forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  "Wayne H. Smith"
Date:  Sat May 29, 1999  4:18 pm
Subject:  Re: New SignWriter Features?

Wayne had written:
> > I had an afterthought on this, too. Would the menus be in English
> > ASL, or could they be in other languages too? For example, is there the
> > option for the menus to be in Mandarin and/or TSL? If so, would you
> > our input as to the correct signs for each menu item? It seems that
> > might necessarily add a lot of (perhaps unnecessary) individualization
> > the program that would just cost more time and money in the development
> > stage, but for what it's worth.....

Mark wrote:
>I can say with a fair degree of
>certainty that if SW is going to take off here [Japan], there will have to
>be a
>Japanese language access to the program, and it will need to work with a
>wide variety of printers as well.

Very true. No matter how well a person may know English, an
computer system would be challenging for a user of Japanese, Chinese, or
I speak from experience. Although my Chinese is very good, I still have a
heck of
a time trying to figure out the pull-down tabs on the Chinese version of
which is the system I use both at work here [Taiwan] and at home on my
Chinese is one thing, but Chinese computer-speak is another ball game.

>Wayne, I would be interested in taking a look at the handshapes you have
>created. You are amazing--figuring out how to make them yourself. I have
>been "going to" send Valerie a video of the Japanese fingerspelling
>alphabet along with a few key signs so that she could add a Japanese
>version to SW 4.3, but after six months, its still not done. Alas.

I'll be sending them to Valerie fairly soon. I've already sent her
photos of most
of the weird TSL handshapes. I then keep discovering new ones, like
which is the extended thumb, middle, and pinky, the other two folded in
the palm.
From what I know and have read of Valerie, I'm sure she will do all she
can to
produce a keyboard of the Japanese kana fingerspelling. Printed versions of
fingerspelling are available even in the States. I found copies of it at
CSUN over
20 years ago. But Valerie won't be able to do much unless you get your act
and send it to her. So, what were you originally planning on doing tonight?
Too bad
you'll have to cancel!! (smile)

>My guess is that Japanese has similar handshapes. I've heard that the
>crossover in Japanese and Taiwanese sign is about 80%. Is there any way you
>can send a dictionary file? I'm not familiar enough with the program to
>know how they work. I've made a little dictionary of about 10 or so JSL
>signs, but actually, I just added them to the ASL dictionary that came with
>the program, so I don't know if it would be much help. I could send you the
>..sgn file that the signs were originally written in, though.

I doubt the similarity is that great. A non-scientific survey of JSL
and TSL
signs that I did some twenty years ago showed that about half were either
same or similar, but that was then, and I have lots more TSL data now than
then. I found about the same percentage of similarity between TSL and
Sign. Of course both Taiwan and Korea were occupied by the Japanese for
extensive periods of time and JSL was brought to both places. It does make
for convenient communication between the Deaf communities in those three
places, however.
I'm still working on the TSL dictionary: SW886.DIC. It'll be a while
because I'm still learning SW and still collecting TSL signs. I have a
of over 10000 items, but many of them are duplications and others are com-
pounds, so probably closer to about 3000-4000 actual different signs. When
I feel better about the accuracy of what I have, I'll send you a sample. I
to go to Japan in the fall, so if you're there we should get together and
notes. You're also welcome here in Taiwan.

Love to all,

- Wayne

  Replies Author Date
1449 IMPORTANT MESSAGE :-) Valerie Sutton Thu  6/10/1999

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