Interpreting Sample Video Tips

  • September 7, 2016


(Dark-haired caucasion woman sitting in front of French doors and a coat rack with sweaters and a bike helmet hanging from it.) 

Hi, I’m Rae and I’m the owner of Rose Sign Language Interpreting Company here in Colorado.  What I’d like to discuss today are sample videos for prospective interpreters with our company.  I think I’m safe in saying that this advice will help you with any agency or company that you wish to interpret for (moves hair forward).  Uh, we receive a lot of resumes throughout the year and we see a variety of quality in the sample videos included.   Uh, we do ask for sample videos because we need to see what you can do as an interpreter.  Um, I’m going to cover some of the common issues that we see in those videos (Rae scratches her nose). 

First of all, (rubs hands together) your material needs to be cold (grins).  We don’t want to see something that’s been prepared or rehearsed.  It’s very easy (pause) to identify a rehearsed piece.  Honestly, it’s a waste of time.  We don’t want to see it.  It doesn’t help us, (phone chirps in background) it doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help the end user – the Deaf* and Hearing consumers who will ultimately use your service through us.  Uh, just don’t do it.  It really is a waste of time.  Uh, if we need to see how you handle a frozen text, that could come up and we will ask you to provide, uh, some, some sort of recording of that, that’s fine (computer dings), but that’s typically not what we need to see in the interview process and in the hiring process, OK? (grins) 

Second, we would really prefer to see a live interpretation.  If you are interpreting at a public event (pause), this is ideal.  Uh, and public events are publicized, they are open to the general public, they do not require an appointment.  These kinds of things.  They don’t, they are not private AT ALL, they do not have, uh, any expectation of confidentiality.  We would love to see those if it’s possible AT ALL.  Um, if you do a live interpretation in class and uh, your (phone chirps and Rae moves her hair forward) instructors and your (air quotes) consumers in class are amenable to you using a video of them in your, um, job search, that would be great as well.  We want to see what you do in the moment.  Um, we do understand that this can be difficult but you need to (pause) not be pedantic about uh privacy concerns when there really aren’t any in some situations.  Again, when there, in situations where there is no expectation of privacy for anybody involved,  um like a town hall meeting, uhhh, the mayor is giving an address in your small town and you are there with your mentor and you’re able to interpret maybe some of the opening remarks or the introductions as an intern.  That would be a great thing, that would be a great (looks away) event to get video of and send us (smiles). 

Third (sighs and points to number 3 on her hand), we need to see your stimulus material if you are recording in a lab setting.  We do get a lot of these great lab videos where the background (thumbs up) is just perfect and the lighting is good, uh (pause), you’re looking at a screen or listening in your earphones (gestures to show earphones over ears and chuckles) we don’t have access to that information.  Your teacher knows exactly what they assigned you; you know what you’re interpreting.  We only see you signing or hear you speaking.  We need to see and hear what you’re interpreting to know if it’s accurate.  To be able to gauge the quality for ourselves.  Um, we receive a lot of IPP lab videos that give us half of the story or honestly, less.  Because we don’t know if you’re interpreting WELL (laughs).  You might be smokin’ it, you might be just (pause), you might be providing the world’s greatest interpretation of that Olympics in (phone chirps) Utah story that has ever been interpreted but WE have no idea.  Because we can’t see or hear the stimulus material.  So, that needs to be included.  It’s actually very easy to do this.  Um, you will probably have to set aside some time, outside of class.  Or during a free period, uh during class.  Turn your phone towards the screen (grins).  Uh, take off the headphones and record that way so we can hear what you’re hearing or see what you’re seeing.  We would much rather see and hear the stimulus material than marvel at the beautiful blue or green background that’s behind you (puts both hands up) in, uh, your lab carrel, ok?  

Um (sigh), fourth (points to number 4 on her hand), you need to caption these videos.  Oh, I’m sorry, let me go back to the third one (points to her ring finger).  Um, with your lab videos, we do also get a lot of whispered voicing videos.  We understand.  We’ve, many of us have been in that IPP lab.  We know that there are a lot of people working at the same time and you need to be considerate of classmates and not be loud, so that you interrupt or interfere with their interpretation.  BUT if you are going to send us a video that is supposed to showcase your voicing ability (quietly laughs), use your voice (smiles)!  We have to be able to hear you and gauge whether or not you, um, can project your voice appropriately as an interpreter.  Uh, please don’t whisper.  If your assignment required you to whisper and your teacher accepted it because those are the limits within the lab, totally fine.  Make a new video before you send it to the agencies!  Don’t send us a whisper video, they’re not helpful.  They’re (pause) they’re actually tough to listen to, they’re tough to watch.  It’s not pleasant and they don’t help YOU.  

Um, so our fourth one (points to number 4 on her hand), our fourth point on how to improve your sample videos for your resume: caption them!  You must caption them (smiles).  This is very easy to do on You Tube.  You can do it on your own video-editing software if you have that.  You Tube is free.  There’s no reason for you not to caption your videos.  Um, we know that you’re including your stimulus material because you’re great at taking advice from ME (smiles).  So, even though we can see the signer on the screen and even though we can hear the voiced stimulus materials, we need a caption!  Uh, this company, at least, works with uh, more than one Deaf* person who is, uh, involved in the hiring process.  Don’t make us caption your videos!  It, it’s it’s a complete waste of time if those involved in the hiring process cannot access your sample video.  Personally I find it really disrespectful.  So, caption your videos, make sure they are accessible to ALL in the hiring process.  We’ll be good!  We’ll be happy, we will be impressed.

So, uh, four things, four simple things (points/counts using her fingers): cold work, get a live sample if you can at all – of sign or voice (pause), make sure that we can see or hear your stimulus material, and caption your videos (smiles).  All right?  Pretty simple, pretty simple.  This is going to improve your resume, this is going to improve your (waves both hands to get attention): “hey, hey, hey” hire me website. Um, and it’s going to make you look a lot more professional and guide you towards more meaningful employment as you get started.  All right? (smiles)

Thanks, have a great day (ASL sign/gesture for fond farewell)

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