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This interaction with the pharmacist is split into two segments: Requesting a Refill & Explaining Inhalers. Each section is formatted both both consecutive & simultaneous interpreting, as well as showing the original interpretation.

Section 2 – Explaining Inhalers – Interpretation

This video shows the original interpretation created by Dawn Stevenson during the filming.  After your observation, be sure to read her reflections.

Reflections on the Interpretation

by Dawn Stevenson

The medication explanation was less straightforward than the refill request. I had, to this point, no first hand knowledge of asthma and the medications used by people to lessen their symptoms. Consequently, I was sometimes fishing for the right words to use during voicing. I don’t think that hindered the communication between the client and the pharmacist.

I noted that I did not wait to understand or try to make sense of the encapsulated powder aspect of the Advair disk inhaler. My interpretation shows my lack of understanding. Later, as the pharmacist described the extender and its purpose, my processing time paid off in a clearer interpretation.

There was one case of overlap that seems to happen rather frequently in medical settings. The doctor, or pharmacist in this instance, is explaining something when a thought comes to the mind of the Deaf person, who then waits to ask their question. The client starts to say something while the pharmacist is explaining using Advair as a management medication. She raised her hands without signing anything specific, so I voiced, “umm…”. The pharmacist continued talking and the client held her thought until he was finished.

My facial expressions mirror the speaker’s intent and show my active involvement in the interaction between the client and the pharmacist. Watching myself on the screen, it seems a bit overdone, but in the moment, it feels right and lets the client know I am tracking with them.
Upon viewing the interaction, I was dissatisfied with two other pieces of the interpretation, but the communication between the participants did not appear to be damaged. First, I used a classifier for carrying something large and flat instead of inhaler-sized when I voiced “carry” – an obvious intrusion of the source language. Then, I voiced over the client’s abundantly clear miming of her understanding of how to use the inhaler.

All in all, I would say this was a fairly typical interaction between a savvy client and a care provider who had worked with Deaf clients and interpreters previously.


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