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

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Nov 16 17:46:31 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
November 16, 2004


Wonderful, Charles! Thanks for pointing this out....Receptive writing 
is definitely easier when transcribing from video. SignWriting started 
Receptively, because I was asked to transcribe a video of Danish signs 
and hearing person's gestures...back in 1974 in Denmark!! And that was 
the beginning of SignWriting (back in the cave men days! ;-)

We wrote everything Receptively for the first decade of 
SignWriting...from 1974 to 1984. Then our Deaf staff members requested 
that official publications be switched to Expressive...so we have both 
ways of writing and Receptive writing has not been thrown out...just 
placed on the back shelf for the video transcription experts - ha!

So here is my request, Charles, if you have time...

Please write the same 8 photos for us in the Receptive View, and post 
the SignWriting to the List, and then I will place it next to the 
photos too, and we can compare the Expressive writing with the 
Receptive writing... Great idea!

Val ;-)


On Nov 16, 2004, at 9:16 AM, Charles Butler wrote:

> 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
> http://www.signwriting.org/lessons/transcribe/poetry/oneharbor
> LESSON ONE continued...
> Stefan's complete transcription of the first 8 photos:
> > ATTACHMENT part 2 image/jpeg name=OneHarbor02.jpg; 
> x-mac-type=4A504547; x-unix-mode=0644; x-mac-creator=3842494D
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