New Workshop: Third Culture and Professionalism for Deaf and Coda Sign Language Interpreters

drittkulturIn collaboration with Isabella Rausch, I have developed a one-of-a kind 2-day workshop for Coda and Deaf interpreters together (Seminar language  IS/English). We are combining the Third Culture Kids approach (on the identity of persons having grown up in different cultures compared to their parents) and vicarious trauma.  I am  bringing in the anthropological background and Isabella is a psychotherapist. We are both multilingual interpreters, and both Coda.

This spring, the new edition of the book Third Culture Kids by Ruth van Reken is coming out in English. Its previous editions have created a global movement and are standard reading for students of intercultural communication. Its revision will include the Deaf community. I have given papers on this subject in various places, see here. As Deaf Culture Kids and members of a minority culture we develop a high sensitivity for intercultural skills and personality traits. Simultaneously, this sensitivity can make us very vulnerable. In our workshop the participants learn to turn their intercultural resources into inner strength where resilience, dialog ability and integrity, central assets of our professionalism can thrive. At the same time, they learn to protect themselves from traumatic episodes coming alive in the interpreting setting, especially if they, as interpreters, share similar traumatic experiences. A build-up of even the slightest hints over the time of a career can lead to burn-out. Learning about intercultural assets, sharing the Deaf Culture Kid experience and developing resilience and integrity will lead to long-term professional success and a happy work life.

We are offering this workshop in German/DGS in Berlin this July. If you are interested in an international workshop, please email us, comment or simply invite us to your country.


WASLI 2015 pre-conference workshop – Interpreting for Deaf Migrants: Challenges and Strategies. The Example of Deaf Turks in Germany

Presenters: Hatice Yildirim-Dähne, Ege Karar, Dr. Okan Kubus and Oya Ataman

Abstract: Our workshop explores asymmetries of power and culture in community interpreting settings involving Deaf, Turkish and German cultures. We invite discussion of colleagues’ strategies and experiences in interpreting for minorities. We suggest ideas for: (i) dealing with a Code of Ethics that may not fit minority cultures, (ii) training specific to our needs; (iii) cross-country professional networking that does not rely on English and IS. As a method, we are using Interpreting Enactments developed by Dr. Sebnem Bahadir.

To view the slides of this workshop, download them here.

To view evaluation videos of participants click here: IS, DGS

If you would like to participate in a similar workshop in IS/English, DGS/German or TID/Turkish please contact us.