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Day in the life of a BSL Interpreter for BBC News

Anthony Mitchell, 'in-vision' signer

Friday 31 January
Day in the life of a BSL Interpreter for BBC News

- January 31 at 9:22 AM

In a BBC Blog post today Anthony Mitchell, a BSL interpreter, describes the work he does to provide access to BBC content for deaf and hard of hearing people.

The ‘in-vision’ signers used by the BBC are provided by Red Bee Media and Anthony is one of the team’s longest-serving news interpreters.

He explains, “I’m one of a team of interpreters who are part of a larger group of translators. Together, we provide a British Sign Language (BSL) version of the day’s news and current affairs for the Deaf community.

“I interpret simultaneously between English and BSL, and, whilst I see a script for pre-recorded programming, the news is unscripted for me. The items vary between BBC Breakfast, the One O’clock News, press conferences, Prime Minister’s Questions, House of Commons debates and breaking news.

“Many people ask why sign language over subtitling? The reason is quite straightforward: BSL is the first or preferred language of many Deaf people in the UK. Moreover, BSL is quite different from English, with its own grammar, phonology and syntax - the language is three-dimensional, expressing meaning in simultaneous layers. Facial expression and body language are an integral part of the language also - what is spoken in 10 words can sometimes be conveyed with a single expression.”

As well as live sign language interpretation on news programming, Red Bee Media also cover a wide variety of pre-recorded programmes, from children’s programmes to documentaries to current affairs.

To read the full interview visit the BBC blog, click here.

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