Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

music

Lady Gaga Makes Life Difficult for Sign-Language Interpreters

The Washington Post gets deep into the world of concert sign-language interpreters, the people who translate the lyrics of our biggest pop stars for the hearing-impaired. Turns out, it can be pretty tricky: Do you go with the literal translation of the words, or is your goal just to get the vibe across? For example, because there's no word for "disco" in ASL, the closest translation to "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" is apparently "I want to ride on the twig of John Travolta's dance moves." Also, this anecdote is crucial: "'I don't know if you heard,' Gaga purrs, 'but I have a pretty tremendous [expletive].' [Interpreter Traci] Ison does a double take, making sure she has heard correctly, before signing the lewd man-parts term. Then she shrugs and finger-spells the word, just to be on the safe side." [WP]