Medical signbank: a cure-all for the aches and pains of medical sign language interpreting?

Jemina Napier, George Major, Lindsay Ferrara

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Language, cultural and educational impediments in the effective use of signed language interpreters in medical and mental health service delivery have been identified by Australian researchers (Cornes and Napier 2005; Napier and Johnston 2005), but until 2008 no linguistic research had been carried out in Australia on signed language interpreter-mediated medical encounters. This
    paper described an Australian project that involves the development of an innovative web-based interactive multimedia dictionary and database of Auslan. It was designed to create an effective, accepted and shared signed language vocabulary for the discussion of medical and mental health issues by deaf clients and health professionals, mediated through Auslan interpreters. The conceptual framework was language planning and development within a small linguistic
    community of ‘limited diffusion’. The technology enables the direct participation of interpreters, deaf people and medical practitioners in a project managed by linguists, signed language interpreters, and language service providers (the National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service, and the New South Wales Health Care Interpreting Service). The paper outlines the progress of the
    project, and specifically reports on findings from surveys and discussions
    conducted with interpreters about the strategies they use to deal with medical terms that have no Auslan equivalents, and their thoughts on challenges in medical interpreting.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSigned language interpreting
    Subtitle of host publicationpreparation, practice and performance
    EditorsLarraine Leeson, Myriam Vermeerbergen, Svenja Wurm
    Place of PublicationManchester
    PublisherSt Jerome
    Number of pages28
    ISBN (Print)9781905763337
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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