When a Deaf person says an interpreter is a ‘strong voicer,’ what characteristics are valued? Do those match what agencies seek when they send out a request for a ‘strong voicer’? Does that mean a good English vocabulary base and high register discourse ability? Or someone who will not interrupt to ask for clarification? A clear disconnect was found in perspectives on what makes a ‘strong voicer.’ Identifying specific issues through our survey of interpreters and Deaf consumers allows us to 1) categorize a listing of ideal ‘strong voicer’ characteristics, 2) analyze contrastive factors in the various perspectives, 3) compare the perceived vs actual performance of so-called ‘strong voicers. The data leads us to make a clearer connect between projected, perceived, and actual voicing abilities. Interpreter students can learn native signer discourse techniques and be guided to develop intuition on appropriate pragmatic choices while gauging viewpoints of all participants to effect successful interpretations.
Julie White, Christine Multra Kraft