Ok, so that’s definitely not true but I try. Although he often has interpreters coming into the office, I regularly act as a backup interpreter for Ben for small meetings etc. The other day however, his interpreter had an accident and Ben was supposed to be giving a talk in the auditorium at Hursley where we work. Can you guess what happened next? 🙂
So I stood up to the challenge and tried to interpret Ben’s talk to the audience. It was a very strange experience as I’d never really interpreted from BSL to English apart from in small groups, or even seen it done very often – most interpreters I see are from English to BSL for Ben’s benefit. I wasn’t sure how well it went as knew I didn’t manage to get everything across, my language was quite simple compared to what Ben was trying to articulate, and I did swap from the 1st person (the correct method where I pretend to be Ben) to the 3rd a couple of times. However, a few people (including Ben himself) were extremely generous with their praise which was fantastic to hear (e.g. here, here, here and here).
Following that talk I was full of confidence and so then happily interpreted for Ben at the next one (someone else on stage, English to BSL). Definitely got a rush that day, very exciting. Maybe I’ll do more of this in the future…
P.S. I know I’ve done more signed versions of BSL-related posts in the past but I’m finding it quite hard to find the time to do it. Writing is much quicker for me and to then translate I need to get a camera, work out what I want so sign, how to translate etc. Maybe it would be better to start with a BSL version and translate that to English instead. I’ll have a think about it and see what I can do.