Deaf access for Deaf people: the translation of the television news from English into British Sign Language
Title of edited book
Media for All: Subtitling for the Deaf, Audio Description and Sign Language
Year of publication
This paper explores the notion of a Deaf translation norm and its use in the rendering of English mainstream television broadcast news into British Sign Language (BSL). The Deaf translation norm incorporates the community identity and fluency of the translator/interpreter (T/I). Historically this is a role that Deaf bilinguals have undertaken and in part involves the higher level of agency that the T/I exerts within the situation. In present day this differs from a historic role now that the translation event happens in the public sphere rather than within the community. To ensure that the Deaf audience has an optimally relevant BSL text to watch and understand, the Deaf translation norm incorporates enrichments and impoverishments into the BSL text according to their understanding of the English text and the video footage that is shown simultaneously on screen. This creates a BSL text that utilises the multimedia environment to reduce the cognitive effort of the Deaf audience.