out how they express grammatical nuances, the differences in signing for different languages and things like that.

    If there is a sign language interpreter reading this, I would be definitely willing to publish a guest post here if somebody wants to write one.

    Like

    • I would think a guest post by a deaf person specializing in linguistics would be better than a sign language interpreter who isn’t necessarily a native speaker.

      As for why more women are interpreters than men? Beats me. And it doesn’t matter as long as they deliver a superior performance, and that includes eye rolling if necessary. The wagging fingers help “non-hearing” people (so you did mention deaf people, by a different name) receive messages, just like wagging tongues (pun intended) help hearing people receive messages. I for one appreciate the interpreters during emergencies, and am hopeful that this practice grows. Hurricane Katrina was a lesson learned for our biased government.

      Back to why are more women interpreters than men? Hmm. Can you tell me why are more doctors men? Why are there more female nurses than male nurses? Why are there more men in leadership positions than women? How about men and women in housekeeping roles? I think there’s still more women there than men. Roles like this are set by the attitudes of the society, and forced on people. But you probably already knew that.

      I think your question would have been more interesting if you focused on an area personal to you – translators. Are there more female translators than male ones? Then to whatever your answer is, tell us why?

      Like

  20. See Oliver Sacks’ book “Seeing Voices.” You might also re-read the comments from dbaplanb and christine durban. Other than that, blindness does often prevent us from seeing, that along with an impenetrable superiority complex.

    Like

  21. Just thought I’d add this: I’m in Accra, Ghana right now and all the sign language interpreters I see on TV are male. It might be a cultural thing.

    Like

  22. It might be.

    Maybe men in Ghana are not as uptight, as Paula put it, as men in United States.

    Like

  23. An event in Paris that should be of interest:
    Anne Houtman (Chef de la Représentation en France de la Commission Européenne) et Emmanuelle Laborit (Directrice d’IVT – International Visual Theatre) ont le plaisir de vous convier à la soirée « Culture et Langue des Signes » à la Maison de l’Europe, le 17 décembre 2012, à 18h.
    NB : It’s free but you have to register — see the IVT site.

    Like

  24. This article’s last few paragraphs are terribly sexist. There are far more ways to get onto television than having to go to school for a degree and get certification in interpreting a whole different language. Interpreting is the median between two languages and NOT the center of attention. Sure, more women interpret than men. Look into the Glass Ceiling Effect, because certainly the proportions of men to women in most fields is grossly skewed. Wearing all black without anything flashy certainly doesn’t put one in the center either. Our society might be biased in placing these women you call “young and cute” on a televised interpreted speech, but the amount of interpreted live television is so small, that there’s hardly any basis to compare it. Generalizing women in this fashion is degrading, and you speaking for all men doesn’t really work either. I’m in 3rd year ASL due to my hearing loss, but my classmates who are learning to become interpreters would find this shaming.

    Like

    • I am not speaking for all men, just like you are not speaking for all women.

      I am speaking for myself.

      Saying anything about women is sexist, degrading, etc., to some women, although hopefully not all.

      If you cannot laugh at yourself, either as an interpreter, or as a woman, I feel sorry for you.

      I think that what you really want is to be able control what topics people are allowed to discuss and in what way.

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      • I definitely believe people should be able to discuss any topic they so choose. It’s a fundamental right. When you wrote, “us men” it definitely reads as though you were speaking for all men. It is just difficult when articles discussing women often lead to just talking about trivial topics like clothing, makeup, and attention. I truly hope more men become interpreters, but as long as women get certified and interpret, I hope they get respect for their reasons why they do it.

        Like

  25. Come on, Sarah, when somebody says “us men”, is he being serious?

    Like

  26. there are plenty of blokes interpreting on telly. eg http://www.3news.co.nz/Jeremy-the-sign-language-guy-providing-vital-service/tabid/309/articleID/200499/Default.aspx and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kjRchKyet8. and btw, you WERE in fact criticising deaf people, because you were criticising their language. i know it’s all meant in jest, but deaf people have suffered hundreds of years of their languages not being accepted as real languages. auslan, asl and all the other signed languages are not ‘weird, incomprehensible gestures’ any more than Cyrillic (for example) is ‘weird, incomprehensible writing’. and btw, i’m guessing that the terps in the US – as with those in australia and nz – either didn’t get paid for their work, or got paid very little, and drove through floods, storms and earthquakes so that they could help keep their communities safe. respect!

