sign language?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by DC_DEEP, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    How many do we have here who know some form of sign language? ASL or Signed American English, fingerspelling, sign language in another country besides USA?

    I started learning Signed American English many years ago, and took a sign language class in college, but have never gained a lot of proficiency because I had no one with whom to practice. I'm in a situation now where I have lots of contact with a lot of deaf and hard of hearing persons, and I spend a LOT of time with an instructor at Gallaudet University, so I'm learning massive amounts of "vocabulary" and even some ASL "grammar."
     
  2. Wrey

    Wrey New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    6
    Apprehension of Sign Language is no different from any other language. We have a window of opportunity, 3 - 7 years of age, where we are open to imprinting linguistic code in our mind in an organic fashion. After that, learning another language can be very difficult for most. I speak Spanish, English, French, Russian, a little Slovak, and a little Czech. I come from a poliglot household, more than one language. When I trained as an interpreter in the USAF, the majority of individuals who did well also came from poliglot homes.

    More than one language in your background?
     
  3. Onslow

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Messages:
    2,496
    Likes Received:
    3
    I learned the basics years back for my youngest brother who is completely deaf (as opposed to those with severe loss, his is total). Unfortunately I did not take it seriously enough and was already drifting into trouble by the time he came along (I drifted early). When last I saw him, which was in the summer of 2000, our communication was done either in writing on paper or through his wife or children. I am sorry to say I had forgotten most of it, but during our 3 day visit some of it returned to me, although I have rahter clumsy hands so it's as if I sign with a lisp.
     
  4. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Although it is definitely not as easy as it used to be, I am still an unusual language learner. I have always been fascinated by languages, but not surrounded by them. I pick them up fairly easily. I actually remember grammars very well, but without using them, I lose vocabulary. I can read fairly well in Spanish; if I have a dictionary handy, I can translate French and German. Sign languages are a bit different, though, at least ASL. It is purely conceptual. The correlation of written or spoken word with any given sign is only a convenience.

    I do know at least a few conversational phrases in many languages, though. In my last job, we had a student from Uganda. She was teaching me some phrases in Luganda, but I only remember a few (as I now have no one with whom to practice.) I know some greetings and phrases and pleasantries in French, German, Italian, Danish, Luganda, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, Hawaiian, and Romanian. I may have learned some others over the years, but those brain cells are no longer in service.

    Wrey, I have enjoyed getting to know you a bit since you joined... keep posting!
     
  5. Lex

    Lex
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,536
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    In Your Darkest Thoughts and Dreams
    I know the basics that you taught me and a few other words from those useful websites you shared.

    You never you when I might run into a Deaf Daddy Bear!
     
  6. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,378
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    where the sun never sets
    You already know my knowledge of ASL extends only to finger-spelling.
     
  7. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    I learned the basics of asl when I was working at the post office, I was there for five years. A group of 40 hearing impaired young people were hired in with me, and I learned it to survive, which is the best (easiest) way to learn a language.

    I haven't used it much since then and I'm sure it would take a lot to re-learn it, but it seemed easy enough, as many of the signs are a lot like charades. Even when I didn't know what the exact signs were, I could understand the stories people told easily. I wish I had more occasion to learn it, as it transcends other languages, in that people who speak different languages can understand sign language. I guess that's true of any language though, but it's just so interesting because of the lack of voice inflection.
     
  8. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Please, please, do not use "hearing impaired." It is NOT PC, regardless of what the PC police tell you. They are either deaf or hard of hearing. Say "hearing impaired" on the Gallaudet campus, and it would be about the same as saying "darkies" on the Howard University campus. I'm lucky, though, none of my deaf friends are militant. They enjoy my efforts, laugh at my mistakes, and correct me when I need it.

    Some signs are very descriptive, but it's not as universal as some people think. It's always good, though to at least know fingerspelling (it may interest some of you to know, though, that USA fingerspelling is completely different from UK fingerspelling. ASL more closely resembles French Sign Language than any other.)

    I found a good resource (but as are all web resources, it's not perfect):
    ASL Browser
     
  9. madame_zora

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,252
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ohio
    Eek, I didn't know. The deaf kids I knew did say "hard of hearing" now that I think about it. PC crap is hard to keep up with, thanks for the heads up.
     
  10. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,378
    Likes Received:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    where the sun never sets
    Seriously. wtf is the differnce between hard of hearing and hearing impaired? Don't they mean precisely the same thing? It's ridiculous how often people invent things for themselves to be angry about.
     
  11. mindseye

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    5,685
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    That's interesting -- do people know if this is widespread, or just a "Gallaudet thing"? I took three semesters of sign while I was an undergraduate (coincidentally, I was enrolled at the campus that Elizabeth Zinser was intending to leave to become president of Gallaudet when that flap took place.)

    We learned back then -- 20 years ago, though -- that "hearing impaired" was okay to use for people who had lost their hearing later in life (i.e., something happened that impaired their hearing) but not for people who were born hard of hearing. If there's a widespread consensus that that usage has changed, I'd be interested in hearing more about it.
     
  12. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    83,922
    Likes Received:
    34
    Deaf kids made fun of me as a kid because I signed with a Southern accent.
     
  13. Matthew

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Messages:
    8,374
    Likes Received:
    162
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    California
    a/s/l?
     
  14. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,742
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Female
    Only you... sheesh lol
     
  15. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    I do know that it is widespread, but I dont' know if it depends upon when the hearing loss occurred. I personally think it is rude to ask someone "When did you lose your hearing, or was it from birth?" or "How much hearing loss do you have?"

    Among those I know in the deaf community, they pretty much refer to profoundly deaf as "deaf", and those with some residual hearing as "hard of hearing."

    NIC, people in the deaf community don't like to be called "impaired" for the same reason I don't like to hear people (like Phred Felps or "Dr" Laura) say that I'm defective because I'm gay. They do not want to be labelled impaired or handicapped. I tend to agree with them. I have to use different communication methods around them, but otherwise, they are just like anyone else. Well, mostly. But they are definitely not lacking, just different.
     
  16. D_Sheffield Thongbynder

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    My naive thought for the morning: I would like to see a national election that focuses on candidates' record and not their religions. All the attention to Obama's alleged Muslim ties & Romney's Mormom faith will obfuscate the issues. Too, it would be refreshing not to hear what Robertson or Fallwell have to say about anything. I think we have ample evidence of the phoniness of the family values approach to politicizing.

    I am deadly serious when I say that people like MZ, DC_Deep, and JA would be far better politicans than most of what we have elected so far.
     
  17. Ethyl

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,476
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    495
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Philadelphia (PA, US)
    Years ago, I had a deaf classmate I worked with on projects and she taught me some basics, mostly because we resorted to written communication within our group and I wasn't satisfied with it so I asked her to teach me. I'm sure i've forgotten most of it by now.
     
  18. Heather LouAnna

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,723
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    21
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    When I worked at the mental hospital, we dealt with many children who used sign language.

    At the daycare I worked at, the children were taught sign language before they could even talk.

    I know some sign language, but not enough to carry on conversations. More like yes, no, thankyou, lady, gentleman, more, that kind of thing..and of course the obscenities.
     
  19. jesusbwep_07

    jesusbwep_07 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cincinnati (OH, US)
    I can do the fingerspelling (as in one word at a time, each letter at a time..LAME!!!) It is fun though cuz some of me and my friends do it in public and people have no idea what we are talking about. lol.
     
  20. DC_DEEP

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thanks for the vote, Colonel, but did you accidentally post this in the wrong thread? You know I love ya!
     
Draft saved Draft deleted