Shane's Glowing Intro

Jonathan duncanjonathan at YAHOO.CA
Mon Jan 15 00:15:37 UTC 2007

Charles Butler wrote:
> In teaching SW I have had lefties and righties in my classes, and part of the difficulty sometimes is that the lefties have gotten so used to mirroring, that trying to get them to write down their own hands instead of everyone else's is a challenge.
>   Now, in the long term, I suppose a button in sign text that could take an entire sign, and reverse the image to left hand prime production would be ideal, that is a challenge for a programmer to work on, as it requires a full understanding of the whole production of a sign and reversing everything directionally if it is a personal sign and not one pointing at an object not present (like setting up multiple people).  Doing that will require a root understanding of the grammar of an utterance, and that will be another hurdle to jump over.
>   I learned SW when it was "receptive" 20 years ago, writing down the other person's hands, like actually copying a videotape and writing down with the right hand of the other person on the left, and the left hand on the right.  We did that for more than 5 years until the Deaf said "expressive" sign is the better way to write as one can always write one's own hands when no one else is there.  
>   Changing in my own head from "mirror" to "expressive" has been just as much of a challenge.
>   Charles Butler
>   Charles
> Pauline Roberts <capyboppy at> wrote:
>   Thanks for the warm welcome Val.
> I think I need to clarify though the difficulties I mean regarding the left
> handed issues. When I was learning the guitar, to move on from basic
> chords I needed to find a chord book that had the chord boxes. I don't
> know if people are familiar with these, bout they are a square box like
> grid, which represents the frets on the neck of the guitar, and also the
> six strings. You then have black or white dots representing where the
> fingers go. This has always been a problem as a leftie just can't look at
> the box and instantly know where the fingers go. Especially if a complex
> chord. We either have to keep going over each "dot" over and over again in
> our heads til it sinks in where it would be, or if it is thin paper, look
> through the reverse side to see. All this took time and was frustrating and
> confusing for the learning. 
    It seems to me that there may be difference between mirroring the
guitar grid for a lefty and mirroring sign language.  As for the guitar,
the string don't get mirrored, they stay in the same order and
everything else is mirrored. It's a partial mirroring scenario.  Whereas
from what little I know of sign language it seems to me that it is a
fully mirrored scenario.  EVERYTHING is mirrored. Actually I find it
easier to follow a video of a lefty than a right because I don't have to
mirror to do the same gestures.  If I am watching a righty then I have
to mirror everything right and left to do it right handed. 
    Though I must admit, I sure it will be a little bit of a challenge
reading right handed if you are used to signing left handed.  But for
any of us who having been in contact with left handed signers, it might
not be so hard to be read your writing.  My dad is a lefty (he doesn't
sign though) and he feels that he is now partially ambidextrous because
many things in this world are right handed and he need to learn to do
some things right handed.

> I see a similar problem with Sign writing that
> is already written down in the normal right handed format, as again, I
> should imagine everything will need to be turned in reverse during the
> learning process. Like you say, writing it down by the leftie in a left
> handed format would be no problem. I do remember when learning new
> vocabulary at level 1 BSL, I would write down brief descriptions at the
> side of any words I thought I would have a problem remembering. This was
> fine until some of the others saw what I was doing and asked if they could
> borrow/photo copy my notes. When they realised the descriptions were left
> handed it totally confused them and most of them decided to leave it, as it
> would be more work having to convert everything to the opposite:-( No easy
> answer I suppose!


Jonathan & Yolaine Duncan
8-)  & ;-)

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