Bloomberg’s interpreter Lydia Callis, who translated the NYC Mayor’s Hurricane Sandy conferences into American Sign Language, has emerged as a star as the floodwaters abate.
Bloomberg’s interpreter was frequently mentioned on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as the NYC Mayor appeared frequently in the news to apprise fearful New Yorkers of the current Sandy situation.
Bloomberg’s interpreter quickly became one of Sandy’s most talked-about side-points, as viewers responded with accolades for her animated and emphatic signing during Mayor Mike’s speeches.
Reaction on Twitter to Callis was instant, with users affording Bloomberg’s interpreter props, creating animated gifs, and generally crediting the ASL specialist with bringing interpreters to the forefront in a crisis.
According to US Magazine, though, Callis is not eager to capitalize on her newfound fame as Bloomberg’s interpreter during Sandy, recently declining press opportunities and telling the New York Post:
“I’m here to serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. I’m just glad, and I’m honored, that I was able to get the message out there … that’s what it’s all about.”
Bloomberg’s interpreter did, however, speak about the challenges of interpreting for a fast-talking New Yorker like Mike Bloomberg. She explained:
“If he stutters, if he messes up a sentence, you’re going to see me stuttering, and you’re going to see me messing up the sentence … The point of interpreting is to render the message faithfully, and that’s what I have to do.”
Below are some of the tweets commending Bloomberg’s interpreter during the Hurricane Sandy crisis.
The sign language language lady in Bloomberg’s press conference entourage has way too much swag for this. She is hypnotizing.
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) October 29, 2012
The Sign language girl for Bloomberg press conferences makes the best faces twitter.com/jdharm/status/…
— JD Harmeyer (@jdharm) October 29, 2012
No making fun of Bloomberg’s sign-language translator. Seriously. Only love. She’s doing her job both very well, and with STYLE.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 29, 2012
I am mesmorized by the sign language translator to Mayor Bloomberg’s right.
— colbyhall (@colbyhall) October 29, 2012
I tell ya, the real star of Mayor Bloomberg’s press conferences is that animated sign language translator he’s got. Can’t look away. #sandy
— J.Camm (@JCamm_) October 29, 2012
OMG, the sign-language gal next to Bloomberg right now is AWESOME.
— Matt Welch (@mleewelch) October 29, 2012