From Spoken to Signed: American Sign Language Translation

Noah Buchholz
Monday, September 23, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm
144 Louis A. Simpson International Building
Monday, September 23, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:30pm

One of the most common misconceptions about American Sign Language (ASL) is that it is simply a manually coded English. ASL is actually a language with its own grammar and vocabulary distinct from English. Moreover, the modality of ASL is different from the modality of English. ASL is visual and kinesthetic while English is spoken. Thus, ASL-English translation consists of dynamic exchanges between not only two different languages but also two different modalities. For this reason, ASL-English translation presents many unique translation issues that are not found in translations between two spoken languages. I will examine some of those unique issues and discuss the critical role ASL-English translation plays in the advocacy for Deaf people’s rights. 

Noah Buchholz is a PhD Student in Religion & Society at Princeton Theological Seminary and lecturer in the Program in Linguistics at Princeton University. He is also an ASL-English translator, Certified Deaf Interpreter, and performing artist. Previously, he served as Assistant Professor of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at Bethel College. His research interests include liberation/political theology, decolonial/postcolonial theory, critical geography, and Deaf studies. 

Sponsored by
Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication