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What The Sign Language Interpreter Was Actually Trying to Do

In case you haven't heard already: the sign language interpreter at the funeral for Nelson Mendela was a fake. He signed pure gibberish. If Thamsanqa Jantjie knows any sign language, he failed to demonstrate it at the funeral.

But perhaps, as this animated .gif (that's pronounced jeeeef) demonstrates, he was actually trying to make balloon animals.

That, or we were just watching an episode of the science fiction show Quantum Leap.

Or Mr. Jantjie was trying to impress a lady and failing spectacularly.


(Video Link)

What we do know is that the signs made no sense at all. Jimmy Kimmel brought a real interperter onto his show, who then translated Mr. Jantjie's gestures.


(Video Link

Should a person in this situation, as Jimmy Kimmel advises, just do the macarena dance? Maybe Mr. Jantjie was trying to start his own dance craze, as this video illustrates.

(via Robb Allen and American Digest)


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He may have been a real sign language interpreter but whoever hired him may not have realized there as many sign languages as there are spoken languages and hired him to sign the wrong dialect.
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