ESWS - European SW Symposium

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Aug 3 18:10:58 UTC 2005

SignWriting List
August 3, 2005

Hello Geoffrey!
Thank you for this excellent report. You are the first person to post  
a report about the SignWriting Symposium in Brussels. Others have  
sent me reports privately, and telephoned me, which is greatly  
appreciated! I am still working on creating a web page for their  
information, but I am happy to see someone posting directly to the  
SignWriting List and I hope others will do the of  
people are really curious about what happened!

And welcome to the SignWriting List. I feel quite honored to have you  
on our List. The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) has been  
influential in the history of SignWriting, thanks to Al Bickford,  
Steve and Dianne Parkhurst (Mexico and Spain), Karla and Mike Hurst  
(Mexico), Hope Hurlbut (Malaysia) and others...And now I understand  
from Stuart Thiessen that you have been discussing a possible project  
on SignWriting in Unicode?...I know that it is ony a discussion, and  
nothing is definite, but I want to thank you for even considering it!

Not all members of the SW List write SignWriting, but many are  
interested in the idea, that signed languages can now be written  
languages, so your contributions are important to us! You have quite  
a task, to coordinate working with signed languages from Europe, the  
former Soviet Union and parts of Africa and west is  
a very big area of the world!

Have you looked at our SignPuddle page? We have setup areas for 39  
countries, so they can add signs to their online dictionaries. And  
this summer, students at SIL in North Dakota have been adding signs  
to the Mexican SignPuddle...which made me very happy!! grin...

SignWriting in Mexico

You will see SIL mentioned on the above web page...

This page may be of interest...

Who Uses SignWriting/

Notice some new countries, like Ethiopia, Malaysia, Czech Republic,  
Poland, Philippines and so Russia yet!

Val ;-)


On Aug 3, 2005, at 10:02 AM, Geoffrey Hunt wrote:

Stephan wrote and asked me to contribute my impressions of the European
SignWriting Symposium.  I'm a little reluctant to do this, because I am
probably the least competent person to do it.  Let me explain why...

I am a member of SIL International, an organisation that in one way or
another is associated with work in over 1,300 languages worldwide,  
all of them spoken languages.  For twelve years I worked in Ghana as a
linguist/translator and, since then, have mostly been involved with  
the use
of computers for language work, but always for spoken languages.   
Then, two
and a half years ago, my then boss asked me, as an additional task,  
to be
involved with coordinating work in sign languages for the SIL Eurasia  
(the whole of Europe, the former Soviet Union and parts of Africa and  
Asia).  I decided I needed to find out what he was talking about, so set
about gathering a list of all the sign languages for which I could find
details.  For the Eurasia Area I have a list of 70 SLs, of which 7 are
extinct or nearly so.  So which one of these 63 SLs should I attempt to
learn in my part-time role?  At my late stage in life, it does not seem
practical to start learning any of them, because I could not do it well.
(Let me know what you think.)  So you see why I feel particularly
unqualified to contribute.

One thing that does interest me is how computers could be used to  
serve the
Deaf community, either for use by the Deaf or for use by those  
working with
the Deaf.  So I came to ESWS because I wanted to link up with those  
involved in writing such software.  We in SIL are starting such software
development using the Python programming language, so it was  
useful to meet Lars, whose own development work is using Python.

The best thing about ESWS was meeting the participants.  Obviously, I  
not communicate with everyone, but I appreciated the general  
camaraderie.  I
learnt a lot, particularly about SW and Deaf culture.  And I made new
friends and look forward to meeting you at future events.  A few of  
us tried
to decide on a sign for me, but it doesn't seem quite right, so  
perhaps I
will have to wait for another time.

Best wishes,

Geoffrey (Hunt)

-----Original Message-----
From: Stefan Wöhrmann [mailto:stefanwoehrmann at]
Sent: 28 July 2005 22:38
To: 'Geoffrey_Hunt'
Subject: AW: [sw-l] ESWO

Hello Geoffrey,

I am so happy to know you on the list - very welcome!!!
Of course - I will send some pictures -;-)

Can you post your ideas , impressions, ?
What happened in your group from your point of view?

I am very interested in any comment - just as we concluded at the end  
of the

Stefan ;-)

Just btw  what was your name sign ? I forgot my notes in the  
restaurant. I
am sorry!

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