Resources By LindaLee Massoud Review

Resources by LindaLee Massoud

Video Review by Chris Wixtrom     © 1998

Resources by LindaLee Massoud
(1980-94 Coordinator of the Interpreter Training Program, Mott Community College, Flint, MI)

Sign Language Crash Course I (1991, 115 pp. book & 90 min. signed video, no voice-over)
Sign Language Crash Course II (1994, 148 pp. book & 90 min. signed video, no voice-over)
Finger Flicks: Fingerspelling Drills - Intermediate 1; Advanced (new)
Practical Demonstrations: Interpreting vs. Transliterating (1991, five videos, signed/voiced)
Intro to Interpreting - Block Lectures (1993, booklet & 160 min. video, voice only)
Intro to Interpreting - Peer Evaluation Lectures (1993, booklet & 90 min. video, voice only)
Technical Aspects of Interpreting (1993, three 120 min. videos, voice only)
Interpreting in Various Settings (1994, three 120-160 min. videos, voice only)

Available through:
SignQuest Publishers, Inc., 4409 Old Colony Dr., Flint, MI 48507
Fax: 810.233.4855, Email:, URL:
Let's Sign, Corp., 4203 West Tilden St., Springfield, MO 65802
Phone: 417.869.9992 tty/voice, FAX 417.865.8043; Email: 73523.2647@compuserve
Harris Communications, 15159 Technology Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344-2277
800.825.6758 voice, 800.825.9187 tty, 800.211.4360 vco, 952. 906.1099 fax; URL:

Have you dreamed of finding a way to learn sign language, or to search out the secrets of sign language interpreting? Or are you already on your way, yet feel as if your progress has paused at a plateau? Perhaps you wish for a way to zoom upward at warp speed, perfecting your techniques and polishing your performance. But something has held you back - perhaps lack of opportunity to practice, and an absence of classes or interpreter training programs within your area. Should you reluctantly plunk your hopes down on a shelf? No! Grab those ambitions, blow off the dust, and get ready to wrestle with languages and come out a winner!

LindaLee Massoud invites you to a taste of heaven for eager sign enthusiasts, and a place of haven for developing interpreters. Her Sign Language Crash Course delivers the goods as promised, getting sign students ready for action, and building a base of cross-cultural comprehension concerning some politically sensitive subjects. Addressing developing interpreters with her videotape lectures, Intro to Interpreting, Technical Aspects of Interpreting, and Interpreting in Various Settings, she presents a rich panorama of the field of interpreting. Then, using phrase-by-phrase Practical Demonstrations, Massoud provides plenty of close-ups that zoom in on the details of the interpreting process. In this demonstration series, each section is first transliterated (signed in an English-like structure, with appropriate lip movements corresponding to the speaker's words) and then interpreted (expressed in American Sign Language). Watching the unique characteristics of transliteration and interpretation displayed on screen one after the other is a little like lining up presents at a gift exchange and opening them one by one. Clearly, there is something for everyone. The interpreter needs to prepare ahead by getting the skills of transliteration and interpretation all wrapped up, ready to deliver whichever would most please a particular audience.

Although the technical quality of the sound and picture on the videotapes is not superior, the resource material in the presentations can't be beat! The accompanying booklets provide premium information pruned to the quick - no wasted words, just what you need to know to converse politely with Deaf people or gently critique another interpreters' work.

As I watched the lecture tapes, Massoud's pleasant, informal, yet tightly organized style set me at ease and made me feel like I had been invited backstage to learn the ins and outs of the whole fascinating interpreting show. Her manner manages to be both warm and professional. She allays interpreters' fears of flubbing up in sticky interpreting situations by giving the impression that (as George Propp might agree) "Nothing's Fatal." She acknowledges controversial issues but doesn't dwell on them, preferring to expect that people can think for themselves, and that a wise interpreter will surely find ways to bridge the rough waters that come between "the hearing folks and the deaf folks."

Massoud lends confidence to developing interpreters, assuring them that if they do their homework, interpreting skills will become second nature. If not today, someday. With knowledge and practice, carefully choosing work experiences matched to skill levels, each interpreter may confidently assume that it will be possible to get the job done, and done right.

Interpreters at all levels will find something of value in these tapes. For example, in Technical Aspects of Interpreting, Massoud covers introductory topics such as closure and spatial linguistics, gives hints for team and relay interpreters, and stretches for success in coordinating conference interpreting with multiple interpreters. In the three-part video set Interpreting in Various Settings (which offers 440 minutes of top-quality instruction for about $70) Massoud sets the scene, lists the props, suggests the style of dress, gives the cues, and directs the action for interpreters in 17 different interpreting situations, including: Oral, Educational (Elementary, Secondary and Post-Secondary), Employment/Rehabilitation, Performing Arts, Medical, Telephone, Round Table, Deaf-Blind, Interpreting for Mis-educated Deaf Persons, Legal, Artistic (Music), Voice, Religious, Platform and Mental Health/Counseling Interpreting. With her Practical Demonstrations tapes, she takes Leo Dicker's excellent book Facilitating Manual Communication and brings the lines to life, first transliterating and then interpreting each sentence or story into ASL. Like magic, right before your eyes, she makes English and ASL accomplish the amazing - a transformation of voiced message into visual meaning.

Whether you are just learning sign and are curious about sign language interpreting, or have years of interpreting experience to draw upon, you will benefit from these videotapes. If you're looking for a wise and kindly mentor, you've knocked on the right door. For whatever else she may be - transliterator, interpreter, or coordinator - these tapes prove that above all, LindaLee Massoud is a Teacher.

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