Friday, February 29, 2008

More things I learned about signing

I noticed that when a signer signs and a interpretor translates in English, the speed of the conversation is as fast.

There was a comparison in the complexity of the use of gestures and signs. It turns out that mother tongue signers use the most of either. In many ways it does not surprise because I understood that sign languages become more complex with a succession of generations of people signing. What I would expect that it is particularly this group that has the biggest influence on the development of sign language.

Gesturing is considered a sign of engagement in the story ie it is done more when this is the case. Particularly for speaking people.

WOW a presentation in ASL.. so I am listening to the interpretor :) So we have a presenter signing in ASL, the ASL interpretor translating in English and a interpretor translating the English into German Sign Language. And it is really funny; the speaker was asked to pause when a specific sign is used as an example as fort the German interpretor the sign is to be identified in order to present it in the translation. One of the Americans started to isolate the signs and it was picked up by the second German interpretor and passed to translating interpretor . The applause was unexpected... everyone started to wave ... WONDERFULL ... in the discussion there is the synchonisity because signers can speak at the same time ... the interpretors cannot do this as well as sounds really clash ... the applause was something else; everyone waving their hands over their head :)

For people that are familiar with SignWriting, I met Mieke van Herreweghe.. I discussed if a Wiki would be of use in educaton is Flemish Sign Language.. It is certainly great to extend the number of available tools :)

For me to be at this conference is truly a privilege, I talked with several people about what my interest is; the realisation of a Wikipedia for American Sign Language. What several people tell me is that it will be primarily relevant for children as it is hard for people that sign to learn to read and write their sign language. So as so often, some see this chicken and egg problem; are there enough people for a Wikipedia ... For a change, I would argue that it is time for an omelette. Have a Wikipedia and allow it to grow slowly and use its momentum also to grow the written expression of sign languages.

One of the reasons why I am so privileged is that many of these presenations will not be generally available... Such a shame, scientists have to publish...
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