National conference of sign language interpreters opens in Oita Prefecture


The National conference of sign language interpreters to aim at the better welfare for the Deaf and the sign language interpreter's position improvement started on August 26 in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture.

About 1,100 participants from across the country will discuss the issues in six fields through August 28. Sponsoring are the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, National Society of Sign Language Interpreters, and Mainichi Newspaper. etc.

On the opening day, KANSAN Jun, professor of The University of Tokyo graduate school, made a keynote speech titled "Limits and possibilities of communications".

He introduced his own experience when he was young that it was hard for him to take communications with his illiterate mother. She was not able to read or write in Korean and Japanese languages easily.

Mother invited people from the Hansen's disease medical center, who were not accepted easily by the society at that time, to her house very naturally and they ate together.

The professor spoke reflecting on what he had despised. "Mother was good at communications with using the every part of the body. I learned knowledge at the school, but my communications skills were not good enough".

He concluded by saying, "Sign language might be important when we think we tell the next generation about the practical wisdom".

Japanese source:

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