Work samples are the best way for anyone to get to know your work product. Just as an architect would show off renderings of recent projects, interpreters should have recent samples of their skills. I suggest interpreters have at least one prompt in each language direction of approximately 5 minutes.
Recording Your Work
Modern smartphones are perfect for producing sample videos. For work into English, just set your phone to record video and point the camera at the video of the signer, speaking clearly in the direction of the phone so that it records your voice. For work into ASL, find a video you like of someone speaking in English and play it in the background while you point your phone’s camera to you.
Here are some prompts that I feel are indicative of the type of upper-register work that my clients engage in. Feel free to watch a few minutes of a prompt to get a feel for the language, then start interpreting.
- Black ASL by Joseph Hill
Linguistic terminology, quasi-academic.
- Common Errors by Young Children Acquiring a Sign Language by Adam Stone
Language acquisition, translation of science.
- Deaf People: Tell Me More featuring Claudia Gordon
Disability rights, personal stories.
- The Digestive System
Foundations of biology, academic lecture.
- The Science of ASL Storytelling by Melissa Malzkuhn
Translation of science, new technologies.
- Senator Harkin Delivers Floor Speech in American Sign Language Upon Passage of the ADA
Disability rights, American policy.
- How the Languages We Speak Shape the Ways We Think by Lera Boroditsky
Language and society.
- Addressing Equity Gaps by Supporting Student Basic Needs Security by Rashida Crutchfield
Equitable access in higher education.
- The PRIDE Study: Conducting Community-Engaged Digital Research with LGBTQ+ Communities by Mitchell Lunn
Health equity in queer communities.