Date: Fri Oct 15, 1999 1:45
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: Dictionaries of different countries
>Afterwards we read several signs and started to constr - (excuuuuuse)
>write SW-symbols for memory cards.
>Remember what I had in mind, when I was so eager to learn about SW?
>Exactly this thing happened. Just the way hearing pupils play reading while
>just looking at the pictures my little friends smiled. There were plenty of
>animals on the ground - and my kids never ever had heard a German name for
>these - but now with the help of SW they could place the cards written with
>the SW - names (not too many - we just started) next to the animal - they
>played reading although we havenīt introduced all the letters you need for
>the names. Know what I mean?
>Thank you very much for your support! Hopefully some friends will share
>there dictionaries or just portions of them!
October 15, 1999
Hi Stefan and Everyone!
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. This means a lot to
me. It helps all of us to learn the issues in the classroom.
I get tons of private mail telling me of great experiences...there are
several schools with good results now. So I will have to collect all the
private messages together and receive permission to post from the other
And I hope to publish a "SignWriting Literacy Project Report" at the end of
the year, collecting stories from the classroom.
I chuckled over your cute " (excuuuuuse)" ....We spent so many messages on
the SW List discussing the differences between "writing vs. drawing", but
we never discussed "constructing signs"- ha !! I guess we can "construct
words" so why not signs? smile...
When you mentioned the names of animals above, it made me think of the
wonderful work done in Norway writing the names of fruits and flowers etc.
Ingvild Roald explained to me that some Deaf students did not know the
names of the plants and flowers in their area, so her work had great
meaning to them. And it sounds like that is similar for your students.
Actually SignWriting is pretty easy to read, and you will find that you do
not have to introduce all the symbols to the students before they can learn
to read. They can learn to read through "experience reading", and then
later you can teach them some of the symbols when it is time for them to
write. So I wouldn't force "teaching all the symbols" - instead let them
"experience" just as you are doing now. It sounds like you are an excellent
In regards to the dictionaries, I think it is fascinating that dictionaries
from other countries help you to write German signs. The dictionary writers
in other countries have never asked me for dictionaries in other signed
languages before...The fact that the American Sign Language dictionary file
would help you learn to write German signs is new to all of us...
One of the reasons that people do not give me their dictionary files to
distribute with the SignWriter Computer Program, is that they feel you want
to learn "their signed language" from the dictionary. And they want that to
be perfect, if that is how it will be used. But you are not using it that
way - so you can understand the confusion!
I suspect you are doing a great job with your new German Sign Language
Dictionary. Just keep adding signs, and in time it will build!
Thank so much for your marvelous input, Stefan -
And please send our best wishes to your students :-)
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA