A recent blog story by NYC ASL interpreter Lydia Callis shared her thoughts on interpreting. The article, What’s it’s Like to be an ASL Interpreter? discusses the social aspects of interpreting, as well as mentoring concepts and discovering the passion of learning about Deaf culture. Here is a quote:
One of my favorite parts of being an interpreter is that it’s an extremely social line of work. Aside from my the deaf clients, I also get the opportunity to interact with many other interpreters, and those who are considering sign language interpreting as a career. Novice interpreters enter this job full of questions, since the interpreting field has changed so much even in the past 25 years. The want to know: what is it like to be a modern ASL interpreter?
I believe the most important quality for any ASL interpreter is passion for your work. There are plenty of opportunities in this field for those who are motivated and enthusiastic. If you do not feel truly passionate about communication, sign language, Deaf culture, and good ethics, you may want to consider another occupation. Deaf people can tell when their interpreter is present, involved, and faithfully relaying the message. They deserve a well-rounded professional who can do it right.