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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Oct 20, 1999  5:56 pm
Subject:  Re: sign for German/Germany


> I shared an apartment this summer with Christian Rathmann, a Deaf
>guy from Germany, and he used the index-finger-to-the-forehead sign, but
>kept correcting himself and using the other sign. If I understand right,
>the sign is not offensive in Germany, but in fact bears a resemblance to
>an ASL sign meaning "horny," so Americans felt funny using it to refer to
>people in "polite company." Is this true?
>
> Angus B. Grieve-Smith

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for this interesting message, Angus. Your story is one more example
of the fact that they use the sign with the index finger at the forehead in
Germany, for "Germany".

And your point that the sign makes some Americans feel "uncomfortable",
makes sense - I didn't realize that :-)

Moving to a new country is always difficult, no matter whether you are Deaf
or hearing, and I remember I had to correct myself continually when I lived
in Denmark...certain cultural differences taught me that I could not say
certain things...so this a common problem and Christian was experiencing it
with that sign....

Val ;-)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Valerie Sutton


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