A memorial service to commemorate the life of Nelson Mandela was held Tuesday. The main topics following the service were world leaders taking selfies and a fake deaf-signer, Thamsanqa Jantjie. Just what was that signer telling the world?
American comedian Jimmy Kimmel decided to get a real deaf signer to translate the fake one's hand signals, gestures and facial expressions. According to Laughing Squid, what he discovered was that the fake interpreter was simply talking "gibberish."
If you have ever watched a deaf signer translating a conversation or speech you will know the person uses a mixture of signals and signs, plus facial expressions and gestures to help complete the picture.
Jantjie appeared to use limited gestures and his face hardly moved a muscle. Following the memorial service he vanished but was later located. He put his terrible performance down to a schizophrenic episode but it is not the first time this man has failed to come up with the goods.
Good to know that a man suffering a schizophrenic episode is stood right next to world leaders such as President Obama, from the USA, and David Cameron, from the UK. All the security surrounding the event could have been for nothing.
Friday the Daily Mirror reported that "Thamsanqa Jantjie has in the past been accused of several violent crimes", including rape and murder.
Two days ago the South African government claimed it was not embarrassed by the event reported SABC News. At that time excuses such as the fake interpreter's first language were still given.
The New York Times reported immediately following the event:
“This ‘fake interpreter’ has made a mockery of South African sign language and has disgraced the South African sign language-interpreting profession,” said Bruno Druchen, the national director of DeafSA, a Johannesburg advocacy organization for the deaf. In a statement posted on the organization’s Facebook page, Mr. Druchen said, “The deaf community is in outrage.”