Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sign language is not universal

35 year or so ago here in Mexico, and at least in Ensenada there was nothing
for the deaf.
So missionaries came down and taught what they knew, American Sign Language
(ASL) (a pidgin version) to give them language and a starting place to learn
to read and write.

Now, Mexican Sign Language (MSL) is developing and we are at a crossroads.

A deaf couple came to our deaf church service looking for help. They go to a hearing church near thier home, their hearing daughter interprets for them, but she doesn't know a lot of "church" words (as she put it) and wants to learn more to interpret for her mom and dad.

Problem: they sign ASL, and here at the deaf service we are changing over to MSL. Almost every deaf that grew up in Ensenada knows ASL, but more deaf are coming from other places and they sign MSL, so we are all learning MSL together, it's pretty funny.

I sign worship for them on Sundays and as I am learning MSL myself, I try my best to sign all MSL while worshiping. Sometimes I will see from the corner of my eye one deaf sign to another "What does that mean?!"

So back to this couple: well, I've agreed to sign their Thursday night service for 4
Thursday's in ASL, to help this family, and then invited them to our Sunday
service so they can learn MSL too!

Well see how that goes.
Ta ta for now!


kellygirl said...

Yeah! No more stinky fish! Nice picture of Blanca. Keep up the good work, chica! You know who you can talk to when the going gets rough!..."been there, done that"
Bless You!

flipflop said...

Can't wait to hear about it.

Heather said...

Wow. who knew?

Stephanie said...

That is really interesting. I had always wondered about different "languages" within sign language.

sognatrice said...

I recently mentioned on my blog about wanting to teach any future babies of mine sign language...but I'm an American in Italy, so I didn't know which sign language would be better. I was wondering if you had any suggestions?

eph2810 said...

Oh, I am so glad that you linked to this post from the "Party Post". I think it is so cool that you are helped them to learn MSL...

Blessings to you and yours.