Video Transcription Lessons in SignWriting

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Jan 1 17:23:12 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
January 1, 2007

Kimberley Shaw wrote:
> Val, I only get more and more impressed by the day by the things  
> you have done! I have been trying to transcribe a poem of Ella Mae  
> Lentz ("Travels with Malz"), and it has become an exercise in  
> frustration.As an ASL student who has just been placed into a 2nd- 
> year ASL class at a univiersity level, I am trying to figure out  
> why it is being so diffficult to simply write down sentence by  
> sentence from the VHS (no, the video her poem is on has never been  
> released to DVD, alas), and I am wondering how on earth you were  
> able to transcribe from video when you were not yet a signer. Was  
> it the dance training? Have all of you other signwriters got some  
> special wisdom to share with me? Or just useful tips? You don't  
> even want to know how many times I have had to hit "pause" and  
> "rewind" just to get the first sentence down on paper.

Hello Kim, and Everyone!
Thank you for this message, Kim, and to all who have already answered...

And thanks for your kind words about the writing system...

Regarding me personally...
There is only one answer as to why I personally was able to invent  
Sutton Movement was something I was born to was  
not just dance is the visual way I think and my  
personal choice to dedicate my life to the development of the writing  
system...There is no way to explain how inventors invent what they  
invent or how artists create their art...except that it was meant to  
be and it is a part of the soul of the artist or inventor...and of  
course, all the writers and readers and software developers, over the  
years, have contributed enormously to the important improvements of  
our writing the team effort is also the other side of  
that coin...and the willingness to accept the changes necessary to  
make the writing system work for the majority...a complicated  
tightrope walk that has made a working and used writing system...and  
we are still and always will be in the process of improved software  
and literature and SignSpelling rules!

So you can help that process move forward, Kim, by learning to  
transcribe well from video...and you can learn directly with me as  
your one of two lessons here on the  
SignWriting List, or become a SignWriting Member and receive private  
lessons with me...

SignWriting Membership
Learn SignWriting with a Teacher


Regarding free lessons on the SW List...
Joe Martin and Stefan Woerhmann took a short course with me years  
ago. Read these web pages:

Lessons in Video Transcription

Learn to Transcribe from Video Course

Stefan became a skilled video scribe because of his enormous talent  
and dedication to learn. That is why Stefan can transcribe ASL videos  
so well, even though he is really a German signer...because Stefan  
learned the skill of video transcription...and can write any movement  
from video...not just signed languages...

So if you want to learn how to transcribe from video free here on the  
SW List, I am going to make three requests...

1. people sign-up for the free course, promising to participate and  
dedicate a little time to the I am not working alone, but  
get obvious questions and participation from those who sign-up for it  
on the List...

2. we choose a video that my non-profit organization owns the  
copyrights to (and I have a huge amount of ASL videos to choose  
from), or...we write to Ella Mae Lentz's publisher to get written  
permission to transcribe and to then post the writing on the  
web...because I will post what we write on the we must use  
something we can post freely...

3. once we choose the video, I will post small portions of the video  
on the web in Quicktime or WMV formats, for you to download or view  
on the web, and then I will ask participants to write that video  
clip, and post their SignWriting of the video to the SW List for  
discussion and we take one section of the video at a time...

Some of the videos I have that we can transcribe are:

1. Sleeping Beauty in ASL signed by Darline Clark Gunsauls
2. Snow White in ASL signed by Darline Clark Gunsauls
3. Cinderella in ASL signed by Darline Clark Gunsauls
3. hours of Deaf DAC members discussing SignWriting issues on video
4. Other literature signed by Dave Gunsauls and Kevin Clark, such as  
the One Harbor poem, Humpty Dumpty and so forth...

PLUS we have permission from an ASL teacher to write a little of his  
videos...that might be good for ASL instructors...If you prefer that,  
I can write to him again to be sure he wants his videos as a part of  
a video-transcription course...

Happy New Year everyone!

Val ;-)

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