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

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Nov 17 15:40:12 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
November 17, 2004

Charles Butler wrote:
> If the hands don't match shape, and orientation, then it's not
> transcription, it's mirroring, which is something entirely different.

Hello Charles, Stefan, Nancy and Everyone -
Thank you for all your messages. I can see, Charles, that you have
specific terminology for different ways to write from video...That is
great. I never created any official terminology for these different
methods, but maybe now is the time!

In my terminology....there is a difference between Movement Writing and

Movement Writing is used to write every nuance and individual styles of
signing... For research, or when writing a Sign Language you do not
know yourself...or for animation...There are two ways to write from the
Movement Writing perspective:

1.Transcribe EXACTLY what you see Receptively
2.Transcribe EXACTLY what you see Expressively


SignWriting is different. Transcribing in SignWriting does not force
you to write every nuance...It can be used to write in a more
standardized fashion...You know the Sign Language you are writing but
you still have to transcribe the video. So you just write down what
they said in Sign Language in SignWriting...which means that some
standardized spellings will be used...and there is nothing wrong with

For example, regarding the letter H in the first picture...

If you know how to write the letter H in fingerspelling, and you know
that the standard way to write that H is straight side, but the video
shows it a little at an angle because the signing was so fast, that the
frames of the video couldn't capture the movement exactly, or perhaps
the signer himself never totally got into that side position because
the fingerspelling was so fast...you would still write the handshape
pointing side, because that is the standard way to write it...

There is nothing wrong with any of these methods...I will be happy to
show all three methods on the web, next to Kevin's pictures...So
Charles you will be writing this way?:

1.Transcribe EXACTLY what you see Receptively

Val ;-)

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