“I speak sign language. Not.” The fake interpreter is BACK, and sign language is mocked again in an online advert

Posted on May 7, 2014



The mind boggles.

We’re not sure what Thamsanqa Jantjie was thinking when he recorded this advert for a live video-sharing app, but we’re pretty sure that the company he’s advertising, Live Lens, knew what they were doing: causing a bit more controversy, at the expense of Deaf people, to help publicise their product.

This ad features Jantjie mocking the worldwide controversy he caused back in December, when he signed nonsense at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service (a story we broke on this site).

It features his head blowing up, Jantjie claiming he is a proper sign language interpreter (before signing “I speak sign language. Not”) and a strangely robotic voiceover (which isn’t subtitled for a deaf audience, ironically), as he signs sentences that don’t match his spoken lines – for comic effect.

We didn’t really think that the ‘fake’ interpreter, who, lets not forget, claimed he has a mental illness which made him see visions on stage at the Mandela service, could sink any lower.

But maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised. Watch it below.

By Charlie Swinbourne. Charlie is the editor of Limping Chicken, as well as being a journalist and award-winning scriptwriter. He broke the ‘fake’ interpreter story on this site, and writes for the Guardian and BBC Online. As a scriptwriter, he penned the films My Song, Departure Lounge and Coming Out, and has just written and directed short film The Kiss and the half-hour comedy Four Deaf Yorkshiremen go to Blackpool (which is out on the BSL Zone on the 19th May). 

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s independent deaf news and deaf blogs website, posting the very latest in deaf opinion, commentary and news, every weekday! Don’t forget to follow the site on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our supporters on the right-hand side of this site or click here.

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