New Era for Sign Language Literature
signwriting at MAC.COM
Wed Oct 24 18:48:11 UTC 2007
October 24, 2007
Hello SW List!
Everything is fine with me here, and Nancy and I are enjoying editing
the Gospel According to John in ASL...we have found some spelling
issues and are enjoying discussing them and improving John 1, which
is of course, an unending task, since we all know that as soon as it
is published and used as reading material, we will always find
something that could be better, and I am very open to later
publishing a second edition that will work on those improvements...
So I see each version of a document as a wonderful learning
We are so blessed to have so many documents now that we are preparing
Gospel According to John
Cat in the Hat
and next year I hope a complete book of Mother Goose Rhymes, a better
ASL dictionary in SignWriting, and something with some real non-
fiction importance, like the History of Deaf Culture or something
like that, which will be useful to Deaf Education. Also poetry is
another publication we need as well...
And as you know, in other countries, such as Brazil, Nicaragua,
Norway, Spain and Germany, and even Denmark in their older
publications, we already have some written literature, so it
certainly is not just for ASL at all. As you know, the first novel
written in a Sign Language (Spanish Sign Language from Madrid) was
written in SignWriting by Steve and Dianne Parkhurst. It is over 140
pages without any spoken language.
I am using SignBank DocumentMaker software to create the final layout
of our documents here. For John 1, Nancy writes the documents in
SignPuddle, in a private ASL Bible project puddle, and then I
transfer the document column by column into DocumentMaker. John 1 is
around 35 pages long...we hope in time to place the entire Gospel
According to John in one big book...it might be hundreds of pages,
since there are 21 chapters to John. Nancy has completed John 1- 10,
and also 14 already.
And yesterday I started putting Cherie Wren's Cat in the Hat, first
draft, into DocumentMaker so that we have one document to edit, as a
PDF document...then it is easier to read the whole book and edit it
from that PDF...if a change is needed, we go back to SignPuddle and
make the changes there...and then I re- do that one column in
DocumentMaker and update the PDF...that editing process is working
very well ...
It is a different feeling to have the whole document in one PDF...you
sit down and start reading the literature just as you would read a
book in a spoken language...and when you do that, you see signs that
are harder to read than others, and you think through "What would
make it easier to read that sign?" and then you can adjust the
spelling to make it easier to read...
This has never been done before in history. We are writing complete
books now in the movements of signed languages, without the need of
any spoken language....volumes written in signed languages in
libraries are the future...a way to preserve the languages, and
respect the literature of the Deaf communities..
So we are running a little late on the first edition of John 1, but
it is coming!
Thanks for your patience, everyone, and don't hesitate to write if
you have questions...
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