[bksvol-discuss] Re: Sign Language books

  • From: "John J. Boyer" <john@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 08:05:33 -0500 (CDT)

To each his own. I use fingerspelling but not ASL. For me, fingerspelling  
is easy to receive tactilely, but ASL is very difficult to learn. ºI was 
born blind and became deaf later. I've tried to learn ASL several times, 
but I just can't remember the signs. Now I'm trying again.

Professional interpreters don't mind fingerspelling for me, though I have 
to explain that  for tactile reception the letters must be made tightly. 


On Mon, 12 Jul 2004, Lynn Zelvin wrote:

> Just another note on this as I have now read a few more posts. Finger 
> spelling is the hardest part of sign language to make sense of if you 
> yourself are receiving it tactually. It can be really slow and tedious. If 
> you have learned to finger spell, and receive finger spelling, the rest 
> will be more comfortable. Once you learn actual signs and grammar, it 
> really gets easier as signs not only include hand shapes but position in 
> space, relationship of one hand to the other, and movement. You can follow 
> a lot of ASL tactually with greater ease than finger spelling because the 
> separate signs are much clearer. For example, the sign for reading involves 
> holding your left hand up as if it were holding a plate(a common position 
> for the left hand) and  you have your right hand in a "V" shape - two 
> fingers up like a peace sign. This shape in general represents seeing, as 
> if the tips of these two fingers were eyes. In the case of reading, you 
> hold your right hand over your left with the two fingers facing down and 
> you move them from left to right then down, then left to right, etc. rather 
> quickly as if someone were reading down a page. The sign for Braille is 
> made with the left hand in the same position but you move the fingers of 
> your right hand over the fingers of your left from left to right as if you 
> were reading braille off of them. I often do a rather amusing mental glitch 
> where I use the sign for braille when I want the sign for reading. Don't 
> need Freud to figure that one out, huh?
> Lynn 

John J. Boyer, Executive Director
godtouches Digital  Ministry, Inc.
825 East Johnson; Madison, WI 53703

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