other aspects of the Brussels symposium

Lucyna Dlugolecka deafie at GMX.NET
Thu Aug 11 17:06:38 UTC 2005

In order no to make an impression I was unhappy with the symposium I would like to add other impressios :-)

The symposium was a great experience to me even though for the majority of time I did not have a clue about what was going on. I could understand Shane and Stefan best but it was much more difficult to understand the others. The international interpreters were doing a great job and I really admired them but their sign language was so foreign to me... I know I had to prepare myself for the symposium and I should have learn at least a bit of the international sign but I had no time to as I had jobs to do plus I was preparing the Polish-English-PJM phrasebook that I failed to finish by the symposium and I did even lost it there :-).

At least I know there were many errors in the phrasebook.

Moreover I could not imagine what would the symposium be like as  it was the first time ever I got farther than Berlin and be at an international meeting of the Deaf,

And as you could see, I was the only participant from Central Europe. As far as I know, there was even no Polish participant at the congress in Maastricht. I regret so much that the countries of Central and Easter Europe are still isolated in the respect of educational innovations and science. I think the economic and mentalist aspects are the greatest obstacle here. It happens so that I work much and I could afford to go privately to Brussels (my Professor wants to give me some reimbursement but I haven't asked for it). And in Poland, SignWriting is still just a curiosity and not a tool used to teach Deaf children.

Romuald Szurik who is the other Pole very interested in SignWriting, could not afford to go to Brussels, he did not even want to subscribe the SW List as he can't read and write in English. But he was very interested in the symposium and we met the next day after my arrival, I related "everything" to him and I lent him Stefan's book. He would like to write such a book too. For the time being we agreed that I would be translating the SW lessons into Polish and he'd make a SW home page in Polish and Polish materials to teach SW and then we'd set the Polish SW terminology and so on.

Romuald would like the next SW symposium to be in Warsaw, organized by the Polish Sign Language Institute (we both are members of the Institute that is still under organization). But I got the idea out of his head as I think we are not prepared to host such events yet. But on the other hand, organizing a SW symposium in our part of Europe would attract Deaf educators and sign linguists from other "isolated" European countries. But, as far as I know, bilingual education of the Deaf is still a kind of extravagance rather than something which importance the Deaf Educators and governing bodies are aware of.

But despite, we of the University if Warsaw and the Warmian and Mazurian University of Olsztyn want to develop SW here. In August I'll participate in a PJM camp organized by the latter University and the University of Wroclaw in Oscadnica, Slovakia (Honza, Tomas, can you come to Oscadnica?). And in September the University of Warsaw will participate in the Festival of Science and Romuald Szurik, Danuta Mikulska and I will present PJM and SW to hearing audience (mostly teenagers).

And I'm also starting to teach SW to the readers of Swiat Ciszy in the form of an installment course.

And I'm so happy I could participate in the symposium and to meet all others. I'm happy I could learn other sign languages and to speak languages other than Polish as I like speaking but I don't speak often. I only regret I could not practise writing signs deeply.

Anyway, I love SW and I'll continue to learn it by myself and with your help on the List.


GG 3618151 SMS +48505273292   MSN deafie at gmx.net
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