As access to deaf people grows around the world, a new profession has begun to emerge as well, that of Deaf translators and interpreters (T/Is). In his new study Toward a Deaf Translation Norm, Christopher Stone explores this innovation, including its antecedents and how it is manifested in public places. Most importantly, Stone investigates whether or not a translation norm has evolved for Deaf T/Is as increasing numbers of them work in the mainstream translating for websites, public services, government literature, and television media.
For his study, the sixth volume in the Studies in Interpretation series, Stone concentrated his research in the United Kingdom. Specifically, he examined the rendering of English broadcast television news into British Sign Language (BSL) by both Deaf and hearing T/Is. Segments of the data feature simultaneous Deaf and hearing in-vision T/I broadcasts. Recording these broadcasts produced a controlled product that enabled direct comparison of the Deaf and hearing T/Is. Close analysis of these examples revealed to Stone that Deaf T/s not only employ a Deaf translation norm, they take labors to shape their BSL text into a stand-alone product rather than a translation. Ultimately, Toward a Deaf Translation Norm opens up engrossing new vistas on current deliberation about neutrality in translation and interpretation.