In the last day or so, there have been a number of developments surrounding the dubious sign language interpreter from the official Nelson Mandela memorial service. From claiming to have had a schizophrenic episode to revelations that he was under investigation for fraud and had once held someone hostage with a brick all adding to the sense of astonishment that Thamsanqa Jantjie was allowed anywhere near some of the world’s most powerful leaders.
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But just how bad was his signing? A number of experts have already weighed in, but US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel’s decision to bring in an experienced sign language interpreter to give voice to Jantjie’s gestures is pretty revelatory. In all fairness, there are differences between American sign language and South African sign language, but the translations provided by Kimmel’s interpreter do seem pretty consistent with what other experts have been saying.