MY Phd research

In February 2018 I started my doctoral dissertation (PhD project 2018-2023) on interpreting international sign at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The research is part of a larger project “Deaf communication without a shared language” conducted with Deaf and hearing researchers at the Radboud University. My PhD supervisors are Dr. Onno Crasborn and Prof. Jemina Napier.

My main research question is: “What should define and characterize an International Sign conference interpreter and their complimentary strategies and skills, specifically in comparison to national sign language and spoken language conference interpreters?” My PhD consists of four studies which will be published as articles.

STUDY 1 - survey

My first study is a global survey for interpreters working ometimes or regularly with international sign. Following a comprehensive literature study I designed this online survey. The survey is available in English and international sign and open from 1 - 30 April 2019. Read more about the survey in several languages >

STUDY 2 - Strategies of International Sign interpreters

In my second study of my PhD I focus on the the interpreting strategies of IS interpreters, contrasting those with national sign language interpretation strategies, and aiming to answer the following question:

What interpreting strategies and techniques does the IS interpreter use differently at conferences than a national sign language interpreter and how does the IS interpreter estimate that actual interpretation success is achieved?

See here the presentation of the preliminary results >


Until today only a few studies (McKee & Napier, 2002; Moody, 2008; Rosenstock, 2004; Rosenstock & Napier, 2016; Whynot, 2016; de Wit & Sluis, 2016) have explored the background, techniques, or skill set of IS interpreters working at conferences. The increasing demand for and an obvious shortage of skilled IS interpreters in general (de Wit & Sluis, 2016), suggests there is a pressing need for more research into the professionalization of IS interpreters at conferences.


McKee, R., & Napier J. (2002). Interpreting into international sign pidgin: An analysis. Journal of Sign Language and Linguistics, 5(1), 27-54.
Moody, B. (2008). The role of international sign interpreting in today’s world’. In C. Roy (Ed.), Diversity and community in the worldwide sign language interpreting profession (pp. 19-32). Gloucestershire: Douglas McLean Publishing.
Rosenstock, R. (2004). An investigation of international sign: analyzing structure and comprehension. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Gallaudet University, Washington DC.
Rosenstock, R. & Napier, J. (2016). International Sign: Linguistics, Usage, and Status. Washington: Gallaudet University Press.
Whynot, L. (2016). Understanding International Sign: A Sociolinguistic Study. Washington: Gallaudet University Press.
Wit, M. de & Sluis, I. (2016). International Sign - An Exploration into Interpreter Preparation. In: Rosenstock, R. & Napier, J. (Eds). International Sign: Linguistics, Usage, and Status. Washington: Gallaudet University Press. 105-135

References presentation 100 years conference interpreting