Sign Language Talk!

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Pandas
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Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 5:24 pm

So after playing this game, it's peaked my interest to learn sign language. I'm interested in all types of language but the idea of furiously using your hands to make different motions that make a sentence is quite interesting to me. Upon very LITTLE inspection, apparently it's REALLY hard to learn and REALLY hard to read due to signs looking quite similar.

Does anyone know or have any experience with sign language?

If so is it hard and is it worth learning?

How long does it take to learn?

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Numb
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Numb » Thu May 29, 2014 5:48 pm

As somebody who had the same drive after finishing Shizune's route, I can say that I researched and tried (I know VERY basic signs) and found out that it's less of a language and more of a code. Basically, it's hard as fuck, so unless you have prior experience with learning languages AND a reason to know it beyond "I just kinda wanted to" then you'll probably give up like I did.

I did start teaching myself Japanese though, and have been making decent progress with that. Recently had an exam period that wiped a few months of Kanji drilling out of my head, so basically starting from scratch, but language learning is fun. If you're up to it, you should pick a language and get started :D
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Munchenhausen
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Munchenhausen » Thu May 29, 2014 5:56 pm

Surprise Surprise, I'm not the only one :P

I decided to take up BSL, and fortunately I already know how to sign the alphabet. Bought meself a copy of "British Sign Language For Dummies" and started reading. I've gained quite a bit of insight into it, but I've stopped since I'd rather take a night-class than just read a book on it. Gotta wait until I can drive for that, I ain't cycling.

As Numb said, it becomes a lot less about the hands and more about everything else; Facial expressions, mouthing the words, the bloody syntax of the language... In BSL, for sure, handwork is really all in the peripherals.
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Pandas
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 6:00 pm

Numb wrote:As somebody who had the same drive after finishing Shizune's route, I can say that I researched and tried (I know VERY basic signs) and found out that it's less of a language and more of a code. Basically, it's hard as fuck, so unless you have prior experience with learning languages AND a reason to know it beyond "I just kinda wanted to" then you'll probably give up like I did.

I did start teaching myself Japanese though, and have been making decent progress with that. Recently had an exam period that wiped a few months of Kanji drilling out of my head, so basically starting from scratch, but language learning is fun. If you're up to it, you should pick a language and get started :D

Well i'm learning spanish in school and i'm one of the best in my class so i'd like to think languages are easy to me. I'm gonna look more into it later and hope for the best.

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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 6:02 pm

Munchenhausen wrote:Surprise Surprise, I'm not the only one :P

I decided to take up BSL, and fortunately I already know how to sign the alphabet. Bought meself a copy of "British Sign Language For Dummies" and started reading. I've gained quite a bit of insight into it, but I've stopped since I'd rather take a night-class than just read a book on it. Gotta wait until I can drive for that, I ain't cycling.

As Numb said, it becomes a lot less about the hands and more about everything else; Facial expressions, mouthing the words, the bloody syntax of the language... In BSL, for sure, handwork is really all in the peripherals.

Mouthing the words? What about the people who were deaf from birth? It'd be useless to mouth words they don't understand right?
Then again im sure they pick up lip reading after awhile regardless of not being able to hear the sound produced. Gosh i feel so uneducated in this subject.

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Munchenhausen
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Munchenhausen » Thu May 29, 2014 6:19 pm

Pandas wrote:Mouthing the words? What about the people who were deaf from birth? It'd be useless to mouth words they don't understand right?
Then again im sure they pick up lip reading after awhile regardless of not being able to hear the sound produced. Gosh i feel so uneducated in this subject.
Don't worry, it's a steep learning curve :P
If I'm right, BSL is largely a combination of mouthing and hand gestures, since although two signs may look similar and two words mouthed may look similar, it's highly unlikely that you'd get two words that are both nearly identical in both fields... If that makes sense? :P

