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ASL Interpreter in Way Over Their Head After Hired to Work Upcoming Sigur Rós US Tour

DETROIT — Local American sign language interpreter Luke Phisher felt completely overwhelmed after being hired to work the upcoming US tour for the Icelandic band Sigur Rós, confirmed sources who wondered if they still had time to back out of the commitment.

“That’s the last time I lie about being fluent in North Germanic, West Scandinavian, and completely made-up languages on my resume,” said Phisher while checking out Sigur Rós’ music for the first time in his life. “I’m not sure what’d be quicker: Learning an entire foreign language from scratch in a mere six months and the ability to translate it to crowds of thousands using nothing but my hands, or just replacing Sigur Rós lyrics to those of popular Jock Jams songs instead. Probably the latter. I’m thinking the song ‘Svefn-g-englar’ could just be the lyrics to ‘Whoomp! (There It Is).’ And maybe I’ll swap the words to ‘Með suð í eyrum’ with something from C&C Music Factory. Hopefully no one notices.”

Members of Sigur Rós admitted they run into this issue frequently.

“I don’t know why it’s so hard to comprehend lyrics like ‘Ég græt og ég græt, aftengdur, ÓNýttur heili settur á brjóst og mataður af svefn,’” said lead singer Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson. “The last time we toured the US we couldn’t even find anyone willing to be our ASL interpreter. Starting to think no one speaks Hopelandic in America or in the rest of the world for that matter. If they just taught it in elementary and middle school, this wouldn’t be a problem whatsoever. This is primarily why America is behind the rest of the modern world. That and healthcare, gun violence, and wealth inequality.”

Language experts seemed to agree that ASL interpreters struggled to work foreign bands’ shows.

“This seems to happen frequently when non-English-speaking bands tour the US,” said linguist Brenda Livenstein. “In fact, the last time Rammstein toured America, several ASL interpreters straight up quit midway through their first show. Turns out, it had nothing to do with the language barrier though. It was more about them feeling unsafe around 30-foot flames being propelled at them from all angles of the stage. They all excelled at the sign language part though. That’s a plus.”

At press time, Phisher had already called out sick for Sigur Rós’ first American tour date despite it not occurring until September.

Photo by Alterna2