New member from Belgium

Anne-Claude Pr=?ISO-8859-1?B?6Q==?=laz Girod acpg at VTXNET.CH
Wed Oct 26 19:26:37 UTC 2005

bonjour Thierry

contente de voir un belge francophone sur cette liste.... je suis interprète
de langue des signes en suisse romande et connais bien Nathalie Marenne qui
gère le service d'interprète chez vous. On a à plusieurs reprise discuté
avec Nathalie de SignWriting.... et on avait même envisagé que je vienne en
Belgique donner un cours. Apparemment ce n'est plus nécessaire!!

J'ai traduits les leçons pour apprendre SignWriting qui sont en anglais sur
internet en français pour pouvoir donner des cours aux enseignants de LSF
ici en Suisse romande.... nous avons fait un premier week-end de formation
avec un groupe mixte enseignants LSf et interprètes... c'était vraiment

Le suport pour ces cours (écrit en français avec des exemple en LSF de
Suisse romande) sont disponibles sur le site

vous pouvez sans autre l'utiliser et l'adapter pour la LSB!!!

Bonne fin de semaine et à bientôt pour d'autre nouvelles

Anne-Claude Prélaz Girod

De : "Thierry Haesenne" <thierry.haesenne at>
Répondre à : sw-l at
Date : Wed, 26 Oct 2005 19:48:03 +0200 (CEST)
À : SW-L at
Objet : [sw-l] New member from Belgium

Hello everyone, 

I just subscribed to the SW list and I thought I'd introduce myself to

I'm Thierry Haesenne (deaf), and I use LSFB (French Belgian Sign Language -
not Walloon Sign Language as mentioned in the Sign I am
a linguist and I work with a hearing linguist, Damien Huvelle who was at the
ESWO conference in Brussels in July along with two other deaf colleagues,
Claude Gerday and Bruno Sonnemans, who regularly come to our research centre
on a voluntary basis. I could not attend the workshop in Brussels as I was
on a - very long - trip abroad. After the ESWO workshop, my colleagues were
convinced that SW could bring deaf children to literacy.

So, when I came back to work in September, they explained everything to me
and I "tried" to learn SW through the online lessons. While I was still on
holidays, my colleagues Damien and Bruno managed to convince two deaf
schools in French-speaking Belgium to use Sign Writing with another
transcription system (glosses) that we are trying to implement in our
region, as this helps children become aware of the LSFB grammar and
structure. It is not the glossing system used by Baker and Cokely or other
linguists, but a much more visual system which is very compatible with SW.

Learning SW is not an easy task for a total beginner... But after a while, I
managed to get hold of almost everything... I still have some trouble for
complex movements (wrist and arm rotation among others).

As Bruno Sonnemans and myself are LSFB teachers as well, we decided to set
up a SignWriting lexicon for LSFB users and so far we are encoding all the
sign variants used in LSFB, and not just standard signs (the situation here
regarding LSFB standardisation is very complex and I won't give you too many
details...). We started borrowing signs from the Flemish and ASL Sign
Puddles to learn how to put movements in SW (handshapes and orientations are
no problem for us), but soon, we started creating our own signs... So far,
we have about 1600 signs, which were all put on SW Edit (I cannot get along
with SW Java, sorry but it really gets on my nerves to learn all
the codes...). We have created bitmap pictures and we have distributed
it around... We are still waiting for the comments and corrections, as
there are surely many mistakes... Our aim is to have at least 4000 bitmap
pictures for everyday use by June 2006.

However, it seems that there is a bug with SW Edit : we cannot create SW
dictionaries for our own use... Everytime I created one, the next time I
opened SW, the dictionary just would not open (an error message was
appearing on the screen). So, we have put BMP pictures on a CD-Rom and sent
it to our collaborators for them to check.

We have also introduced SW as an experiment in LSFB classes for hearing
adults. Bruno and myself have taught LSFB and SW to total beginners for
about 3 weeks (evening classes started earlier this month and will last
until May 2006). So far, the students' progresses are astonishing...
Last year, it took me twice as much time to teach them the same stuff...

Oh yes, Damien is in contact with Kathleen from Kasterlinden (Flemish Deaf
school), so we should go there pretty soon to see how it goes...   

That's about everything I wanted to say for now...

Feel free to post questions either in French or English if you have some... 

Greetings from Belgium,


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