News World

Sign language interpreter at Mandela memorial a fake: Reports 0

QMI Agency

The man who stood on stage next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela's memorial and translated their speeches into sign language was a fake, according to members of South Africa's deaf community.

"This man is not a recognized, professional South Sign Language Interpreter," Bruno Druchen, national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, wrote on the group's Facebook page. "The signs (self-invented signs) the interpreter used are not used in South African Sign Language and it is a total mockery of the language."

Many complained on social media they couldn't understand the interpreter, who was signing during speeches by the country's president, Jacob Zuma, and U.S. President Barack Obama.

"Please get him off this is an embarrassment, no signs make sense, he is moving his arms to try to look busy," tweeted Francois Deysel, whose bio says he is sign language interpreter in Cape Town.

Actress Marlee Matlin retweeted the story from deaf news blog The Limping Chicken, adding "Unbelievable!"

The interpreter's name has so far not been released, and some people have posted pleas to identify him.

Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions and our netiquette rules.


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »