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View Full Version : ASL and "Black ASL" - interesting article for those who like sign language!



RedFox
09-19-2012, 03:07 PM
So, I am not sure about you ladies but I am fascinated by and absolutely love ASL. I took ASL classes when I was at community college and have continued self study of it as the college I transferred to does not offer ASL courses. Now when it comes to ASL I know that sign language isn't the same in every country and even varies from region to region based on regional signs. What I didn't know is that apparently we have two separate signing languages right here in the U.S.! This article is a really interesting read and I hope you guys get as much enjoyment out of reading it (and information!) as I did.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/sign-language-that-african-americans-use-is-different-from-that-of-whites/2012/09/17/2e897628-bbe2-11e1-8867-ecf6cb7935ef_story.html

I completely understand how there can be two in the U.S. but it honestly was something I had never even thought of until reading this article.

AnnaFaerie
09-19-2012, 03:54 PM
A very good friend of mine uses ASL and he said it is always expanding and changing. My name (when not spelled) is a sign he uses that he made up because it reminds him of me.
It doesn't surprise me that there is another ASL in use.
Thanks for the article.

RaevynCait
09-19-2012, 08:52 PM
Actually, I'm not surprised at all that there is a second ASL. Other routinely used sign systems in the US include Signed English (also called Signed Exact English or SEE) and Pidgin. I am only familiar with ASL and SEE, but my limited understanding of Pidgin is that it is a combination of ASL and SEE. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. The deaf person with whom I've spent the most time is my bestie's son Nathan, who uses SEE. When Nathan was diagnosed at 2 yrs 5 months, the Houston School for the Deaf gave his mother comprehensive information about all 3, including lists of pros & cons. She chose SEE, to be used in conjunction with speech therapy and lots of verbalization, because she felt that it would allow him the best chance at success in the hearing world, simply because his interpreters and teachers would sign EXACTLY what was being said or read, rather than abbreviating, paraphrasing, or using only a few words in a different order than what was being spoken or read. Honestly, there's NOTHING that kid can't do. He was a lifeguard at the local pool for several years. He is a voracious reader.

SHpepperKat
09-19-2012, 10:05 PM
Totally interesting article. I see differences in the signs that I have learned here in Washington with those that my friend in Texas uses. I am teaching my 5 year old hearing stepson to sign. He loves doing it and is learning faster than I can teach him. We tend to use PSE Pidgin signed English which uses ASL signs in english word order. It is so much fun learning and and teaching. Thanks for sharing the article.

Phoenix McHeit
09-20-2012, 07:56 AM
I'm fascinated by sign language, but sadly have never learned it. I can barely manage the alphabet, and even then, only in order. How would one go about learning? YouTube? Library? Classes? What would you gals recommend?

RedFox
09-20-2012, 08:54 AM
If there are classes available in your area, I would say try and take them. Also there is a great resource online as well: http://www.lifeprint.com/ . ASLU is an online teaching tool that was put together by a professor of ASL. It is a great resource for learning, brushing up, and studying ASL. You can also find ASL visual dictionaries (videos) online too - they can also be a great resource.

Margaret
09-21-2012, 11:24 AM
My friend Terry - who happens to be a black woman.

She told me a story: One day just after she was out of college she was working at her first job with the deaf community in a Southern state. She was all geeked to use her sign and get into it. It was about two weeks in to her job when one of her co workers told her she "signed like an old Yankee man." :-D

Terry had gone to college here in MI where her ASL instructor was an older gentleman. She said it never had occured to her as a hearing person that ASL could have accents just like a spoken language.

Margaret
09-21-2012, 11:27 AM
I'm fascinated by sign language, but sadly have never learned it. I can barely manage the alphabet, and even then, only in order. How would one go about learning? YouTube? Library? Classes? What would you gals recommend?

I have taken classes and I tend to learn better by seeing something done rather than looking at how to form a sign in a book. So, I would recommend a class or YouTube.

Sign is such a beautiful language to watch and like spoken languages, it involves so much more than the actual formation of the signs. Facial expression, emphasis and all that stuff cannot be learned from a book. Ya know.

RedFox
09-21-2012, 02:42 PM
My friend Terry - who happens to be a black woman.

She told me a story: One day just after she was out of college she was working at her first job with the deaf community in a Southern state. She was all geeked to use her sign and get into it. It was about two weeks in to her job when one of her co workers told her she "signed like an old Yankee man." :-D

Terry had gone to college here in MI where her ASL instructor was an older gentleman. She said it never had occured to her as a hearing person that ASL could have accents just like a spoken language.

I've experienced that first hand XD It is something I never would have thought about before though.

When I have had a chance to use sign here in MA I've gotten a few comments on how I sign seeing I learned in the Philly region, I have a regional accent to a lot of my signs.

AnnaFaerie
09-26-2012, 08:57 AM
ya that's true that sign language varies from country to country or from region to region but it is really good mode of communication among the dumb and deff people .

Deaf....yes this is the way you spell the word not deff...does not mean you are Dumb. You, troll, are the only dumb person I've seen in a while.

You are not welcome here with your stupid remarks.

Phoenix McHeit
09-26-2012, 10:06 AM
Far be it from me to defend a troll, but 'dumb' used to be used as a substitute for 'mute'. Here's hoping that's what the troll's translator program meant, anyway.

AnnaFaerie
09-26-2012, 10:15 AM
Oh, Ms. Phoenix, I know that's what he/she/it meant. I have two friends that are deaf and they are not dumb/mute.

I, on the other hand, meant dumb as an insult. Not that I think the troll cares. In fact...that is what I think the asshat wants.

I think it is a sad thing that we are being invaded by these idiots. I think that's what happens when a board slows down though.

I belonged to another board that this happened to and I can tell you it finally closed us down totally. It's a shame.

I appreciate your input. *smile*

Phoenix McHeit
09-26-2012, 12:49 PM
Okie doke! :thumbsup: