Date: Thu Mar 21, 2002 10:13
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Sign-To-Spoken Language Translations
March 21, 2002
Anny from French-Switzerland wrote:
>You can't say translation is not EXACT....! It is exact. The fact is
>that some grammatical items like prepositions do not exist as LEXICAL
>items in sign languages... as they are given by the movement and
>position in space.
Please forgive if I have somehow upset you. We are in complete agreement!
The whole reason why I invented SignWriting is because I believe
signed languages are sophisticated, rich and beautiful languages. I
am in awe of them, and I respect them.
So let us take this in context....I was responding to a message from
Tony. Tony asked me what the sign for "THE" was in SignWriting. He
did not give me a sentence. He just wanted a one-to-one comparison
"Please give me the sign for "the". He did not say which signed
How would you respond to Tony? He is a hearing person who lives in
Ireland. It is possible that he does not know how to sign. He is
spending money, ordering the American Sign Language dictionary from
me. I don't want him to waste his money, if he thinks we have the
sign for "the" in our dictionary, because we don't.
I believe he thinks that he can look up the sign for "the" in the
American Sign Language dictionary, read it in SignWriting, and know
how to sign "the" in Ireland....so that deaf people in Ireland will
I was trying to explain that translations are not
"one-to-one-"...that was what I meant by "exact"...that there is not
an equivalent sign for the English word..."the"...in American Sign
Language...the word "exact" has many meanings, and I was just using
it in a slightly different context...
How would you explain this to Tony? And I hope Tony will speak up -
please forgive me Tony, if you had a different reason for asking me
to write your vocabulary lists!