forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Thu Oct 15, 1998  8:31 pm
Subject:  Re: Writing SW Literature

On Wed, 14 Oct 1998, Cecilia Smith wrote:
>What you are talking about is someone telling stories, these stories are
>being TRANSCRIBED into a written form, and reproduced as a written form of
>an oral tradition. That is the process that all the spoken language
>stories have gone through too. The only trick is, you hope that the
>transcribed version is a good one, becuz what gets written down get set in

October 15, 1998
I just returned from the land of bookkeeping (a very boring place :-), only
to find a long list of messages on the SignWriting List! Plus some pretty
terrific private messages too...I feel like it's Christmas :-)

Yes, Cecelia, that is exactly what we did here at the DAC...Darline signed
the stories in her native language, and then later I transcribed one of
them, and we plan to do all of them later. As you all know, there are two
books that will be published is the full transcription of the
story, which I am calling SignWriting Level 4. The other is SignWriting
Level 3, where I "break down" the elements of writing the story. I am
hoping that the two books together will make it possible for people to
become fluent advanced readers. I hope to have the two books ready by the
end of this year.

I can understand your concern for good quality writing, and of course that
is what we all want - certainly we are trying our best. I have also learned
that in the beginning of a new era, like this one, there is some room for
flexibility if we work together. In other words, we are not trapped by our
mistakes or imperfections either. If, after we publish the transcription of
the video stories, we find that it can be improved, then with your feedback
we can do that, before it gets "cast in cement". I guess you can say that
the "cement is still wet enough to smooth out the edges" :-)

By the way...we are not the only ones transcribing videotapes into
SignWriting - I know of several other groups doing the same in other signed
languages, and I know of one group that is planning to do so in ASL in the
future - so as more transcription is done, we will get a better grasp on
how to do it successfully.

Valerie :-)

Visit the SignWritingSite:

Valerie Sutton at The DAC
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
(619)456-0098 voice
(619)456-0010 tty
(619)456-0020 fax

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