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Sign language interpreter at the National selection 2024 accused of unprofessionalism: people with hearing impairments did not understand the translation

Sign language interpreter at the National Selection 2024 accused of being unprofessional

For the first time, the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Ukraine was made inclusive so that the songs of the participants could be appreciated by the hearing impaired. The translation of the contest tracks into sign language was done by Kateryna Zabotkina, who immediately became a star of the network due to her charisma and emotionality. However, the people for whom the translation was made do not share the general enthusiasm. They admit that the spoken adaptation was unprofessional, of poor quality, and most importantly, incomprehensible.

The first to draw attention to this was a user on X (formerly Twitter). The Ukrainian woman complained that although the sign language interpreter was quite bright and expressive, she did not fulfill her main function.

"While you are praising the sign language interpreter at the Eurovision Song Contest, I, as a sign language speaker, do not understand her at all. Her emotions, rhythm, sounds of instruments are well conveyed, but not the words and meaning. I don't understand how she could have been hired for such a large-scale translation. Do you really think she is professional? I wouldn't say that... I notice that her gestures during the translation are still rigid and lack meaning. So I can say that she hasn't practiced much yet... I have nothing against her, but I am in favor of her doing it not only for everyone but also for people with hearing impairments. This is important to me," the deaf person addressed other users of the network.

Sign language interpreter at the National selection 2024 accused of unprofessionalism: people with hearing impairments did not understand the translation

The woman's post went viral online. It was responded to by both concerned Ukrainians and other people with hearing impairments, who also confirmed that it was impressive but not understandable at all. According to them, Kateryna did a good job with the rhythm and the music itself, but there were many problems with the lyrics.

"She showed most of the gestures incorrectly and missed many words", "You see that the singer is performing the song, and the interpreter is not translating but showing the instrument. It seems as if her work is not for people with hearing impairments", "I am deaf. I don't understand her. Is she really a qualified interpreter?" Ukrainians with hearing impairments write.

Sign language interpreter at the National selection 2024 accused of unprofessionalism: people with hearing impairments did not understand the translation

Meanwhile, other netizens added, "It's such a shame that it looked cool but didn't fulfill its function", "I don't think any of the people who really needed the translation understood it", "My father didn't understand most of the translation, neither the first nor the second. He went to bed, even though he had asked me to translate what the jury had said, especially Danylo."

Sign language interpreter at the National selection 2024 accused of unprofessionalism: people with hearing impairments did not understand the translation

The journalist Rostyslav Demchuk, who, as he clarified, was studying sign language, also drew attention to the poor quality of the translation.

"If Ms. Kateryna Zabotkina does not answer and does not call me by my name (and a lot of time has passed), I will explain what kind of interpretation she used during the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year, an interpreter from FOX NEWS was imprisoned for falsifying sign language interpretation and fraud. She also translated news into a sign language only she understood... P.S. I understand! You can still make fun of stupid and viewers... but it is a great sin to make fun of deaf and mute people!" Demchuk wrote on his Facebook page.

Sign language interpreter at the National selection 2024 accused of unprofessionalism: people with hearing impairments did not understand the translation

It's worth noting that Kateryna Zabotkina herself admitted that she is self-taught and learned sign language through video tutorials on the Internet.

"Two years ago, this dream seemed absolutely outer space, almost impossible. No one was interpreting the national selection then, it was not an option, and I was self-taught in the world of sign language. At the age of 16, I was very inspired by the world of sign language and started learning it from video tutorials. The first movements were very uncertain, my hands were not prepared for it at all, but my passion for sign language motivated me so much that I went on to perform songs, my first videos, and my first concerts. Almost 10 years have passed. And yesterday, in the studio where the National Selection was broadcast, I looked at the small screen on the director's monitor and saw myself. And I realized that that little girl who watched sign language video lessons in her room and practiced in front of the mirror every day had reached the big stage of the Ukrainian Eurovision Song Contest," Kateryna shared her story.

Sign language interpreter at the National selection 2024 accused of unprofessionalism: people with hearing impairments did not understand the translation

It should be noted that in Europe and the US, an inclusive approach to entertainment content is a common practice. Sign language interpreters are present not only at music events but even at live concerts. They have a special place on the stage or near it, so people with hearing impairments can attend the performances of stars.

Very often, sign language interpreters attract more attention than the artists themselves. In the comments under her post, on user analyzed several videos of interpreters at foreign shows and noted that they manage to convey not only rhythm, emotions, and all sounds but also show all the words, which is very important.

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