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Lost in Translation

by Julie Rose, producer of “The Morning Show,” on BYU Radio

I wish you could have seen how animated Kei Ikeda was in “The Morning Show” studio this week. 

When he talked about the struggle – as a deaf student – of keeping one eye on the professor, one eye on his sign language translator, and one eye on his notes (impossible unless you have three eyes!), Ikeda made a sign like his head was exploding. 

That’s when the importance of BYU’s Project Signglasses really became clear to me. Ikeda can’t contain his excitement over working on the project: helping create the software to put video of a sign language interpreter right on to the lens of a specially-equipped pair of glasses. No more looking from one to the other. A deaf student can look at the professor writing on the board and simultaneously see a sign language translation of the lecture. 

The technology is exciting, and even nifty. But the real story is the human one, says “Morning Show” host Marcus Smith.  “You can explain the tech stuff in five minutes. The heart of it is how it will change the lives of young people.”

Ikeda nearly teared-up reflecting on how hard his own hearing mother worked to help him learn to read as a youngster.  “I’m so grateful to her,” he said, through his interpreter Jodi. 

Getting the human story of current events, science, and society, is what we aim for on “The Morning Show.” It’s a luxury for most of our guests to settle in and spend 15, 20 – even 30 minutes talking about their latest research or life’s work. They enjoy it. We learn something. Hopefully you both learn and enjoy.  That’s the heart of it.

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