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Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters Paperback – May 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-1877864735 ISBN-10: 1877864730

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1877864730
  • ISBN-13: 978-1877864735
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,004,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Mindess's first book helps the professional sign language interpreter provide more effective service through an understanding of deaf culture and cross-cultural communication. Mindess, herself a veteran interpreter, introduces the main concepts of intercultural communication in the first half of her work, drawing on examples from anthropology, linguistics, and related fields. She highlights differences between hearing culture and deaf culture in America that can compromise clarity in translation situations. Finally, Mindess explores the responsibilities of translators and their primary role as mediators, recognizing that American Sign Language (ASL) translators raised outside deaf culture must learn its nuances to maintain professional quality. In comparison, Melanie Metzger's more research-oriented Sign Language Interpreting: Deconstructing the Myth of Neutrality (Gallaudet Univ., 1999) reveals how interpreters influence a translation interaction. Although less academic in nature, Mindess's book is a better resource for the interpreter and is recommended for large public libraries and appropriate educational and professional settings.AAndy Wickens, Univ. of Illinois-Chicago Lib. of the Health Sciences
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

'A dazzling application of the tools of intercultural communication that illuminates Deaf and hearing cultures and their differences... This is a book for everyone interested in Deaf culture.' --Harlan Lane, author of THE MASK OF BENEVOLENCE 'A terrific new chapter, and includes the reflections of several Deaf interpreters detailing the ways we use cultural adjustments for more effective communication.' --Linda Bove, certified Deaf interpreter, consultant 'A must-read! An enlightening book... a defining document in the literature of Deaf culture.' --Eileen Forestal, Prefessor, ASL Studies/Interpreting Training, Union County College --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

I have been working as a sign language interpreters for more than 30 years and now specialize in legal interpreting.

My interest in culture goes way back. I've always found myself gravitating to a voice with a foreign accent in order to gain some perspective on my world by looking at it through other eyes, as well as traveling as much as I can.

I began learning ASL at CSUN when I was an actress in Los Angeles, after I saw a theater production with expressive Deaf actors. I quickly fell in love with the visual language and noticed what seemed like alternate ways that Deaf people approached many things.

It was not until I discovered the field of Intercultural Communication in graduate school that everything clicked. I realized that a cultural perspective could explain so much about the interactions I witnessed and later interpreted for between Deaf and hearing people.

I've been invited to present on the subject of culture and sign language interpreting in Japan, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada, England and all over the U.S..

After immersing myself in the study of culture and writing about it as it applied to interpreters, I broadened my explorations to include food. I write for newspapers, magazines and websites about the intersection of food and culture.

My goal is the same: to understand myself as a cultural being and help others to gain the insight that there are a host of varying perspectives in our world.

My blog, East Bay Ethnic Eats, www.eastbayethniceats.com
And a website I share with Thomas K. Holcomb, Deaf Culture THAT, www.deafculturethat.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
It is a great resource that I have been using for classes.
Regfee
She provides scenarios with cross cultural perspectives in the doctors' office and the job interview.
T. Seiler
I really enjoyed Anna Mindess's book Reading between the signs.
Rebecca Dambroff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By T. Seiler on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
In order to understand deaf culture, you need to understand what is standard American culture and then see how it contrasts with deaf culture. Anna Mindess does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting these cultures, with references to cultures from all over the world. She includes insights from respected Deaf members. This is an easy read, not a difficult textbook. I read this with many lightbulbs going "aha". She delves into values, presentation styles, and politeness in both worlds. She provides scenarios with cross cultural perspectives in the doctors' office and the job interview. I have a new understanding of myself as a hearing American and a new appreciation for the cross cultural obstacles that deaf people must face.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "beez_kneez_2" on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was a little skeptical as to whether I should even buy this book, as it is tauted specifically for interpreters and I am still learning ASL, but this book transcends ASL and Deaf culture to provide a great sociological field of study for everyone who works, plays, indeed LIVES in our society. Talk about providing insight as to the "how and why" we all make social faux pas, and the ways that we can be more open to resolving the mistakes we often make. This book is a must read for anyone who interacts with people of different cultures/backgrounds on a regular basis.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Thomas on July 11, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book entitled "Reading Between the Signs: Intercultural Communication for Sign Language Interpreters (2nd edition)" is the most indepth study of cultural mediation that I have ever seen. Anna Mindness does a wonderjul job of helping an interpreter to see where communication barriers exist, and then explain how to bridge those gaps. Why are cultures different? What is cultural mediation? How do you convey a message between conflicting cultures? What tools can effective interpreters use to empower the clients we serve toward better communication when obstacles exist? After reading this book, I found myself making adjustments in interpreting, and was able to see positive results in terms of faithfully communicating source language messages to the recipients. If one reads this book, and applies the principles learned toward their work, it will assist in making them a better interpreter, and ultimately a better communicator between cultures. I highly recommend this book to others and express my thanks to the author for putting the elements of intercultural communication together in one great volume.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By N. okezie on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i guess i expected this book to have pictures of signing for some reason...i don't know, but once i started to read it i saw how informative it is. i like the book a lot and i believe that Anna Mindess knows what she's writing about. if you want to understand the deaf culture more and are determined to become an interpreter, i think this book is essential.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa C. Gold on November 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
A great book that helped me pass the NIC-Generalist Written Test. Definitely helpful to have in your library!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M. Roddy on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Listen up ITP trainers! "Reading Between the Signs" is a true gem and should be required reading for all students in Interpreter Training Programs nationwide.

Mindess and her publisher's copy editors possess the requisite skills to render a typographically error-free book with pleasing margins and fonts, unlike Alcorn and Humphrey's "So You Want to Be an Interpreter," a required text of many ITPs.

Unlike Alcorn and Humphrey, who dutifully introduce and briefly discuss cross-cultural differences and how they influence sign language interpreting, Mindess thoughtfully and thoroughly takes the reader on an extended journey with deep, eye-opening analysis and a plethora of real-world examples that interpreters encounter every day. It's easy to understand the content with so many supporting examples of it throughout the text.

Like an engaging movie, play, or book that requires the moviegoer, theatergoer, or reader to use his/her critical thinking skills and comparisons to one's own experiences to what s/he experiences in that particular media, Mindess' book goes by quickly, because the content is so well-developed and on-point.

I found this book quite by accident. It was on a reading list of an online course I took to prepare for the NIC Knowledge Exam. I found it to be extraordinarily helpful in filling in the gaps I had regarding cross-cultural communication between the hearing and Deaf communities. It answered a lot of questions I had and I felt much better having read it before taking the NIC Knowledge Exam (which I successfully passed).

A must-have on your professional bookshelf!
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed Anna Mindess's book Reading between the signs. I thought it was very informative and had read it once before when I first started taking ASL and didn't really understand it all that much but as of now I've been taking ASL for almost two years and have a better understanding and appreciatition for the Deaf and it's culture and the difference between the Deaf and the hearing world. What a great book for people who are just starting to take ASL and want to be come active in the Deaf community and one day maybe persue a career with it
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Garrett Wade on February 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While this book has some interesting information, I totally regret purchasing it. Most information can be found online. After having taken an ASL class, I must confess that my Deaf Culture class didn't introduce anything I wasn't taught in ASL.
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