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  27. No blokes interpreting on telly here, that’s what I am saying.

    Respect to me means that you can make fun of me and I can make fun of you, even when you are a female interpreter.

    To be prohibited from making fun of interpreters to me is lack of respect for the interpreters, regardless of their gender and language.

    Like

  28. do you reckon you might be able to respond to the points i actually raised though?

    Like

  29. Nope.

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  30. well, no points for intellectual integrity then.

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  31. If you say so.

    But I got 256 likes on Facebook for this post.

    Look like lots of people did like my intellectual integrity after all.

    Like

    • didn’t realise ‘likes’ = intellectual integrity. i wasn’t rude to you, i just pointed out my concerns. you chose not to answer them, with a one-word response. i’ve actually got no problem with people making fun of any other people, and actually i’m not offended by your original post, but clearly you’re coming from a place of ignorance of the sign language interpreting field. i guess you probably put up with similar ignorance of your own profession, and perhaps sometimes you try to educate people about what you actually do. and i guess that you’d probably prefer to get a considered response rather than a dismissive one. but perhaps i’m wrong.

      Like

  32. Well, it’s just that you are so combative that I don’t really want to discuss anything with you because I feel that it would be pointless.

    Plus you don’t believe in capital letter at the beginning of a sentence for some reason.

    I wonder what it means.

    Like

    • i didn’t feel i was combative. sorry if i was. you can read anything you want into the lack of caps.

      i’d still love to hear your response to my comments.

      Like

  33. btw, i notice that you translate across a wide variety of languages so you’re obviously aware of how languages express the same things in different ways; so i’m wondering then why you believe that the ASL terps you’ve seen could not possibly be expressing ‘all the complicated things that the person next to them is saying’? do you believe that signed languages are not really languages? do you believe that some languages are less able to express complexity than others? i’m just trying to understand this point of view, which i’ve heard from monolinguals but am surprised to see coming from a polylingual such as yourself.

    Like

  34. How about people (men or women) becoming ASL Interpreters because they love ASL and want to help (hearing and D/deaf) people communicate? Plain and simple. No attention seeking about it. Teachers are the center of attention in their classrooms…they do most of the talking. That mean they do it for attention? Judges are the center of attention in their courtrooms…same thing? Puh-lease! SMH….

    Like

    • How about people (men or women) becoming ASL Interpreters because they love ASL and want to help (hearing and D/deaf) people communicate and make some money, and who can at the same time laugh at themselves?

      Like

  35. I will laugh when something is funny. I see nothing funny about blanket statements like the ones you made. We go into this “professional” career because we want attention? Really?

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  36. 256 people who liked it on Facebook thought it was funny.

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  37. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/16/fake-mandela-memorial-interpreter-schizophrenia-signing

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  38. This post is incredibly misogynistic, which you find humorous for some reason and that’s your decision. However, reading one article written by Jeremy Brunson (whom I know personally and is a wonderful researcher) does not make you an expert, so let me add some other points.

    1) Many service professions are predominantly women (teaching, social work, advocacy, etc.). Why would interpreting be any different? Another random fact you may find interesting enough to write another ill-informed degrading article is that many of male interpreters of sign language here in the US are gay. Maybe men are insecure in their masculinity enough to loosen up and be less rigid…or maybe they are worried people will assume they are gay?

    2) Up until a decade or so ago, it was very difficult to make a living as an interpreter because of low pay. Many men, who had families (not the gay ones), could not afford to interpret and support their family. Thanks again to the misogynistic country we live in, which you are perpetuating with this article, men feel the responsibility to be the “bread winner” for the family.

    3) You: “But that was a ‘decade or so ago’…why not now?”
    Me: “Well, learning a language fluently enough to work as an interpreter (meaning near native fluency) takes years of emersion in the culture and language which one is learning. It is not something that changes quickly.”

