Ensure that the timing of signing is relevant to the on-screen activity


For many sign languages, the timing and cadenza of the signing can be very different from the spoken output, so timing can be difficult to get right.

For live content, the interpreter must often wait until a sufficiently large initial utterance has been spoken before they can start interpreting. This delay either means the interpreter has to go slightly faster to catch up or there may be an overrun after spoken output ends.

While signing, the interpreter will frequently refer to the action in the main picture or make visual cues relating to the main image. This requires tighter timing for those references, even if overall the timing is generally more relaxed.

Directions and techniques

Time the signing to be relevant to the programme content

As far as possible, signing should be in keeping with the overall programme content, even though it cannot usually be tightly synchronised with speech. Make sure not to cut off any overrunning signing at the end of a sequence.

Avoid overrunning shot changes

Avoid the sign language interpretation overrunning shot changes. Shot changes that take place while interpretation is being done may cause the viewer to be distracted from the signing.