|SignWriting List Forum|
Charles Butler |
Date: Tue Sep 12, 2000 3:59 pm
Subject: Sign Writing in Brazil
Just a quick note from Charles Butler re my trip to Brazil.
I got to spend time with Professor Fernando Capovilla in Sao Paulo to see
his seminal work in LIBRAS (Brazilian Sign Language). The work is
astounding and will be published (hopefully) by next February. He is such a
gentle man, and so full of love for the Deaf of Brazil. I know that I will
be working more with him.
I got a picture from the book and will be uploading it within the next few
I also was able to visit Polytechnic Universidade Catolico (PUC) (Catholic
University of Brazil) in Porto Alegre to see their LIBRAS project, their
work on making captions for the museum for all signage (imagine if all the
street signs in the US were in ASL.) Part of their challenge is to figure
out signs for all of the animals, as, for example, you have green snakes,
and spotted snakes, and brown snakes, and winged snakes, and capybaras, and
agoutis, and coatis, and who knows what other creatures for which there are
no present signs, and fingerspelling is essentially "Signed Portuguese" not
Sign Language. We discussed so many signs that my mind was full.
I am seriously thinking of seeing about getting a work scholarship to help
them with their project next year. Again, more pictures will be loaded as
soon as I have them developed.
Day before yesterday in Porto Alegre, I found myself speaking in English,
Portuguese, ASL and LIBRAS, four languages within about five minutes. It
The challenge of Brazilian Sign Language is that there are so many
handshapes and movements that ASL simply does not have, and they are
certainly a challenge to write, but the kids at the Lutheran School for the
Deaf are having a wonderful time in learning. They are bright and eager. I
wish I had had more pictures to take but by the time I got there I was down
to one picture. How to choose? I finally settled on a wall which had signs
written by the kids with a picture of me, Marianne Stumpf and my
Hear more from me soon.