[sw-l] News from the Philippines

Nana Dumitra nana.dumitra at SCHLOSSKLAUS.AT
Wed Jul 14 16:36:06 UTC 2004

Dear Val and List,
I couldn't find the orignial e-mail I sent to you, Val, so I am just sending
this with your comments to the list. I hope that is okay.

For Stephan: We will be going to Austria next year probably middle of March
to middle of June. Do you think there would be time for us to maybe meet? We
might have to buy a new laptop and then figure out how to do all the SW
stuff on it. I would really appreciate some help by someone who has an idea
oabout SW and computers (that you know German is also great :))... What do
you think, could we find some time for my husband and I to meet with you?

Greetings from the Philippines,

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Valerie Sutton [mailto:sutton at signwriting.org]
Gesendet: Dienstag, 13. Juli 2004 23:23
An: Nana Dumitra
Betreff: Re: AW: AW: Homeschooling and Filipino Sign in SW

Hello Nana!
Thank you so much for this nice email message...I feel lucky that you
took the time to share with me....;-)

> I feel bad for not answering your kind e-mail sooner, but then I know
> that
> you of all people understand the pressures of time and that you will
> not
> really mind :). Our kids are still being treated, but it is nothing
> life
> threatening and so we continued to work in the Philippines. Over the
> past
> months our work has changed though: we moved from the school and are no
> longer involved there, since the work of our organisation here has
> grown a
> lot. We are now just in charge of the "Church Ministry Department".
> Right
> now there are 4 Deaf Churches in the area. My husband is training the
> leaders and for that using both gloss and SW translations of Bible
> passages.
> Gloss is just because we cannot put out SW fast enough at the moment
> :) and
> so this is better than nothing.

This is amazing and truly wonderful!!

> Over the summer (in the Philippines April and May) we had 2 deaf
> college
> students working for us to add a lot to our SW dictionary. They wrote
> about
> 800 signs by hand (after learning the basics of SW) and started to
> enter
> them in the computer. Since they have returned to college we have been
> slowly working at entering the rest of them in the computer (still a
> long
> way to go, but slow and steady wins the race, isnt it?)

Yes. May I share this with others? You are really doing a lot with
SignWriting...going slowly is good...writing is better when it is done

> We were able to get a lot of ideas for our work from Steve and Dianne
> Parkhurst and other SIL/Wycliffe workers and at the moment the
> Philippine
> branch of SIL is working to help us get more training for our
> translation
> work. Probably the first week of August we will have our first course.
> Until
> then we need to translate Genesis 2, 12 and Acts 8. The gloss
> translation is
> almost finished now we need to do SW, which takes longer, because many
> of
> the Bible words are not in our dictionary yet. Unfortunately we cannot
> really use the ASL Bible Translation - we thought that FSL was very
> similar
> to ASL, we can still see the common roots, but the differences are big
> enough to make it easier for us to work directly on translating from a
> "hearing" text to gloss and/ or SW. So, you can see that we are busy
> using
> SW and both we and the Deaf (who learnd it already) love it (those who
> havnt
> learnd it yet are sometimes quite against it, asking why we would want
> them
> to learn "a new language" when they are doing fine with what they have
> - we
> just tell them: we dont want them to learn anything unless they want
> to do
> so - that usually does it :)!!

Wonderful! Tell them you are not changing the language, just writing
it! But you probably did that already!

> A few weeks ago you mentioned something about "columnmaker" for the SW
> program. Can you try to explain to me again where to find that and how
> it
> works, because at that time our e-mail connections were so bad that I
> could
> not enter the website and since then I lost the link. We feel that even
> without the "grammatical correctness" it might really help to have SW
> texts
> in columns from the beginning. Really makes much more sense.

Of course. Please post this wonderful message to the SW List, and then
I can answer your questions online...Sorry I didn't realize this
message had technical questions...

I will answer your question about ColumnMaker on the List...as you
know, our new List address is:

sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu

Val ;-)
> I have not used SW much for homeschooling our kids recently, because
> since
> the beginning of their TB treatment we had to reduce school hours so I
> spent
> most of our time on the 3 Rs and a little bit of story reading, but
> even the
> bit that we did has helped them to learn a lot more signs.
> BTW, my husband had to start 2 sign language classes for hearing
> people. He
> uses SW there and everyone told him they were so helped by it, because
> finally they dont need to write a half page every time they want to
> remember
> a sign!! That was also my experience when starting out with SW about a
> year
> ago - the deaf here are amazed how much my sign has improved even
> though I
> don't spend too much time with them (as my husband does!).
> I need to close now, but I just wanted to take the time to put you
> up-to-date with what is happening with SW in the Philippines (at least
> in
> our small area, I am not aware that it is being used anywhere else :().
> Greetings,
> Nana Dumitra
> PS: I try to attach the FSL fingerspelling alphabet as it emerged this
> past
> summer. It follows the "English" order of the letters, because that is
> what
> the deaf are taught here. When we do our dictionary in three languages
> we
> will need to do the English part in this order, but the Tagalog part
> will
> need to sort according to the Tagalog alphabet (I think I sent you that
> before).
> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> Von: Valerie Sutton [mailto:sutton at signwriting.org]
> Gesendet: Samstag, 24. Jänner 2004 23:09
> An: Nana Dumitra
> Betreff: Re: AW: Homeschooling and Filipino Sign in SW
> Dearest Nana!
> It is great to hear from you...
>> Happy New year to you! Sorry, it took me so long to answer - our
>> family is
>> going through some major health issues (my husband had Dengue Fever,
>> all of
>> us has pneunmonia and just recently all our kids have been diagnose
>> with
>> TB). You can see our life is not exactly boring. But neither is yours
>> from
>> what I have been reading on the SW List!
> I am so horrified at your situation! If I were you, I would get my
> family on an airplane and move to a western country, and get everyone
> into hospitals....Life is sooo precious and why risk the life of your
> family? Do you have the funds to leave? Life is just so much easier in
> the west...I feel so sad for people that they have to suffer so....TB
> is no joke...The life of your children is at stake...
> My problems are nothing in comparison to yours, believe me! Even in
> western countries, people get pneumonia, which I have had several
> times, but TB is very very rare...and Dengue Fever is literally
> non-existant...
>> Well, today I finally succeeded to download the three documents you
>> mentioned for the Literacy Project. I will work with the Deaf to put
>> it into
>> Filipino Sign Language (if the story works for them) or maybe this is
>> a good
>> starting point to find out about some "true" Filipino children's
>> stories
>> that we could adapt to something similar... I will have to see and
>> "play it
>> by ear" (or better "play it by eye"???:)).
> You are an amazing person, Nana....I can't believe you can even think
> of SignWriting right now...but you are correct about Goldilocks...it is
> a northern European story that is also told in the American countries,
> but it really doesn't fit in the Phillipines is my guess. I would be
> happy to send you some printed copies, but at least you have the
> documents right now on your computer....Can you print them out? If you
> can, then your Deaf students will get inspired and start writing their
> own stories - that is perfect!
>> We are still trying to get our computers to co-operate with SW Java
>> and
>> FileMaker so I have not really been able to use the SignBank files
>> much.
>> Hopefully next month or at the latest in March we have someone coming
>> who
>> knows a bit more about computers than we do, maybe he can make them
>> work.
> Sweetheart...you do not need FileMaker because on that CD I sent you,
> there is something called RUNTIME. Put the CD in your computer and find
> the RUNTIME folder and install the Runtime and then open the Runtime
> folder. Inside the folder you will find a long list of files. Open the
> one that is named "OPEN ME". That will start SignBank. I sent you a
> flyer about RUNTIME inside the CD holder...read that...it makes it
> possible for you to use SignBank without FileMaker....
>> But even without these programs we are busy adding to our Filipino
>> Sign
>> Language Dictionary. We have about 250 entries in English and 320
>> entries in
>> Tagalog (that is about 220 different signs).
> That is absolutely fabulous and I am so impressed with you!! This
> sounds like the best for you right now...and that is the most
> important...Did you know you can print your dictionaries? In the
> dictionary manager program, you can print dictionaries and it really is
> wonderful...I can teach you if you don't know how...
>> Answer when you have time, if it is not soon - don't worry.
>> Thanks for all you do for us,
>> Nana from the Philippines
> If I had my way, I would find money to fly you to a western
> hospital...But it may be that you wouldn't leave even if you could!
> Years ago I used to travel, and I became seriously ill while traveling.
> Being in foreign hospitals is not easy, so I stay home now!
> Many blessings to you, your students, and your family -
> Val ;-)
> ---------------------------
>> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
>> Von: Valerie Sutton [mailto:sutton at signwriting.org]
>> Gesendet: Dienstag, 09. Dezember 2003 06:40
>> An: Nana Dumitra
>> Betreff: Re: Homeschooling and Filipino Sign in SW
>> Dear Nana -
>> Please forgive my tardiness in answering this email message...I hope
>> you are doing well in the Philippines!
>>> Two questions: while you were off the list, I looked through the SW
>>> site a bit more and I saw that there were also two homeschooling
>>> families taking part in the Literacy Project. I am homeschooling our
>>> children (7, 6 and 4 - the 2year old will follow laterJ) and since we
>>> are working with the Deaf and also working with SW, I was wondering
>>> if
>>> there would be a chance for us to also take part in the Literacy
>>> Project. What do you think? We would want to teach our children FSL
>>> not ASL, but I thought the materials might be a good starting point
>>> to
>>> get an idea what and how to do it. - I read the stuff about giving
>>> reports etc. that would be no problem, the only thing we should not
>>> disclose our exact location here on a website (for security reasons).
>> Of course you are welcome to join the SW Literacy Project...Normally I
>> would mail stuff to you, but I am very tired and each one of the items
>> that you need are available for free on the web for download...but
>> some
>> of the downloads are really small...so we might be able to survive
>> with
>> the CD I sent you plus a little downloading...and you will have
>> everything for the Literacy project...
>> The three books that we begin with are on this web page:
>> Documents 76, 77 and 78
>> http://www.SignWriting.org/library/pdf/pdf012.html
>> Try to download those...they are small documents, and then write again
>> to tell me if you succeeded...Once I know that, I can give you
>> instructions on what to do next...
>> I will answer your other questions later...Thanks for writing, Nana!
>> Val ;-)

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