fact-checking as conversation
August 6, 2014 9:52 PM   Subscribe

[T]his is what we were dealing with: We were located in two places, and between us there were three laptops and one stenography machine. We were working in two languages (English and American Sign Language, or ASL) and across three communication channels (voice, sign, and text). They were sitting at a rectangular table, all on the same side: first Hilaria, then Kate, then Lynn, then Rabin´. That made five of us, four of whom brought constraints to the situation, ranging from the permanent to the temporary: Lynn is deaf, Hilaria is a non-native speaker of English, Rabin´ is supposed to be silent and invisible, and I couldn’t see, because I had no video on my Skype.
A factchecking session for "young sign languages" turns into an exploration on communication across barriers and needs of accessibility, language, and technology.
posted by divabat (6 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

I used CART for four of my five years as an undergrad, and it really does make turn taking hard. Especially if you're in a group of more than a few people, or where there isn't the kind of shared awareness (by everybody involved) that there is this delay before you can jump in and respond to what's just happened.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:06 PM on August 6, 2014

I love how disruptions in the "normal" way things go offers up the bones of conversations that we don't see in the living animal.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:58 AM on August 7, 2014

Man, I loved this article. Thanks for posting it.
posted by lauranesson at 8:44 AM on August 7, 2014

Wow, that's a great article. Fascinating, and gives insight into an issue/area I hadn't really thought of before.
posted by suelac at 9:11 AM on August 7, 2014

I once was on the organizing committee of a conference in Paris on the linguistics of signed languages. We were dealing with two spoken languages, French and English, and three signed languages: ASL, BSL (British Sign Language) and LSF (the signed language of France). The organization was incredibly complicated because we had to ensure that all talks were available in all five languages, and could be given in any of them. We had a soundproofed booth at the back of the room where two interpreters sat who could do both English-to-French and French-to-English. Then there were headphones, which anyone could wear that would give the talk in either English or French. And finally there were sign-to-spoken and spoken-to-sign interpreters would sometimes would be wearing the headphones, and sometimes would be interpreting. For example, one speaker gave a talk in LSF, which was then interpreted into French, then to English, and then from English into both BSL and ASL by interpreters wearing headphones. At one point the two interpreters in the booth, who knew nothing about signed languages, burst into surprised laughter at the signed applause, which in all three of the signed languages is said by raising your hands and shaking them (here's an example). Eventually it all worked out. The best part was how a joke would cause a cascade effect of punctuated chuckles as it worked its way through the interpretation chain.
posted by tractorfeed at 11:20 AM on August 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

These are both really neat articles. Thanks for posting this here, divabat.
posted by nangar at 6:58 AM on August 8, 2014

« Older Helsinki's Heavy Metal Hillbillies   |   "...this is a charity that's... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments