AW: [sw-l] Left-Handed and Right-Handed in SW

Stefan Wöhrmann stefanwoehrmann at GEBAERDENSCHRIFT.DE
Mon Jan 16 16:00:24 UTC 2006

Hello Juliette and Neil - 

thanks for your messages  - just a short comment - 

When I started to read SW with little Gordian (age 2 and a half !!) he
seemed not to read the symbols but to identify different pictures (how many
of them ?? ) 
Well i got interested in that and tried to change some spellings a little
bit - left hand to right hand arrow and so forth - little Gordian did not
care and signed and identified most of these "flashcards" the same way. 

Then he developed a clear left hand preference and today he is a left hand

But nevertheless he has got no problem what so ever to identify the SW
symbols written for right hand signers. 

In my class there are 2 left hand writer girls - they perform absolutely
fluently and brilliantly in reading any SW - document written for right hand

Stefan ;-) 

-----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
Von: owner-sw-l at
[mailto:owner-sw-l at] Im Auftrag von Neil Bauman
Gesendet: Montag, 16. Januar 2006 14:03
An: sw-l at
Betreff: Re: [sw-l] Left-Handed and Right-Handed in SW

Hi Renato:

I seldom post, but would like to jump in and answer your question 
from the perspective of a left-handed person.

>Why don't Left-Handed person performs sign the same
>way of Right-Handed?

The main reason that we like to sign left-handed is the same reason 
we write left-handed--our brains are "wired" that way--so it is the 
natural and easy way for us.

>Sometimes, we need to change the base hand of the
>sign.  Its like to play piano. It does not exist left-handed,
>and right-handed piano.

I wish there were a left-handed piano! I would have liked it!

>Please, could you explain this. I would like to know
>about this, because I've never had to teach
>left-handed person.

Just because we SIGN left-handed, personally I see no reason to WRITE 
SW left-handed. I write the signs right-handed, but sign them 
left-handed. This makes for a standardized way of reading SW.

This is no different than writing any other language. We don't have 
left-handed and right-handed versions of written English for 
example.  (I would love to write from right to left and form all the 
letters "backwards" because that is my NATURAL way to write--which is 
the way I used to "write" before I went to school.) However, we don't 
do this. We write English in the standard way to avoid a lot of 
confusion. I think this is the way we should also write SW. This is 
my personal opinion as a left-handed person in a right-handed world.



Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
Center for Hearing Loss Help
49 Piston Court
Stewartstown, PA 17363
Phone: (717) 993-8555
FAX: (717) 993-6661
Email: neil at

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