    4) I am a staff interpreter at a sign language interpreting agency where 37% of our staff are male interpreters (two of which are partial owners of a company).

    5) Very little of our work is recorded for television. Much of our work in hospitals, classrooms, courts, and various settings where recording is illegal. Lydia Callis being so close to the Mayor of NY during the hurricane that she was televised was groundbreaking. Maybe more of our work will be televised allowing you to see more men interpreting. The UK is more progressive and has the news interpreted nightly using Deaf Interpreters, many of whom are male.

    So, maybe these proposed reasons, which are more likely than women seeking the proverbial limelight, will help you open your mind a bit.

    **My opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of other interpreters, the Deaf, or the agency for which I work.

    Like

    • Well said, Michael. Thank you.

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  39. “This post is incredibly misogynistic.”

    Of course it is. I have been a hater of women ever since I turned about 16.

    “Another random fact you may find interesting enough to write another ill-informed degrading article is that many of male interpreters of sign language here in the US are gay.”

    Thank you. I do find it interesting as it seems to confirm my theory.

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    • I have been on TV, it was actually one of the worst experiences I have ever had. I actually got into interpreting to get away from stage/television work. Your theory is absurd.

      Like

  40. “Your theory is absurd.”

    573 people found out about my interesting theory about why women want to be sign interpreters so far today (and it’s only 2:45 PM) and about 150 of them liked it on Facebook. The view count is likely to go well into thousands, which is pretty good for a modest blog that deals mostly with translation issues.

    So absurd as it may seem to some people, other people are enjoying it, which warms my heart.

    I find it interesting that in my most popular blog post so far in which I was making fun of translators (over 2,500 views in one day and over 2,000 likes on Facebook), not one person called me names. I got a lot of comments from translators, but they were all able to laugh at themselves: https://patenttranslator.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/translators-dementia-td-what-it-is-and-how-to-recognize-the-signs/

    But in our PC culture, it is absolutely verbotten to make fun of women. If you do that, you are automatically called a misogynist.

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  41. I just read your article about Sign Language Interpreters, and why they are predominately female. As a female Sign Language interpreter that is by far the most uneducated offensive article I have ever read on the topic. You obviously have no real knowledge of our profession, and it is surprising to learn that you are a professional yourself, considering the grammar used in your article. I would highly suggest that you do some research before posting dribble like that online. Sign Language Interpreters, whether male or female, are highly trained, eduacted, and you have no idea how complex our jobs are. If we just wanted to be the center of attention and look pretty we would not be in our profession. 99% of our jobs are not on TV, they are in classrooms, doctors offices, law offices, courtrooms, to name a few. We are relayers of information who provide a very specific service that most would be unable to succeed at.
    I would appreciate you taking down that post considering there is no supporting evidence to your claim, and I do not want other interpreters to feel as offended as I was when I came across your article. You are not only insulting to Interpreters, but to women in general. I have no idea how you have come to the conclusions that you have, but I can tell you you are absolutely wrong in all of the assertions that you made about interpreters, women, and most men who would be offended by your comments as well. I am in shock by what I read, and I, again, ask you to take that post down as it is only damaging to people who read it, there is NO valid information in there whatsoever. I dont know what you are in expert in, or why you felt the need to write about this topic, but you have no right to spread false information that is only to the detriment of whomever reads it. Absolutely Ridiculous.

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  42. […] I generally know when I am about to get into trouble already when I am writing a post. For some reason, I do it anyway. For example, when I came across a study by Jeremy Brunson from the Department of Sociology at Syracuse University with statistics indicating that the overwhelming majority of sign language interpreters are women, I concluded in my post that the real reason for this is that women like to be the center of attention, and being a sign interpreter is a good way to have your face shown on TV while you are so cleverly inte… […]

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  43. […] most controversial blog post was one in which I dared try to make fun of women. It’s called Why Are All Sign Language Interpreters Women? and it is also still frequently read. It has dozens of comments, attacking me mercilessly. It is […]

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  44. By far the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read on the internet in my life. Too many reasons to list. Wow

    Like

  45. Sign language interpreting seems to be one of the few fields dominated by women that actually pays a decent wage for our skills and apparently that doesn’t sit well with you. That’s too bad because it is what it is and YOU should really step off.

