Sunday, January 23, 2011

#28: Sign Language

I first wanted to learn sign language when I saw Linda on Sesame street.

I was so fascinated by the idea of speaking with just my hands (perhaps because I would later be accused of not being able to talk at ALL without my hands . . . .)

I first started taking lessons as a Laurel project while in high school. I was by no means proficient, but had a good grasp at the basics. Then in college I got the chance to go further. I took 2 classes, sign 1 and another class I can't remember the name of now. It was basically conversational sign, actually taught by a hearing man who was raised with deaf parents. I loved it!

But I never used it. And 5 years later, I felt like I'd lost almost all of it.

Then, last year we moved into our house. And I met my friend Cindy. Now I have the chance to sign multiple times a week. I even get to interpret frequently for her. While my real ASL is still not that great, I can sign and understand enough to carry on a conversation with most deaf people.

That is amazing. I know another language. I use it frequently. One of the neatest things about interpreting is how it forces me to think of English differently. I have to actually understand so many synonyms of words - and think it through enough to change back and forth. To see something in ASL, and then hear the same in English - there is a difference. A different emphasis, and touch different meaning. I love the insights it has given me.


  1. I believe that no knowledge is wasted it always helps someone sometime. You've made great use of so many of the things you learned in college and before. Love the daily blogs.


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