I was honored to be a guest on Jimmy Kimmel live last night as a “sign language consultant” concerning the impostor sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral.
Life throws some curve balls sometimes.
For the record, I am fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and grew up in an ASL household. My mom and aunt are Deaf. I worked full time for a few years as a freelance American Sign Language Interpreter in Southern California. I’m not fluent in South African Sign Language (SASL), but it was proven by a number of sign language experts that the man interpreting at Nelson Mandela’s funeral wasn’t using SASL, Afrikaans, a tribal dialect, International Sign, or ASL. So I’m interpreting as if the man was signing ASL which of course comes across as total gibberish. There lies the comedy. Jimmy Kimmel’s staff were aware of the ASL/SASL difference and wanted to be sensitive to the issues of the international Deaf community and interpreters as well. That said, this is meant to be funny. Enjoy.
Hugs everyone and happy holidays!