    Like

  46. […] it was a very different story with a post called Why Are All Language Interpreters Women, because the group of people that I was making fun of in that post is called […]

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  47. “Every time when I see on TV a woman making gestures that I personally consider highly questionable by using her face, hands and fingers to say things that cannot possibly mean all of the complicated things the person standing next to her is saying, I am asking myself this question.”

    This was his first mistake. He proves clearly here that he has no experience or learning with ASL or the Deaf community
    If you’re sitting here saying that “what she’s GESTURING can’t POSSIBLY MEAN WHAT THE PERSON IS SAYING”
    You prove to me that you are not qualified to talk about this
    I mean
    GESTURING?
    Gestures are a part of sign language, yes
    But that interpreter is using SIGNS
    As in a generally accepted, repeatable motion for a concept
    NOT GESTURES
    And the fact that he thinks that sign language can’t possssssibly convey things that English can?
    He’s clearly an idiot with no asl interaction under his belt
    Because ASL is full of emotion, humor, wit, meaning
    Everything else that English is
    It CONVEYS THE SAME MESSAGE ON THE SAME LEVEL OF SERIOUSNESS USING LESS WORDS
    it’s not like charades where you have to guess what’s being said
    It’s legit using motions for words and clearly this guy doesn’t understand that
    At all
    And yet he dares to write about it

    “Have you ever seen a guy on TV interpreting for the deaf the lies that politicians dish out so skillfully for hearing people who just survived a hurricane, tsunami, nuclear reactor explosion, or another Wall Street bailout?
    You have not, because the only sign language that guys do is when they give you a finger after they cut you off on the highway or stole your parking spot.”

    First of all, yes, yes I have seen male interpreters
    Secondly, you reveal your true ignorance by calling them “the deaf”
    Because
    If you’re referring to the Deaf community/culture
    You use capital D
    If you just mean someone who can’t hear but isn’t really part of the community? That’s little d deaf
    So I mean
    Most people with the condition of being deaf are in the Deaf community
    But like
    Deaf people mostly use and learn sign language
    (d)deaf people do not
    If that makes sense
    So he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about there
    And then the more infuriating part
    “Huhuh guys can only do bad curse things!”
    Like
    I can’t tell
    Is he bashing men for being vulgar or sign language for being feminine? Unfortunately I think it’s the second
    Which really isn’t true BC anyone can use sign language and it can look pretty darn macho too at times
    I mean “Amen” looks like a threat of war
    But sure
    Men can’t use sign language! What have we all been thinking?! Guess I’ll have to ask my professor if he’s actually a woman in disguise! 😂🙄

    “I once had a lunch with a sign language interpreter to thank her for referring a translation job to me, since all she did was sign language interpreting. But I mostly did it because I was curious about her as I never met a sign language interpreter.

    It turned out that she was a lesbian. I am not quite sure what conclusion should I draw from that particular incident.”

    W H A T
    What on EARTH DOES BEING A LESBIAN HAVE TO DO WITH SIGN LANGUAGE
    AND VICE VERSA
    I mean CHARLIE AND ELISA CLEARLY WERENT GAY *major side eye*
    Even THEN
    Her being a lesbian has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH ASL
    Unless like
    She took the job to help her Deaf girlfriend or something
    But yeah
    It seems he’s trying to spin ASL as a gay, effeminate language
    What an idiot
    Like yeah sure gay people can use sign too but they don’t own the entire rights to it 😆

    “There are some men who interpret spoken language, which is very similar to signing, without the weird, incomprehensible gestures. But most of them are translators of written documents who interpret only when they have nothing else to do. Interpreters who mostly interpret and translate written languages, somewhat reluctantly and only when no interpreting work is available, are always women.”

    Oh my GOODNESS
    SIR
    S I R
    Whose mans is this? Come get ya grandpa, he’s off his meds and thinks he’s in 1731!
    WEIRD
    INCOMPREHENSIBLE
    GESTURES?
    BOI
    ALL BECAUSE YOU CANT UNDERSTAND IT DOESNT MAKE IT INCOMPREHENSIBLE
    What kind of IDIOT believes that
    That’s like saying Spanish is incomprehensible gibberish because I can’t speak it! That’s pathetic
    The world doesn’t revolve around you, you diaper-rash, Depends’™️ Odor old FART
    And MEN INTERPRET WHEN THEY HAVE NOTHING ELSE TO DO?
    BRUH
    YOU ARE CLEARLY IGNORING THE HUNDREDS IF NOT THOUSANDS OF TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS THAT HAVE BEEN MALE
    The MEN who have DEVOTED THEIR LIVES TO BEING SPOKEN TRANSLATORS AND INTERPRETERS
    God knows how many translators humanity went through during missionary work and traveling
    This is clearly erasing the work of centuries for the sake of your own foolish opinion
    And don’t even get me STARTED on the women thing
    I have never once met a reluctant female translator
    Whether written or spoken, every woman I’ve known who has an interest in that line of work has always been more than happy to share their knowledge EVEN IF YOU DONT ASK FOR IT
    So clearly
    You’re talking to mannequins and not women!

    “According to this study that I found on the Internet, there are two reasons why almost all sign language interpreters are female-“
    HUN IMMA STOP YOU RIGHT THERE
    This is a link to a PROFESSOR’S BIO
    HOW IN THE HECK IS THIS A
    S T U D Y
    Either you’re a really stupid troll or an even more idiotic person who wants to be taken seriously
    In any case
    A BIO IS NOT A STUDY
    And what you say is on that page? IS NOT
    Did you ATTACH THE WRONG LINK OR SOMETHING?
    Or are you really that naive and ignorant to think people will believe anything you put in your article?

    “…. the first reason is that women are biologically predisposed to being able to master the complex task of interpreting. Interpreting requires the ability to multitask – listening, analyzing, and signing simultaneously. The second is that the field of Sign Language interpreting is viewed as a helping occupation, which has traditionally been seen as women’s work. ”

    BOY IDK WHERE YOU GOT THIS INFO BECAUSE IT IS NOT ON THAT LINK YOU ATTACHED FOR SURE
    But onto your FOOLISH ARGUMENT
    MULTITASKING HAS BEEN PROVEN A MYTH
    YES
    YOU HEARD ME
    MULTITASKING IS NOT POSSIBLE
    AND THERE ARE ACTUAL STUDIES ON THAT
    but if you mean a person’s ability to quickly SWITCH between tasks? THATS NOT GENDER SPECIFIC YOU PUPPET
    Men can ALSO switch quickly between tasks
    I mean
    Look at the military!
    Predominately men, and definitely required to be quick to do things! So obviously, men can do rapid and balanced actions as well as women
    So this argument is certainly false
    PLUS INTERPRETING IS NOT NEARLY AS HARD AS YOU MAKE IT SEEM
    yes
    You must remember to put the right expression with it and use the right phrasing, so to speak
    But ITS NOT SOME GARGANTUAN EFFORT YOU CARPET BEETLE
    And HELPING AS WOMEN’S WORK?
    Sure, I guess all the MALE DOCTORS IN HISTORY WERE ACTUALLY WOMEN! How could we have been so NAIVE?!
    Dude
    Seriously
    If you think interpreting is “helping”, you obviously have a really negative view of people who use other languages and find them lesser than you
    I mean yeah, if they’re really struggling to understand, I could see that as help
    But in most cases
    Interpreting is closer to a LINGUISTIC AND COMMUNICATION action
    It’s not like raising someone or caring for a sick patient, which really parts of which have been male dominated
    It’s just putting words into pictures or other words!

    “So, let me get this straight, men are not biologically predisposed to being able to master the complex task of sign language interpreting ….. because it requires the ability to multitask, which means to be able to do three things – listen, analyze and sign – at the same time?

    But that cannot possibly be the real reason. I am a man and I love to multitask. I can’t be happy unless I am doing at least three or four things at the same time, such as 1. translating, 2. listening to music, 3. thinking about a new post for my blog, and 4. doing the laundry. But I sure would not be caught dead using my face, hands and fingers to say, for example, the things that I am saying in this post.”

    OKAY, thank you, YOU FINALLY MADE A LITTLE SENSE
    YOU UNDERSTAND THAT MEN CAN ALSO DO MULTIPLE TASKS IN QUICK SUCCESSION
    GOOD JOB
    But then you WENT AND BLEW IT AGAIN
    YOU WOULDNT USE YOUR FACE, HANDS, AND FINGERS TO SAY THESE THINGS?
    Buddy, I hate to tell you this, but you’ve already used your hands and fingers to TYPE THIS UP
    And as far as your face, well, maybe it’s better that we don’t have to put up with that part, as I am certain such a malicious and sniveling heart as yours would manifest in a facial structure so malignant and unbearable that anyone who gazed at it for more than a second would be immediately pulverized emotionally by its evident hatred

    “And what is a “helping occupation”? What’s that even supposed to mean? As far as I know, a butler is always male. Isn’t that a helping occupation?
    No, the real reason must be different.”

    THANK YOU
    IM GLAD YOU AGREE THAT HELPING IS NOT JUST FOR WOMEN AND THAT EVEN THEN
    INTERPRETING IS NOT NECESSARILY A “HELPING”
    JOB

    “Could it be that these women just want to be on TV? They are usually young and kind of cute. Maybe they originally wanted to be actresses but after a while realized that they don’t really have enough talent to make it in the movie business and learned the sign language instead. It was their plan B.”

    GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY
    Do you even CONSIDER the urine-scented deluge that goes pouring through your mind before you post it?
    Because if INTERPRETING IS SOME SORT OF SEXUAL MATING DISPLAY AS YOU SO CALLOUSLY IMPLY
    THEN CLEARLY
    Your typing of this blog post is an immediate cry of coital readiness
    GOOD LUCK GETTING AN ASWER TO THAT THOUGH
    but no
    No, I highly doubt sign language interpreters would have preferred to be in the movies
    Sign language is not some backup plan you throw together overnight
    The language takes commitment and understanding and practice
    It is NOT just some plan b to stage and vocal performances
    Believe me
    As someone with an interest in acting, speech-giving, and ASL all alike? These things are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, require a totally different skill set, and have VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS
    Name a famous sign language interpreter
    I mean, Hollywood level famous
    I can’t
    Can you?
    Clearly, interpreting sign language is not a very famous and star-filled career
    Certainly, I agree that there could be people in the career for the wrong reasons, but that’s with every job
    Some men become priests to hurt children
    Some women become nurses to abuse patients
    Does that mean everyone in those jobs is a horrible person? No!
    So why then would every sign language interpreter be some self-centered fop? It certainly doesn’t give an explanation for women in the job, I’ll give you that
    And even then
    If sign language is such a popular career and will get attention, why don’t we see a majority of attention-seeking males doing the same? Because
    Most people
    DONT do the job
    For FAME
    they do it because it comes naturally to them to interpret and because they enjoy it and want to do that job!

    “I know that signing language interpreters often have non-hearing people in their own family, which is how they initially learned to sign. But that does not explain why men too don’t learn to sign when they could help somebody in  their own family.”

    BUT THEY D O
    Maybe not in such high numbers as women
    BUT THEY DO THE SAME THING

    “I think that the real reason why these women who go to the trouble of learning how to sign and learn it well enough to get paid for it has nothing to do with multitasking. Women decide to become sign interpreters because becoming a sign interpreter is one way how to become the center of attention. And once in a while they can even be on TV so that the whole nation can admire how skillfully they wiggle their fingers and roll their eyes!”

    Sir, I’d like to puncture every reproductive organ in your body with a safety pin until you sing soprano in a boy’s choir
    YOU HAVE THE IDIOTIC IDEA THAT WOMEN ARE SOMEHOW THESE PRISSY, FLAUNTING CREATURES, DONT YOU?
    Bozo
    You absolutely clown
    You absolute FOOOL
    Men want attention JUST AS MUCH AS WOMEN
    Women aren’t magically more attention seeking
    In fact, many women WISH TO AVOID ATTENTION
    ESPECIALLY FROM CIRCUS CLOWNS WITH PERSONALITIES AND OPINIONS LIKE YOURS
    I feel like once upon a time you got rejected by a woman who was learning ASL and you decided that she MUST have cared more about the language than she did about you
    Well
    You weren’t wrong
    Because she obviously didn’t like you
    AT ALL
    You are a reprehensible bucket of old chum and expired beer pressed into the most chauvinistic container available
    But back to the subject at hand, some men also enjoy attention seeking as much as some women do
    I mean, have you ever seen a college redneck driving a lifted, overly loud truck to make up for his shriveling genetics? I have
    Have you ever seen an aging man take several young lovers through money to make him seem more likable? I have
    Clearly, sir, the problem here is that you believe that women are always these superficial little guinea pigs you can project your hatred onto
    And you are clearly failing to concede that men as well are guilty of the same thing
    I won’t deny, again, that some interpreters might be self centered
    But to imply that THIS is the reason interpreting for ASL is female dominated? You are being a misled, sexist, air-brained little coward who fails to see the problems inherent in all and instead blames the few
    I know of another kind of person who did that sort of thing
    And we tend not to celebrate his memory, as he was also an over-angered, jealous, irrational fool like you
    But at least he had a neat mustache, right?

    “Women will do just about anything to become the center of attention. They spend hours trying on clothes and putting on makeup because they want everybody to watch them.”
    OH MY GOODNESS
    SOME W O M E N
    JUST LIKE SOME M E N
    You entire fool

    “Us men, we don’t really care that much about our appearance, and we sure don’t want people all over the country watching us wiggle our fingers, make faces and do stuff like that.”
    Sir
    You are either an A-tier satirist, or a fool beyond human capability
    ROLEX
    RALPH LAUREN POLO
    HECK
    THE NRA
    YOU CLEARLY DO CARE ABOUT YOUR IMAGE AND THE MESSAGE IT SENDS
    Or else the ads for these things would not target you
    And wiggling your fingers and making faces? Uh, excuse me, but I’ve seen every male politician do this exact thing
    Not to mention football players or golfers or poker players
    Apparently, these men DO want people to see that
    Maybe you don’t
    Perhaps you have some strange inferiority thing that you project onto others
    But certainly
    Other men enjoy these things
    So don’t put everyone in the same category as your slimy, grumpy backside

    “Which must be the real reason why men don’t become sign language interpreters.”

    Wow, fascinating, convincing conclusion there.
    You spread several fallacies and sickening opinions and you can’t even bother to tie it all together
    Wonderful job, sir
    Bravo
    You are truly the Genius of your Time

    “ • POST SCRIPTUM SEVERAL YEARS LATER
    • If you click on the link in my post to the study about sign language interpreters by Jeremy Brunson, Department of Sociology at Syracuse University, you will find out that the link to the study has been expunged, disappeared and replaced by a biography of some professor of feminist studies. I will not bother to remember her name or the name of the school where she is spreading her feminist poison, nor did I read the biography beyond the first few words – because what she and her totalitarian feminist friends did and are doing to freedom of speech is too disgusting to me. It’s not that I made up the study. The study did exist at one point in our history, before some totalitarian feminists (as if there was any other kind) decided to change the past, since they are so extremely insecure that thy simply can’t deal even with a blog post in which an errant male is daring to make fun of certain female characteristics. My blog post is thus now possibly the only piece of evidence that the study did exist. I will just add that this post is one of the more popular posts on my blog, has many thousands of views, and that it is still being frequently read even now, many years after it has been published.”

    Ohhhh, what’s the matter? Butthurt that intolerable, fictitious poison has been cleansed from the system by people with more common sense than you?
    Gonna blame the women you’re obviously grumpy with? If you think those women are insecure, you should hear your own half-hearted, inane, sexist, ableist, and presumptuous arguments which lack factual evidence entirely and instead are driven by your childish hatred for women
    But hey
    If you’re so upset
    Why don’t you go wiggle your fingers and make faces about it?

    “OMNIA VINCIT VERITAS”
    Uh huh
    Keep telling yourself that, you opinionated, spineless village drunkard

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