There is a story on the internets telling how Sign Language helped to save the Ukraine.

On Nov. 24, 2004, sign language interpreter Nataliya Dmytruk was presenting a live news broadcast on a state-run Ukrainian television channel when the voice announcer (and her official script) declared that prime minister Viktor Yanukovych had won the recent run-off presidential election, a result widely believed to be fraudulent.

She signed, “I am addressing everybody who is deaf in Ukraine.

Our president is Victor Yushchenko.

Do not trust the results of the central election committee.

They are all lies… and I am very ashamed to translate such lies to you.

Maybe you will see me again.”

Her act emboldened other Ukrainian journalists to stand up against manufactured news accounts and led to another election, in which Yushchenko, the opposition candidate, was declared the winner.

Is an interpreter a clarifier?

Did Nataliya Dmytruk violate her Code of Ethics by not signing what was actually being said and interjecting her own determination of the truth?


  1. Code of Ethics? Violated, surely. Still better that she do it and get out the truth. I wonder how different the election results are from one election to the other.

        1. What concerns me is that, at the time, she didn’t know if her source was reliable or not. She was guessing. For her to betray her role as an interpreter in favor of becoming a political activist is just unseemly.

  2. Definitely a bad precedent to set, David. She violated the ethics of her job to be a tattletale. Not her place, her position, or her right.

    1. In retrospect, she may have been lucky in that what she shared happened to be true — but in the midst of the lie, it was not her job or role to reveal what she felt was the truth.

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