Tonight, I went to the a Combined Disabilities Association (CDA) meeting. I was hoping I’d see Deaf there, but when I arrived there weren’t any, as far as I could tell. I was disappointed and wanted to leave, but decided to wait a wait, see if any came. I also immediately began looking for anyone who would possibly be an interpreter. Didn’t recognise anyone. So I continued waiting, despite my boredom. (Official updates and Christmas carols… Boring…)
And then Deaf came. And it became apparent that no interpreter was there. In fact, the CDA people even asked me (not directly, interestingly, but through someone else) if I could interpret. I said no. A friend of mine to whom I texted the story later told me I should have. But interpreting is not as simple as that.
Knowing two languages does not make you an interpreter. You need training, experience, and practise, none of which I have. Not to mention interpreting in a formal setting such as that were people use big words is not going to make an easy job for a beginner, especially one who does not know formal terms in one language. (My JSL is very casual…)
So… Well, I left early. It was boring (I mentioned already, didn’t I…?) and I felt like they should have known better. I don’t know how much preparation had gone into their trying to get an interpreter there, but I think it’s inexcusable that they had no interpreter, even though they had apparently tried to get one (perhaps only after the Deaf arrived?) when I left.
I don’t know, maybe I should have tried, but I think out of respect for the Deaf there, I should not have.