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From:  James Shepard-Kegl
Date:  Wed Jun 16, 1999  3:18 pm
Subject:  Re: ASL Video Transcriptions

I agree with one caution: people don't write the way they talk/sign. In
other words, conversation and prose ain't the same. Hearing people spend
years in school learning how to write prose rather than transcribing
everything in the conversational mode. In my experience adapting stories
to written sign language, this is a skill that Deaf signers tend not to
have because the entire concept of SW prose is relatively new -- one does
not learn to write prose (SW or english, etc.) overnight. In time, I
think, SW prose rules will develop, and different prose styles will appear
amongst talented and innovative authors.

So, I concur that SW adaptations should be done by natively fluent Deaf
signers, that the process should be videotaped, and that the audience
should be Deaf to minimize shifting the adaptation away from ASL and toward
PSE, etc. But, prose styles need to be developed, as well. And training
needs to be undertaken in storywriting vs. storytelling skills.

-- James Shepard-Kegl

> From: James R Womack
> To: SignWriting List
> Subject: Re: ASL Video Transcriptions
> Date: martes 15 de junio de 1999 10:37
> On Mon, 14 Jun 1999 19:02:31 -0700 Valerie Sutton
> writes:
> > If you or your group are considering doing translation work from
> > English to ASL... I would like to share with you the way we do
> it.....for what
> > it is worth...
> > The first thing is to get the team of native ASL signers. The second
> > thing is to do the videotape, which is not as easy as you might think.
> For
> > example, we learned that it is important to ask all hearing people
> > to leave the room during the taping. With only Deaf people present, the
> Deaf
> > signer is signing to a Deaf audience, and the ASL becomes stronger.
> > Oftentimes, if a hearing person is present, without even realizing it,
> the grammar
> > changes to a PSE or to English, to accomodate the hearing person in the
> > room.
> Praise be!!! Someone who understands this!!!! I look back at the
> times I have signed myself raw to explain this to well-meaning
> hearing folks who wanted to help video Deaf signers and the
> utter despair when I tried to video elderly Black signers. Nothing
> I did or said could get these people away. The result, what is
> on tape is in no way related to how the people sign among themselves.
> But this post, I will save throughout eternity if for no other reason
> that to
> show that my contention is not what what one well-meaning but very
> uninformed
> hearing studio person told me, "It won't make any difference."
> I suggest also attempt to place the camera as inconspiciously as possible
> and hopefully make the signers forget it's there. I tried to get the
> studio
> person I was working with to place it near a large plant holder, maneuver
> the Deaf into position while making it seem there wasa delay in some
> equipment
> or another, get them started to chatting and the camera is recording all
> the time.
> Now, the above was a special case, it does not necessarily apply to what
> Val
> wants to do formally. But the idea of known hearies being present and
> even
> the camera's obvious presence does cause the Deaf to change how we sign.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> o/ James Womack \o ,
> <| Don't mince words |> __o/
> / > Say what you really think! < \ __\__

  Replies Author Date
1474 Re: ASL Video Transcriptions Valerie Sutton Wed  6/16/1999

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