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From:  Patsy van Andel
Date:  Sun Mar 18, 2001  9:27 pm
Subject:  Writing Sign Language

Hi Angus,

Thank you for your advice. As you said, it's difficult to write well
in a language that is not your own. I have the advantage of being
able to think and feel in Dutch. What I mean is, I don't have to
translate what I want to say into English before I can say it in
Dutch. I am taking a writing course (Dutch) and, up until now, have
had very good reviews on all of my assignments. Don't ask my why or
how that is, but I can express my emotions equally well in Dutch as
in English. My husband is Dutch, so he proofreads all of my work. I
realize that that isn't possible if I try to write in sign. I would
then, like you said, need someone that is a sign language expert.

I don't presume to think that I can learn sign language and sign
writing in a few months. What I am hoping is that, like any other
language, I can learn them simultaneously. I have no ambitions of
writing articles for newspapers or magazines. I want to write for
children and what can be more beautiful than writing for children
that cannot hear. Hearing children take reading for granted (with the
exception of children with Dyslexia). The story becomes alive through
the voice intonation of the reader. Why shouldn't deaf children be
able to "see" and read the emtions of the story?

For those who might think I take learning sign language and sign
writing lightly, I do not. I do, however, have the advantage of
speaking and understanding three languages and am also what we in
Holland call taalgevoelig (language sensitive). I pick up foreign
languages quite easily, quite possibly because I worked in an
environment where I constantly heard up to 12 languages being spoken
(NATO). I realize that signing is completely different, but it has
always fascinated me and the thought of being able to write in sign
excites me.

I have also been trying to find out where I can take a course, but up
until now, no one has answered my e-mails. Considering the fact that
I just stumbled onto the site last week and have only been trying to
gain information since then, I have come a long way in my search for
information. Hopefully I can learn more from you and all the others
who are experienced in this field.

Thank you for your advice and help. I will certainly follow it. Since
I am a "rookie" and have a lot to learn, I am grateful for all the
advice you can give. Your address is listed at the University of New
Mexico. I was born in Albuquerque and my father and step-sister and
her family live in Cimarron. I hope to hear more from you soon.


  Replies Author Date
4660 Re: Writing Sign Language Valerie Sutton Wed  3/28/2001

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