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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Jun 16, 1999  6:29 pm
Subject:  Re: ASL Video Transcriptions

On On Tue, 15 Jun 1999, James Womack wrote:

>I suggest also attempt to place the camera as inconspiciously as possible
>and hopefully make the signers forget it's there.


June 16, 1999
Thanks, James, for this good point. It is pretty hard to forget the camera
is there, even if the cameraman is hiding behind a palm tree (smile)!

But your point is well taken, that when any of us know we are being filmed
or taped, we naturally speak or sign differently, playing to the camera. So
that is something to remember for sure.

And it certainly is not just Deaf people who change their language
depending on who is in the room - hearing people do that too. I remember
once while I lived in Copenhagen, a researcher asked if he could make an
audio tape of my Danish, since it is rare that Americans learn to speak
Danish, and he wanted to record my accent for a research project. It made
me so nervous, I could barely speak.... but that was also because it was my
second language that was being taped. If it had been in my native language,
English, I would not have been so nervous. Later, someone told me they felt
that I had changed my accent while I was being taped - and I had not
realized I had done that - so there is an example of how instinctive it is
to change your language depending on the circumstances.

So in regards to making videotapes in ASL, at least the Deaf signers are
using their native language, ASL. And if they rehearse a little, with the
members of the Deaf audience giving them feedback on their ASL, they will
"get into ASL" with the Deaf audience, before they begin the taping.

I guess that is the best we can do!

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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