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Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session

Abstract

Sign Language (SL) translation is a field of growing interest to major groups involved in translation, but many SL translation projects are encountering difficulties. In examining these, I argue that the Deaf community occupies a unique sociolinguistic context as it relates to translation, and that this makes Deaf ownership of translation projects and training of Deaf people a high priority. I then look at three other salient issues in SL translation: personnel, exegesis, and the question of signing style, offering tentative solutions. In addition, I suggest that projects might benefit from: 1) engaging in discourse studies early in the SL translation process, 2) a single-line approach to glossing that works well with analytical software, 3) maintaining a pure sign language environment, and 4) implementing effective comprehension testing methods.

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