Seeds to Sow Vlog

Seeds to Sow Vlog


an invitation from Betty M Colonomos...

You are invited to participate in an open dialogue forum between the interpreting community and the Deaf Community using ASL as the primary language for discussing issues we face together. I have posted some topics in ASL asking for input from both communities in ASL. You are welcome to comment on a post or generate a new topic. All submissions are to be in ASL and will be reviewed before posting.

English translations of these may be offered as well, but your comments should be presented in ASL first. The point of this forum is to create the opportunity to discuss the issues we face together in language that is both linguistically and culturally sensitive, not laden with hearing privilege. Sharing your comments in ASL offers a rare opportunity for our communities at large to come together and dialogue in ASL.

Please join me at the Seeds to Sow vlog at

Click on the image to open the Seeds to Sow vlog in a new window.


Welcome to Seeds to Sow. This platform has been created as a way community members, in both the Deaf and interpreting communities, can connect regarding issues affecting all of us.

As a certified interpreter with 40+ years of experience I have seen the evolution of the professional field of interpreting. We have made gains, but there are many issues that are still unresolved--the future of our profession is unclear. This evolution has not come without challenges. These challenges are to be embraced, since they are what creates collegial dialogue as we strive to advance our field. Seeds to Sow is designed to be a springboard to stimulate further discussion of current ideas and trends within the signing community. The many issues about which we are passionate must be examined in rational and constructive ways. We hope this will happen with STS.

Over the past several years I have noticed that the primary way in which we communicate about the field of interpreting is via online discussion groups and social media. All of these are rooted in the majority language English. I, too, have contributed to these discussions and have realized that there are nuances and a viewpoint that is lost--that of the Deaf community. Because these messages are not originally presented in ASL, they are heavily skewed to a hearing view, a privileged lens and are not welcoming to Deaf interpreters and the Deaf community at large.

My intention with Seeds to Sow is that all contributions are initially made in an ASL format which is then translated into English as the secondary source. All too often bilingual posts are first written in English then translated into ASL. When that is the case, most translations are still rooted and presented with a culturally hearing frame of mind. With these translations from ASL into English we can work together to develop a deeper understanding of what a translation entails. This includes communicating with colleagues regarding the task of translation, text analysis of the ASL source text, and conveying a message released of form. The possibilities of such collaboration are rich and limitless.

My hope is that the contributions made to Seeds to Sow will reflect differing viewpoints which will be celebrated as collegial discussion. These differences in opinion and experience are critical not only to the future of our profession, but will allow us as a community to look further into ourselves, our various privileges, and perhaps shift our understanding of the work we do as interpreters.

I encourage you to spend time on Seeds to Sow, viewing the variety of posts and contributing to these much-needed conversations. I alone cannot do that, and welcome the diverse fund of knowledge that I trust the subscribership has. We will begin with topics that are central to the Deaf and interpreting communities. For example, we may have conversations that we bring to the RID conference next year in the form of motions or resolutions. If the site is active, subscribers many introduce all kinds of topics in the future.

As a fairly new profession we can look forward collectively into what we want the field of interpreting to look like. We must be proactive, rather than dwelling on the past or reacting to whatever arises in our field. We begin where we are, today. We do that by recognizing where we are, connecting with one another, sharing ideas, and planting seeds to sow for the next tomorrow. I hope you are with me.

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