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Interpreting at Church: A Paradigm for Sign Language Interpreters, 2nd Edition

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Leo Yates, Jr.'s Interpreting at A Paradigm for Sign Language Interpreters, 2nd Edition is a well-written and one-of-a-kind resource that discusses essential information for sign language interpreters who will provide professional services in a church or other Christian environment. The book covers a wide range of materials including certification, ethical and legal issues, standards, compensation, and skill development. It also contains a religious sign dictionary and helpful suggestions from veteran interpreters.

256 pages, Paperback

Published March 10, 2008

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Leo Yates Jr.

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1 review
November 15, 2012
I've met a lot of people who learned to sign at church then started interpreting for their church without having any other experience or knowledge of the interpreting profession. This book would be extremely helpful to such people.

The book would also be helpful to experienced interpreters who are dealing with the challenges of interpreting in a church where they are also a member. It addresses such topics as payment and whether it is acceptable for an interpreter to participate actively in a service they are interpreting.

I find some of Doug Stringham's criticisms unfair. Regarding his claim that the book "wastes time" explaining certification types, this information can easily be skipped over by experienced interpreters who are already familiar with certification. As for the supposed "bias against certain belief systems," the book states clearly on the very first page that it is "slanted toward interpreting in Protestant churches," so readers should not be surprised to see an emphasis on the language used in Protestant churches. The book is still valuable to people of other faiths, however. My own church is far from mainstream Protestant (to such an extent that some attendees, myself included, don't even consider ourselves Christian) and I still found the book very relevant.

One of Doug Stringham's other criticisms is that the glosses are bad. I wish he had provided his own glosses of the passages Leo Yates glossed so that readers of these reviews could judge for ourselves which glosses are most accurate. Personally, I found Mr. Yates' glosses helpful, especially the one for Amazing Grace. I have been in the uncomfortable position of struggling to sign Amazing Grace, and cringe at the memory of my clumsy transliteration. As someone who thinks in English, I'm not entirely comfortable with the gloss provided, but it certainly makes more sense than what I signed!

The only significant change I would like to see to the book is the addition of an appendix with resources for church interpreters outside the United States. American books like this one are widely used in English-speaking countries where the sign languages have little in common with ASL, and it would be helpful to point non-American interpreters in the direction of resources in their countries.
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