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Kateryna Zabotkina about the scandal at the 2024 National Selection: I only work with songs, I'm not a translator

Zabotkina explained how she prepared for the National Selection

Sign language interpreter Kateryna Zabotkina, who became a star of the network during the National Selection for Eurovision 2024, responded to accusations that her translation of songs was not understandable for all people with hearing impairments. She said that she works exclusively with songs and has no specialized education.

Zabotkina prepared in advance to perform each competition track in the gestures. She said this in a comment to Detector Media.

"I work only with songs, I perform songs in sign language. It would be disrespectful to the interpreters who received specialized education to call myself an interpreter as well. I don't do simultaneous interpretation. I only perform songs with prior preparation for their performance," explained the National Selection star.

Kateryna Zabotkina about the scandal at the 2024 National Selection: I only work with songs, I'm not a translator

According to her, translating songs from words to gestures is a creative process that does not involve verbatim adaptation, but can be changed to better understand the meaning.

"Not always what is written in the lyrics reflects the meaning. Obviously, I can read the meaning in my own way, and someone else can read it differently. Even my teacher and I, along with people who are deaf, talked about what meaning we see in this phrase while preparing for the National Selection. Everyone has different meanings, and this can cause misunderstandings," Zabotkina added.

Kateryna Zabotkina about the scandal at the 2024 National Selection: I only work with songs, I'm not a translator

Earlier, she also explained that the Suspilne team decided to interpret the songs into Ukrainian sign language, so the translation of the English parts of the tracks was twice as difficult.

As a reminder, professional sign language interpreter Maryna Liferova explained in a comment to OBOZ.UA that the reason for Zabotkina's not-so-successful translation was probably the lack of preparation for the show. She called her colleague's work "emotional dancing with some sign language words".

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