AW: [sw-l] Dictionary entries versus everyday signing...

Stefan Wohrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Sun Jan 23 19:42:06 UTC 2005

Hi Val and everybody,

well in fact I am very interested to learn the signs for cities and
countries the way the people use it who live there -
- and as far as I can see there is a tendency in Germany to accept/ to
learn/ to use  the signing of the country as it is ssigned by the DEAF
there -

Same within Germany - if I meet somebody from the south of Germany and
he/she informs me about the namesign of rivers, cities, regions - I am very
interested to get informed ...

Well yes and within this context I learned the sign for Warsaw, Moskau,
Washington ...

So when a DEAF persons comes back from a journey around the world we are
enriched with many new signs  ;-)))) from everywhere ...


PS Following the advice of James in Nicaragua some years ago I do underline
all these proper names  so everybody is informed that it is a namesign!

-----Ursprungliche Nachricht-----
Von: owner-sw-l at
[mailto:owner-sw-l at]Im Auftrag von Valerie
Gesendet: Sonntag, 23. Januar 2005 17:17
An: sw-l at
Betreff: [sw-l] Dictionary entries versus everyday signing...

SignWriting List
January 23, 2005

Kasterlinden Bilinguaal wrote:
> (for Shane) here is lovely Kathleen ;) I agree with you that native
> signs should not just be changed because it is signed that way in
> another country. If I talk about 'Ireland' I use the Flemish word
> 'Ierland' and not the Irish 'Eire'. It is ofcourse very enriching to
> know both, your own native sign + the sign of the country itself :o)

Actually in a way, I believe you all may have misunderstood my point.
Of course you cannot force anyone to sign one way or the other...that
would be against my personal morals. I believe in freedom one hundred

Meanwhile, we were talking about a dictionary entry. As you know, if
you look up a word in an English dictionary, you will oftentimes find
several definitions for the same word, and several alternative words to
choose from...So dictionaries are sources of information...they show
you what choices are available within the accepted norms of the

That is why, here in the US, we started to add two dictionary entries
for the names of each country...the old ASL sign, and then the sign
that is used in the country itself. That way, when someone looks up the
sign in the dictionary, they can see the different signs side by
side...and that is informative...

So dictionary work is not exactly the same as speaking and signing and
even teaching signing...Dictionaries have lots of words that we don't
use on a daily basis, but it is a good reference tool...

So when Lucy asked why Stefan chose to put the Polish sign for Poland
in the German dictionary, I was trying to explain that maybe he wanted
to have the Polish sign there, as well as other signs for ;-)

More information about the Sw-l mailing list