"Nelson Mandela ceremony interpreter branded 'fake'"

Holy shit. Did some dude just jump up on stage with the world leaders and start pretending to sign? Where does he buy pants to accommodate his gigantic balls?

That’s what happens when you learn sign language from this guy.

My first question was whether anyone had seen Guy Goma lately.

This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in several days.

Nice to see Garrett Morris getting work.


They should have hired Corky Romano.

I am laughing at this way harder than I should be.

That is one of the coolest things I’ve seen this year. I humbly bow to the ingenuity and general bad-assery of the fake interpreter. We need more pranks like this during big events!

That looks so funny! I was thinking maybe he was signing in a different language and it was a misunderstanding but he’s only doing four gestures over and over, and he isn’t doing enough gestures to match the words.
What on earth happened? He looks so serious, how did he do that with a straight face?

What isn’t really funny, and seems to me to be a major security breach, is that this guy was standing next to major world leaders and just doing his little pantomime skit.

Who the fuck was in charge of security there? Where are this guy’s credentials? It just shows another security hole that could have been exploited.

Someone could have been assassinated instead of this just being hand waved away. So to speak.

Off topic, but this situation is exactly why the TSA is useless. The TSA spends tens of billions of dollars on security theater which really secures nothing. It’s basically a welfare program to give jobs to high school dropouts and idiots with a superiority complex. Same as this situation - all the millions spent by the Secret Service to “protect” Obama on this trip, and yet any idiot can hop up on stage mere feet from the President - it would have been trivial for this guy to put a couple of slugs in Obama’s head before anyone would realize what was happening.


This says he was hired, didn’t just jump onstage, but had been accused of this at other times, too.

Corrected link.

I think “fake” is the wrong word here, and is conjuring up an image of some guy just winging it without a clue.

As I understand it, the real story is that in SA it’s not uncommon for people with a rudimentary knowledge of sign language to get hired for these positions, since the people hiring them generally don’t themselves understand sign language.

So it’s more a matter of a guy being very incompetant and in over his head, rather than pulling a complete stunt.

Apparently in order to be even more evil SA had two different sign languages, one for white and one for deaf. It’s only recently they have had one language and it’s still not codified.
In addition they refused to let deaf black children learn to read.
The plot thickens…

I’m fairly proficient in American Sign Language and remember thinking that his signing seemed fairly repetitive (CNN was on in my office, with the sound off).
Not all english sign-languages are the same (ASL differs quite a bit from it’s British counterpart) and, not knowing the South African equivalent, I thought that maybe the speaker was saying something repetitive as well.

Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

It doesn’t necessarily follow that the guy wasn’t screened for weapons. The Secret Service and their South African counterparts aren’t necessarily going to check the credentials of everyone who shows up with some semi-plausible story:

“Oh, an interpreter for the deaf? Hey, Agent Smith, c’mere–you know South African Sign Language, right? OK, hotshot, start translating what I’m saying.”

That doesn’t mean the guy wasn’t wanded and scanned and frisked and so on.

(Of course, an assassin who pretends to know sign language but really knows the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique would be a different story.)

I wish I could unread this whole thing. The thought had already occurred to me, but I pushed it from my mind in order to enjoy the robust laughter that has been rumbling in my belly all day long. Now here you come with facts to temper my joy? NO!

The image that I have been enjoying in my head all day is the Swedish chef doing the live translation at the UN.