forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Tue Jun 8, 1999  3:25 am
Subject:  International Menus

>I think it would be best to use the international symbols.
>Why? If someone learns the program and then wants to use a
>different country, they don't have to learn a new interface.

>Therese Shellabarger


Hi Therese -
Thanks for your input. I am glad to know your opinion.

We have now decided to be flexible and give people a choice between the
international symbols, or different languages - so the user will be able to
set up SignWriter as they choose.

You are correct about the positive sides to international icons - it does
make it easier to explore typing other signed languages.

To give you an example, in our old MS-DOS program, you can "switch to
France", and all the words on the screen become French and the keyboard
acts like a French keyboard.

That is fine if you know French, but sometimes people who do not know
French are curious and switch to France to see what it looks like. Later
they call me saying "Help! I can't leave the French section of SignWriter!"

I explain that the French keyboard places the letter "Q" in another place
on the keyboard, so they couldn't "Quit" the program, because they couldn't
find the letter Q!

With SignWriter 5.0's new interface, a person could switch over to the
international symbols when they lose the ability to navigate inside a
foreign language.

Meanwhile, I think giving teachers the choice of switching languages is
important too - International icons do not encourage learning to read
signs, but the "Menus in Signs" is a great way to teach the reading of
SignWriting...and the "Menus in Words" is a great way to teach the reading
of a spoken language.

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton


The DAC, Deaf Action Committee for SW
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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