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From:  Stefan Woehrmann2
Date:  Wed Dec 27, 2000  12:58 am
Subject:  Re: Transcription project

Hi Mark,

I $B!- (Bm so happy and gratefull that you took the time to describe your
and ideas regarding the transcription project. I think it is an excellent
analysis of what is going on if you describe the movements of a signer
without knowing his language----
Nevertheless there can be a great chance in learning to look carefully at
movements , handshapes - but that may be a different project - not just
transcribing what is intented to sign !!
Once again - thank you very much for your excellent comment on this project.
I $B!- (Bll read it several times !

All the best

Stefan ;-)

P.S. If you would try to write, what little Gordian is performing you never
would get an idea what he is talking about. But the knowledge of his style
of signing is a big help to assist the eyes - to add the missing parts that
are in my mind !!

----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Penner
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 4:06 AM
Subject: Transcription project

> At 15:09 00/12/14 -0500, Stefan wrote:
> > nice to hear from you again. How is it going - did you translate any
> > some mor signs from the japanese bible project ?
> > I $B%( (Jm sorry for you (and me ) that we didn $B%( (Jt continue -
sooo much to do.
> I've gotten a couple of sentences done. The main thing that I've gleaned
> from our transcription attempt is that though it is possible to write
> exactly what a Deaf signer is signing, it is very difficult without
> the language. This is because signs morph differently depending on which
> sign follows. That is, they change shape as they flow from one sign to the
> next, creating and incredible variety of hand and face forms. There is
> really no need to write all the minute variations that occur. If you don't
> know the Sign Language you're writing, you end up with all kinds of
> unnecessary material, and though you might be writing exactly what the
> signer signed, its very difficult to read.
> I think it would be different if our signer were doing poetry or
> storytelling, but a lot of this tape is narrative style, and gets pretty
> close to how Deaf people actually converse. Since I know the sign, I ended
> up writing what I knew he was signing rather than what his hands and face
> actually did. I didn't try to do this, but my knowledge of JSL actually
> influenced what I saw. When I looked at the transcription from the rest of
> our group and went back to the video on slow motion, I realized that I had
> not written what he actually did with his hands. I imagine that the
> will happen once Deaf people are fluent at reading SW--that they will not
> sign exactly what is written, but will sign how it is really supposed to
> as sign flow naturally from one to another.
> Anyway, I'm game to try some more transcription if anyone else is up to
> Mark
> Mark Penner
> Tokyo, Japan

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