Saturday, 6 October 2012

Sign language

Ever since I lived in England and worked as an au pair I've been wanting to learn British Sign Language, especially Makaton. I used to watch a program called "Something Special" with the youngest girl I was looking after, and I did use some signs with her before she could speak and it was really fun to see her actually learn them and sign them back to me, like for example "finished" when she was finished eating.

I had forgotten most of the few signs that I learnt while I lived in England, except for please and thank you (Never forget your manners!), and I've been wanting to learn some more for a while. I know I won't be able to use the signs in Norway since the sign language here is different, but it will open up more windows for me if I get to move back to the UK, and allow me to get to know more people.

It is a shame though that sign language isn't the same all over the world, it would have been cool if it was, then everyone could have sign language in school and that way you could talk to people all over the world even if you couldn't speak or write their language! Of course it's not really doable since a big part of sign language is lip reading, so everyone would have to mouth the words the same as well. There is also the "problem" with for example holding up two fingers both for two and to because they rhyme, you can't do that in a different language because those words aren't the same. But one thing that is doable is to have sign language in schools, so if you didn't want to learn French, German or Spanish or anything like that you could choose to learn sign language instead. Is that a thing in any countries? I've never heard of it being like that in Norway anyway...

There is actually a British guy at work, L, and he grew up in a deaf home! He learnt to sign before he learnt to speak, so BSL is his first language, English his second. So the last few weeks he's been teaching me some sign language. I don't know much yet but I know how to sign "how are you today?", "what's up dog" (just because of the fun factor), and a few other short phrases and words. It's really fun to learn something new, maybe it'll even come in handy in the future.

The hard part is actually mouthing the words with out making a sound. Usually I just say it out loud while I sign, but to make sure I will make myself understood to someone that is actually deaf I will have to be able to make the right amount of facial expression and mouth movements.... So when I try to sign without speaking I either hold my breath or I'm kind of whispering it. I can understand why some deaf people make sounds while they sign even if they're not saying the actual words since they don't know what they sound like.

Do you know any sign language And if so, which one?

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...