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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Wed Dec 8, 1999  5:01 pm
Subject:  SignWriting in Malaysia

Hope Hurlbut in Malaysia wrote:

> Another thing I need to do is start a dictionary for Malaysian Sign
> Language in all its variations. There are 13 states here and every
> state has its own peculiarities according to the Deaf, so I will have
> to collect a great many more word lists, so see how great the
> variations are. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the variations are
> 'home language' used by a small group of people. We visited a suburb
> of Kuala Lumpur and were given a word list that is different from
> everywhere else, but there is a group of deaf families living near
> each other in a huge block of flats. I would like to get a word list
> from the van driver who took us there, as he is a Deaf artist, and
> find out how his signs differ from the 50+ age group. There were at
> least 4 Deaf couples and about 1/2 dozen Deaf young people gathered in
> one tiny apartment to give us samples of their language. I only
> collected one word list expecting it to be close to ASL, as the
> information I had was that older people used ASL more than younger
> ones. The language seems to be an isolete, only about 50% the same as
> another language in Kuala Lumpur and less when compared with ASL. It
> is probable that the people all understand Malaysian Sign Language
> because when the language assistant could not remember a word, another
> Deaf gave a suggestion, and he said, "No, that is Malaysian (Sign
> Language)."
> Would the country code for Malaysia be 060? When I called here from
> Canada I use '60'. I should have it to set up the dictionary.


December 8, 1999

Hello Hope -

You have such interesting work in Malaysia!

Yes...the country code for Malaysia is 60. In SignWriter it will be: 060.
So a dictionary file in Malaysian Sign Language would be SW060.DIC and
SW060.DIN. Do you know how to create a new dictionary file in SignWriter

I will be happy to create a new Malaysian version of SignWriter 4.3 for
you, if you wish. On the other hand, it may be unrealistic too...Let me ask
two questions....

1. Does Malaysia have a standardized spoken language that uses the Roman
alphabet? If so, then I can send you a list of English computer terms that
need to be translated into the spoken language of your country.

2. Do you have photos or illustrations of the handshapes used in the
fingerspelling of Malaysia, plus the numbers from 1-10? Does Malaysia have
fingerspelling at all?

Once I receive that information from you, then I could create a special
Fingerspelling Keyboard just for Malaysia, in SignWriter 4.3. And I could
create all the Menus in the spoken language. And you would have an empty
dictionary file for you to start working with...creating your own Malaysian

So write again if you would like to try that...

Good luck with all your work with SignWriting in Malaysia!

And Happy Holidays!

Val ;-)

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