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An insider evaluation of the translation process in use in the BSL Bible Translation Project: Explorations in textuality, intermediality and sacramentGraham, Elaine L.; Young, Alys; Raistrick, Tracey A. (University of Chester, 2013-12)This thesis is a critical account of a qualitative, evaluative study into the translation processes and practices in use within the BSL Bible Translation Project, undertaken as a collaborative doctoral studentship funded by the AHRC/ESRC1. It has proceeded collaboratively, valuing the stories, knowledge and experiences of the participants. The data‐set presented herein was generated by means of participant observation and interviews with Project Team members. It was analysed in its digital, visual form using an inductive, thematic approach, and is presented with minimal commentary (Chapters 4 and 5). Following this presentation, the data‐set is further reflected upon in order to shed light upon existing understandings of sign language text composition strategies, team translation praxis, intermediality and sacrament (Chapters 6, 7 and 8). The evidence presented in this thesis represents a new source of data and offers valuable insights into translation and exegetical practice in its own right and, I will argue, as a means of human flourishing. This thesis problematizes previous descriptions of Signed Languages as ‘picture‐languages’, identifying two ways in which such descriptions have been unhelpful, even inaccurate. Firstly, that this nomenclature, with its association with picture‐books and pre‐linguistic skills, has contributed to the persistence of perceptions of d/Deaf people as being linguistically less‐able than their non‐Deaf peers and secondly, that such descriptions are deficient because they fail to fully capture the complex nature of Signed Languages. This thesis argues for a re engagement with the inherently cinematographic nature of Signed Languages and explores ways in which this would yield benefits in the fields of Deaf education, the teaching of Signed Languages to second‐language learners, and the training of interpreters and translators. This thesis will also argue that the translation practices of the BSL Bible Translation Project constitute a clear example of Deaf people engaging in metalinguistic reflection on their own language‐use. That is, that the data provide clear evidence of literate thought, specifically of Signed Language literacy in action, and is further evidence in support of the growing confidence and agency within the Deaf Community with regards to the status and the rich linguistic and material properties of BSL, including its suitability as a mediator of the sacred. This thesis will go on to offer reflections on what the data have to tell us about the nature of Biblical texts; both through how they are produced, and the nature of those texts as artefacts and bearers of religious meanings. Engaging with existing understandings of sacrament and incarnation, including the possibility that the act of Bible reading and translation can be said to constitute a sacramental activity, it argues that this is particularly so when such reading and ‘speaking’ of the text occurs through Signed Language.