The word for "liberty" in many signed languages

Kimberley Shaw skifoot at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jul 6 19:45:24 UTC 2010

PS: sorry the picture is sideways ... grr. New computer. Am still
learning how to properly do things on it.

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 3:44 PM, Kimberley Shaw <skifoot at> wrote:
> Hello everyone:
> here is followup to my query seeking the signed equivalent of
> "liberty" in Spanish, Russian, South African, and International Sign.
> I didn't get all the languages I was seeking, but the performance went
> magnificently all the same!
> Let me back up here.
> My chorus has just returned from performing at a choral festival in
> the U.S. called Sister Singers Network. Several of the participating
> choruses -- like mine -- routinely have their performances interpreted
> into ASL. During the last night of this festival, a huge 200-voice
> chorus of festival attendees was to perform a brand-new piece of music
> which was written for the occasion by Jenni Brandon, entitled "A
> Universal Dream". During the last section of this piece, sopranos
> sing, "libertad, liberte, Freiheit, svoboda, inkululeko, liberta,
> chofesh, eleftheria" ... all of these words having the same meaning:
> "liberty". Whew, that's a lot of countries to research! At at the same
> time, altos are asking several times, "what is it the radicals seek?"
> before themselves chiming in with "Freiheit, inkululeko" ... etc.
> Signwriting to the rescue! It was a delight to find Spanish and German
> equivalents on Puddle already, and to then use Signwriting to record
> signs from other sources (such as a Russian-signing Deaf acquaintance
> and an old Gestuno dictionary.)
> One of the other chorus' interpreters (who herself is also
> hard-of-hearing like me, ha!) liked my idea of performing this piece
> as a team, and was very interested in my Signwritten "road map" of the
> piece of music. So, now she wants to know how long it takes to learn
> to read/write SW. So, if you encounter Shiner Antiorio among the
> Signwriters, you'll know that I sent her!
> Best of all, I met the composer of the piece herself, and asked if she
> would mind if I weren't able to sign *all* of the languages in the
> piece and substituted, say Gestuno for the Italian, etc. We had a very
> interesting discussion about performance, translation, and
> interpretation, then I went to rehearse and prepare for the
> performance. After the performance, she came up to me, and said that
> she would now like to add a link to to her own
> webpage, for the sake of other signed-language interpreters who would
> interpret this piece. Wow!
> We had fun at the performance itself. One wonderful thing about it was
> that we had an audience of 400 people, most of whom are familiar with
> the concept of ASL-interpreted choral concerts ... but many of whom
> had never seen two (or more) signers together jointly sign a piece.
> Brand-new concept to them, although Deaf people have done so for ages.
> It was an honor to get to be the one to introduce them to the concept!
> And so, here is a jpeg from that "road map" to show off, with the
> equivalents of "liberte", "Freiheit", "svoboda" (yes, it looks just
> like the ASL "freedom"! learned from Arkady Belezovsky), "chofesh" (a
> rabbi from Florida taught me this Israeli sign), and finally, the
> Gestuno. Yes, I ordinarily write vertically, not horizontally, but I
> find that sometimes writing horizontally makes it easier to integrate
> SW into a musical score. Am still figuring out the best way to do
> that.
> Hope all the US signwriters had a very happy 4th of July! Mine obviously was.
> Best,
> Kim from Boston
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From:  <6176997406 at>
> Date: Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM
> Subject:
> To: skifoot at
> liberte, freiheit ...
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