in english, literature, Uncategorized

The Disco Stick Problem

A fascinating piece on how sign language interpreters translate Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi into ASL:

Lady Gaga’s “Love Game” is metaphorical, but exactly how metaphorical is it? Is the tone coy? Callous? Flirty? Dirty? . . . She has asked her interpreter friends how they would handle what shall now be referred to as the Disco Stick Problem. “One suggested I do this,” Ison says – mimicking an aggressive hip thrust. But that solution seemed more vulgar than the playful lyrics implied. All of this would be easier if she knew more about her audience – how well they spoke American Sign Language, how well they spoke Gaga – but interpreters at performing arts gigs rarely know their audiences until they arrive at the show.