[sw-l] LESSONS in Transcribing a Poem from Video

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Nov 16 17:16:25 UTC 2004

Dear Sign Writers,

Perhaps it's just me, but I really think that in transcribing a video, one should learn and use "receptive" sign writing.  You are writing, NOT your own hands, but those of someone else.  The man's left right hand points to right, but in the sign writing, written right next to the slide, it is YOUR hands pointing to the left, not HIS.

The switch from receptive to expressive Sign Writing has made it very difficult to show that BOTH are valuable, and in the context of writing sign, it makes it very difficult, as the videos show, to compare what are back-to-front mirror images.

I understand the desire to write one's own hands, because that it what you can see, all the time, but if I'm writing, in court, or in the classroom, someone else, i write what I see, which is resolutely NOT my own hands in motion.  I want to be able to print my writing, on transparency, and lay it right down on the video.  If the hands don't match shape, and orientation, then it's not transcription, it's mirroring, which is something entirely different.

Right now, one has to mentally flip the sign writing over to match the video, as if the signer is printing his hands on the video and you are folding it over and opening the page like an ink blot, not actually have a sign-to-sign comparison of someone else's hands written and what those "someone else's hands" are doing.

This is the only time when I feel that receptive writing is appropriate, when you all are looking at the same subject, and it is NOT you signing.  We need to compare what is actually THERE, not our own hands, HERE.

Plus, if it is literal transcription, the handshape of the H should be tilted slightly upward, not presumed to be an H and written horizontal.  That is editing the orientation, not writing exactly what is seen, which is what I thought this class was to be about.

Charles Butler

Valerie Sutton <sutton at signwriting.org> wrote:
SignWriting List
November 16, 2004


LESSON ONE continued...
Stefan's complete transcription of the first 8 photos:

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