Date: Thu Feb 3, 2000 4:57
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: Shorthand
Mark Penner wrote:
>How long would it take to learn this? If it takes anything as long as
>shorthand English (which I imagine it would), I am not a good candidate for
>trying it out. Plus the fact that I don't know ASL (although this GIF thing
>is gaining me vocabulary, and it seems to "stick" better somehow in writing).
February 3, 2000
Hi Mark - thanks for this question. SW Shorthand is not based on any
one signed language - It is a generic shorthand system for writing
any movement or position of the human body quickly.
So you could write Japanese Sign Language with SW Shorthand with no problem...
Actually, DanceWriting Shorthand is quite accurate and hundreds have
learned it...so it is general "movement shorthand".
But, once you write Japanese Sign Language in the Shorthand, reading
your notes later may require prior knowledge of Japanese signs,
simply because the very nature of Shorthand is to leave some
information out for speed...so that is why knowing the language you
are writing in Shorthand helps for reading your notes later...
And that is why I am actually surprised that Karen and Charles can
read 10-year old shorthand notes...but certainly I am grateful it is
How long does it take to learn SW Shorthand? Gosh...I don't know...it
depends on how skilled you are in SignWriting Printing...
We used to hold workshops....like this:
Workshop 1: SignWriting Printing
Workshop 2: Writing Sign Literature
Workshop 3: SignWriting Shorthand
So you can see we put the Shorthand at the end, when a person could
write a whole story in SignWriting...
Maybe someday we should hold workshops again....who knows, even over
By the way, I am glad the "GIFs" are working for you....I am assuming
that is true for others too? Some other people have told me that they
are learning SignWriting better now because I am attaching .GIF's to
Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA