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6 things you probably didn't know about Sign Language Interpreters

A sign language Interpreter works as an intermediary between two languages transferring meaning from one spoken or signed language into another signed or spoken language.

This is a qualified, highly skilled, and creative job and they require:

  • deep cultural and linguistic understanding

  • expert knowledge of subject matter

  • the ability to communicate clearly

  • and also require professional qualifications. It takes 7 years to become a Qualified Sign Language Interpreter, this is a lot of time and effort (long training, practice, and experience) to reach that status.⁠

In this article, we will share some unique and interesting facts about sign language Interpreters you might don't know.


Facts about sign language interpreters by Deaf Umbrella


IT IS A HIGHLY DEMANDED PROFESSION

In the UK, there are around 150,000 British Sign Language (BSL) users. and 908 registered BSL interpreters and a further 234 trainee sign language Interpreters (TSLI)(according to NRCPD).

That’s not enough, therefore Deaf people often have difficulty accessing Interpreters in times of need. So, if you are still in school and planning your future career or you are planning to switch career paths, you can consider this. It may be your calling! Read our article with some of the best reasons to learn sign language HERE.


MOST OF THEM DO IT AS A VOCATION

In relation to training and qualifications, the 2021 Census of sign language Interpreters in the UK from the Association of Sign Language Interpreters UK (ASLI) indicates that 57.9% have a vocational diploma, and 42.9% had university qualifications.

And another proof is that sign language Interpreters often earn less than oral language interpreters!






IT IS A PROFESSION COMPOSED MOSTLY BY WOMEN

The Census indicates that the profession overall is 82.02% female, 16.81% male, 0.43% are nonbinary/genderqueer, and 0.28% are transgender, and the average age of is 44 years old.


THEY FOLLOW A DRESS CODE

At Deaf Umbrella we recommend that Interpreters wear muted clothing that contrast with their skin tone:

👉🏻 Sign Language Interpreters with fair skin wear dark clothing. This may include black, navy blue, dark grey, or olive green. ⁠

👉🏾 Sign Language Interpreters with darker complexions wear shades of beige, pastel, or cream. ⁠

As sign language is used around the face and chest area, it's vital to wear solid colour tops. ⁠To know more about the main dress code and the big no-no's, read THIS article.


A FAKE INTERPRETER HUNTED!

In 2013, during Nelson Mandela funeral, a fake Interpreter made a fool of himself, outraging deaf people around the world, by pretending to do sign language interpretation. Hard to believe but true!


IT IS ONE OF THE MORE USEFUL PROFESSIONS AROUND THE WORLD

Sign language Interpreters help bridge the communication gap between a hearing person and a Deaf/Hard of Hearing individual, ensuring fair and equal accessibility. Learn HERE how to work with a sign language interpreter.



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