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Deep Listening - Impact beyond words - Oscar Trimboli

Aug 21, 2017

Jennifer MacLaughlin is an Auslan Interpreter for the deaf community. Auslan has a similar language structure to Asian languages. The word order is different and the picture and scene is created first. The language is created in a visual sense.

We explore a conversation where Jennifer was standing on stage translating an extraordinary piece of poetry to a group of people who were in the dark. I was moved by the energy that Jennifer brought to the conversation about what it means to listen deeply.

Today’s Topics:

  • How signing involves taking turns and respecting space and time
  • Having to wait for concrete meaning before signing
  • Jennifer shares her family life and how they moved to Australia for warmth
  • How Jennifer became interested in Auslan after being prompted by a friend
  • She has signed in many venues including corporate settings, universities, hospitals, and rallies
  • Challenges of interpreting poetry and how Jennifer did this for 1,200 people in Hyde Park
  • Staying focused with so many dimensions going on
  • Feeling the energy of the person speaking and staying connected
  • Unpacking the meaning of a word to make connotations very clear
  • Really thinking about what you are saying when speaking

Links and Resources:


“Deaf people are very good at respecting people’s space and time and that is something that non-deaf people could benefit from.” Jennifer MacLaughlin

“Interpreting is not about the words, it is about the meaning.” Jennifer MacLaughlin

“Auslan is such a creative language that uses a 3D language to create pictures out of concepts.” Jennifer MacLaughlin

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