Deaf News: ‘Real interpreter’ website launched to show how Mandela memorial service should have looked

Posted on December 19, 2013



To check out the Real Interpreter website, click here.

What does Real Interpreter aim to do?

Real Interpreter is a movement to raise sign language and sign language interpreting awareness.

One way to do this is to create a place where real interpreting of speeches about Nelson Mandela and his tireless fight for equality are translated into various sign languages.

RI About

We are currently focused on translating the speeches from the Mandela memorial into International Sign (IS), South African Sign Language (SASL), and American Sign Language (ASL). Our next goal is to add more sign language translated videos from countries worldwide.

We want educate others on how to improve awareness and sensitivity for sign language and interpreting. We, as a community, are often forgotten by hearing people, especially when it comes to making decisions for deaf people.

The Deaf community is also underrepresented in the media. Inclusive actions would be working with us for accessibility and involving us in the process of any decision-making about us.

Why was Real Interpreter created?

There was a lot of reaction to the “Fake Interpreter” at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service which, although it gave sign language the exposure it needed, was saddening because it took the focus away from the purpose of the service itself: to pay tribute to such a revolutionary leader who dedicated his life to ending injustice.

This is an opportunity to continue Mandela’s legacy.Real Interpreter is so much more than simply having a counter-response to “Fake Interpreter”. From our ‘About’ page, “We want this to be a place of community exchange and resources. We welcome submissions of speech translations in your country’s sign language. Together, we can show the world what REAL sign languages look like.”
Who created Real Interpreter?


RI Videos

The entire team behind Real Interpreter is deaf. The website is brought to you by Convo.

As a Deaf company that primarily serves the Deaf community by providing video interpreting for their calls, we experience how interpreting affects our lives on a daily basis. Real interpreting is so important to us, because only when we feel confident that we’re being interpreted accurately can we let ourselves truly be ourselves.

We are also working with World Federation of the Deaf, and Braam Jordaan of WFD Youth Section in this Real Interpreter movement. This is an international Deaf issue.

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Posted in: deaf news