In light of the increasing demand of IS interpreters in Asia, a training took place in Macau which aimed at nurturing more IS interpreters in Asia. A total of 15 deaf and 14 hearing from 10 countries/regions participated at the ISIT 2018, from 11th to the 13th of May 2018. Trainers team was both deaf and hearing who were Nigel Howard and Susan Emerson from WASLI and Megumi Kawakami from Japan.

For some of the participants, it may have been their first time that they have participated training like this. Participants were able to interact, learn and evaluate with one another. The training is important for is continuity especially in Asia as there has been much IS interpreter trainings. And in some Asia countries, they also lack formal trainings to interpreters in their countries, this could be a good opportunity for all of us in Asia to establish connections to the training resources.

Some feedbacks from the participants:

  • “It is beneficial to learn IS for the global Deaf Communities, especially Asian Deaf Communities. Knowing IS helps interpreters understand the various sign languages to better serve the Deaf Community.”
  • “The most important thing I learned was that teamwork and a positive attitude is vital to ensure that the audience received the information correctly.”
  • “The professional advice given during the training helped me to gain a better understanding of the Deaf Community’s needs and the process of interpretation.”
  • “This training is special because interpreters in Asia usually don’t have a chance to provide interpreting services at deaf international/regional events in Asia, and most countries don’t have professional training like in America and Europe. I believe that this training is helpful for IS interpreters to prepare themselves for international/regional interpreting and helps break barriers to communication for the benefit of the Deaf Community.”

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In addition, due to the limited seats for the Training part, a two-hour public talk welcomed more than 100 participants to the talk themed “Co-Interpretation: Deaf and Hearing” and “Future Directions for Deaf and Hearing Interpreters”. Aside from the participants from the Training, around 70 deaf and hearing participants who were interpreters, sign language teachers and potential interpreters from different provinces in China, Hong Kong and Macau. Participants took the opportunity to raise questions and to exchange with the peers at the talk, it provided a chance for everyone to understand different challenges given the difference in cultures. The speakers shared their experience and gave advices to clear their doubts.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – WFD RSA believes that this will not be the last training for our Asia colleagues, now that there has been a start, we look forward to having different member countries to continue the training in their possible capacity for the sustainable development of the deaf and hearing interpreters to ensuring the rights of the deaf people.

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