This being said, this may only apply to British Sign Language... Different SLs are very different from eachother, so make sure you're getting your own country's :P Where you from?
Like stupid, silly doodles with no point? You've come to the right place, friend :^)
I also occasionally write oneshots. Why not have a skimread?
Miki fic? Miki fic!
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Pandas
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 6:23 pm

Munchenhausen wrote:
Pandas wrote:Mouthing the words? What about the people who were deaf from birth? It'd be useless to mouth words they don't understand right?
Then again im sure they pick up lip reading after awhile regardless of not being able to hear the sound produced. Gosh i feel so uneducated in this subject.
Don't worry, it's a steep learning curve :P
If I'm right, BSL is largely a combination of mouthing and hand gestures, since although two signs may look similar and two words mouthed may look similar, it's highly unlikely that you'd get two words that are both nearly identical in both fields... If that makes sense? :P

This being said, this may only apply to British Sign Language... Different SLs are very different from eachother, so make sure you're getting your own country's :P Where you from?
America. Ohio to be exact! :)

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metalangel
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by metalangel » Thu May 29, 2014 6:34 pm

I have been learning ASL for two years - I did some learning of my own at home with the internet and a DVD in preparation doing a full time college course in 2012. Since then I've volunteered at events, did a week at an immersion camp, and go to a social night with other sign students, teachers and folks from the Deaf Community every two weeks. My best friend is unilateral deaf so in any noisy environment (subway, restaurants, bars) we switch over to ASL.

With regard to whether it's worth learning: Yes, if you have a reason to. Unless you will use the language regularly (and in spite of the above, I don't use it enough) you skills will degrade.

Does it take long to learn: Several years to be anywhere near fluency.

Is it hard to learn: Yes, but it's a lot more pleasant if you go to a class, taught by a Deaf teacher or other native signer. The cultural aspects are intertwined with the language itself.

Mouthing: Sign language doesn't just use your hands, it uses your face - eyes, mouth, eyebrows. Getting these non-manual signs, as they're known, wrong can completely change the meaning of what you're saying. My knowledge of BSL is fairly limited but I'm reliably told by a number of sources that there's more mouthing in BSL than ASL. Because a native signer will learn the mouthing as part of the language, it doesn't matter as much if they know what English words they're producing (although they almost certainly will from learning to read and write English) because the mouthing is part of communicating effectively in BSL.

Lip reading: Nope. It's extremely difficult, inaccurate, unreliable, etc etc etc. My good buddy Kutagh is probably writing a riposte of his first hand experience as we speak.

BSL vs ASL: Not mutually intelligible. Developed separately (ASL is derived from French Sign Language) so while some concepts have naturally produced similar signs, others are very different. Another of my close friends (an interpreting student) and I used to watch a lot of signed music videos, and seeing the differences was jarring and entertaining in equal measure.
Numb wrote:As somebody who had the same drive after finishing Shizune's route, I can say that I researched and tried (I know VERY basic signs) and found out that it's less of a language and more of a code.
Can you explain that beyond it just being too hard for you?

Pandas
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 6:41 pm

Very good read! Thanks for such a good reply. Unfortunantly i have no other reason to use it aside from giving me something to do
such as : Signing things while i speak to people just for something to do with my hands--- or signing things my teacher says just for something to do when im really bored.
Figured it'd be fun but if it's that difficult, probably not worth it at all.

ProfAllister
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by ProfAllister » Thu May 29, 2014 6:43 pm

Well, I'll preface this by saying that I'm no expert at Sign Language. I've learned a decent bit, and researched the subject, and spoken to people MUCH more familiar with it, but I can't in good conscience call myself an authority on the matter.

That being said, let's move on.

Contrary to Numb's assertions, Sign Language most definitely is an actual language. At least, "sign language" that actually is Sign language. For example, the two most common "sign languages" in the US are Signing Exact English (SEE) and American Sign Language (ASL). SEE is a manual version of spoken English (or a "code," if you will). ASL is its own language, independent from English (almost) entirely.

As with any language, you kind of have to learn the culture around it as well. With Spanish, you learn that the siesta is the greatest invention in the history of ever. With ASL, you learn that Alexander Graham Bell is pretty much what you'd get if Hitler and Satan had a baby, and that baby accidentally invented the telephone while trying to make a device to torture deaf people.

As for learning Sign Language, I've been advised that American Sign Language University is a pretty solid resource. Nothing beats learning it directly from another person, though, and it usually isn't terribly difficult to find lessons locally.
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Pandas
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 6:55 pm

ProfAllister wrote:Well, I'll preface this by saying that I'm no expert at Sign Language. I've learned a decent bit, and researched the subject, and spoken to people MUCH more familiar with it, but I can't in good conscience call myself an authority on the matter.

That being said, let's move on.

Contrary to Numb's assertions, Sign Language most definitely is an actual language. At least, "sign language" that actually is Sign language. For example, the two most common "sign languages" in the US are Signing Exact English (SEE) and American Sign Language (ASL). SEE is a manual version of spoken English (or a "code," if you will). ASL is its own language, independent from English (almost) entirely.

As with any language, you kind of have to learn the culture around it as well. With Spanish, you learn that the siesta is the greatest invention in the history of ever. With ASL, you learn that Alexander Graham Bell is pretty much what you'd get if Hitler and Satan had a baby, and that baby accidentally invented the telephone while trying to make a device to torture deaf people.

As for learning Sign Language, I've been advised that American Sign Language University is a pretty solid resource. Nothing beats learning it directly from another person, though, and it usually isn't terribly difficult to find lessons locally.
Thanks for the link. I trial ran the "100 signs" video and i have the first 6 down easily. Although ill probably forget after six more... :p

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metalangel
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by metalangel » Thu May 29, 2014 6:57 pm

I think you mean AG Bell, Allister. He might have been a bit of a dick but the foundation which bears his name is even worse.

Lifeprint (as linked) is a good place to start, I started with it during my preparations for the course. If you learn the alphabet, syntax, basic grammar and numbers before starting a formal class, you will have an ENORMOUS head start. However, a very important thing to bear in mind is that Dr Bill there is from California, you live in Ohio. There'll be regional differences in the signs, so don't get too dependent on him.

ASLpro.com has arguably a better dictionary for individual signs.

Pandas
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Pandas » Thu May 29, 2014 7:00 pm

metalangel wrote:I think you mean AG Bell, Allister. He might have been a bit of a dick but the foundation which bears his name is even worse.

Lifeprint (as linked) is a good place to start, I started with it during my preparations for the course. If you learn the alphabet, syntax, basic grammar and numbers before starting a formal class, you will have an ENORMOUS head start. However, a very important thing to bear in mind is that Dr Bill there is from California, you live in Ohio. There'll be regional differences in the signs, so don't get to dependent on him.

ASLpro.com has arguably a better dictionary for individual signs.
How long do you think it'd take for me to sign simple things like
"How are you"
"What do you mean"
"You're stupid"
"You look nice"
Simple things that would actually be relevant.

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metalangel
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by metalangel » Thu May 29, 2014 7:06 pm

Pandas wrote:
How long do you think it'd take for me to sign simple things like
"How are you"
"What do you mean"
"You're stupid"
"You look nice"
Simple things that would actually be relevant.
Those are all two or three signs each (plus face grammar). "How are you?" is one of the first things you'll learn outside the alphabet and "What's your name?". Given the context (an absolutely crucial thing in ASL) of all this, you probably won't be asking "What do you mean?" so much as "I don't understand."

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Forever_ambivalent
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Re: Sign Language Talk!

Post by Forever_ambivalent » Thu May 29, 2014 7:08 pm

Gee shit this thread makes me regret choosing music theory club over sign language club. Well sort of.
I know a bit of basic Braille though.
I remember seeing 2 people speak sign language in a train when I was in Germany .it was quite amazing and very attractive. I've never been a big fan of speaking so it might be worth learning a few signs that people can understand even If they don't know any sign language.
Anybody know a few?

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