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Watch and Learn

Apr 28, 2022 | Interpreter Education

by: Susan Swancey EIPA 3.6 - NIR Interpreter Coordinator

Spoken language interpreters are given the opportunity to live in a country with native speakers to understand the nuances of culture and language i.e.: learning French, live in France. In our new world with limited travel, there are self-paced programs available to study these languages also; BUT, there is not a separate country for deaf people, so where can a person find these nuances and cultural norms?

If I were a “Newbie” interpreter or just getting interested in learning American Sign Language, where would I go to see this language? I would start with Google-ing “American Sign Language” and see the millions of links. Follow those rabbit holes. Then I would search YouTube for more videos. But how will I know if they are good choices? How can I tell if the signers are native or someone else who is just learning like me? Well, let me narrow your search “somewhat.”

YouTube ASL That

The Language & Life Project – some great stories on the history of ASL.

YouTube Ben Bahan – for his story telling skills

Dack Virnig – this is a new one for me. Great storyteller like poetry in motion.

Street Leverage

Daily Moth – for the news


Don’t forget to watch movies like:

Children of a Lesser God with Marlee Matlin

Mr. Holland’s Opus is inspiring with Anthony Natale

Switched at Birth



This is a VERY short list not at all indicative of how many GREAT signers/storytellers/interpreters that we can learn from. Have fun and get lost in the stories!

Let me know your favorite person to watch in the comments.

(888) NIR-9788