common criticisms of signwriting?

SignWriting signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Nov 23 17:06:55 UTC 2009

SignWriting List
November 23, 2009

Kim -
I am happy to know that your Deaf friends are starting to read some of  
your writing, Kim...despite their feelings of resistance...

Deaf people have been raised in conflict...on one hand they may use  
ASL, but there are subtle messages from society telling them that they  
are supposed to know English. All their lives they were told they have  
to learn how to read and write English better, and now people are  
writing ASL? It goes against everything they have been taught and many  
Deaf people are worried that somehow that doesn't fit with our  
society, and what is expected of that makes sense that they  
would make a disclaimer at the end...because as one Deaf person told  
me "I am afraid that hearing people will be angry with me if read and  
write ASL"...that was an honest statement from someone who was very  
ASL and had trouble reading and writing English, and could read and  
write ASL just fine, but was in conflict even if your  
friends are not in that situation, it just might be that deep  
underneath they were taught that English should be the focus...just a  
point...we all are products of our early training...

And your friends could do that, with training, but the question is,  
would they take the time to learn? it is harder for adults to learn  
something new, but you have, Kim - I think this is a great story!

Anyway - no is all good!

Have a splendid day!

Val ;-)


>     I belong to a women's chorus, and have begun to interpret some of
> the performances over the past year. Since I am not yet a fluent
> speaker of ASL, these particular Deaf friends have been advising me as
> I prepare ASL versions of the chorus' songs. And so, as we work out
> versions of the songs in ASL, I'm transcribing the translations into
> SW. Both of them are quite interested in what I do, and will follow
> what I write as I write it, and one of them has begun to notice when I
> *don't* write something correctly. And when someone else joins our
> song-translation sessions, she always shows off how I write down her
> signing. My other friend will sometimes ask to see the page after I've
> finished writing, and does a good job of reading it on the fly,
> without even had any lessons in reading SW. But then they will both
> almost always finish with some sort of disclaimer along the lines of
> "not for me, but if it works for you, great!" or "what chickenscratch.
> I could never do that!"
>     Best,
> Kim from Boston


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