In Their Own Words: Donald Reasoner

(From left) Vagris Umba, Bertin Kyungu and Adolphe Kitenge, delegates from North Katanga Conference, listen to the morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference at the Portland Convention Center. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

(From left) Vagris Umba, Bertin Kyungu and Adolphe Kitenge, delegates from North Katanga Conference, listen to the morning worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference at the Portland Convention Center. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Good morning church! Enjoy a sampling of our wonderful translators as Don Reasoner (Director of Translation Services for the General Board of Global Ministries) explains what makes General Conference in 2016 so significant from a language point of view:

 

While we are in session the General Conference is being translated into:

  • American Sign Language
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili / Kiswahili
  • Tagalong
Bishop Peggy Johnson signs words (see previous slide) of confession during the Episcopal Address by Bishop Gregory Palmer. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Bishop Peggy Johnson signs words of confession during the Episcopal Address by Bishop Gregory Palmer. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

The ASL translators work in shifts in front of a camera near the stage and that feed is available inside the hall and on the live stream.  The other languages are translated simultaneously from booths beside the floor of the conference.  These translators work in pairs, with one providing the translations as their partner tracks page numbers, takes notes and runs the equipment inside the booth.

A view from inside one of the translation booths.

A view from inside one of the translation booths.

When a non-english speaker takes the floor, the appropriate translator shifts gears and begins providing an english translation to both english delegates and the other translators.

Don explains the large scope of this work:

 

Not only are some of our translators unpaid to avoid violating their visas, but others donate their honorariums to support causes like Africa University. We are indebted to the challenging work of our translators.

Ben Hanne

Ben Hanne

Ben Hanne has taken up the role of Podcast Producer for the UMR during General Conference 2016. He is the Campus Minster at Southwestern College in Winfield, KS and a soon-to-be ordained Elder in the Great Plains Conference of the UMC.
Ben is 1/2 of the ministry oriented podcast “Preach, Pray or Die” which can be found on iTunes or anywhere you look for your podcasts.

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