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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Fri Mar 22, 2002  6:12 pm
Subject:  Re: Sign-To-Spoken Language Translations

SignWriting List
March 22, 2002

Tony - thanks for informing us of your progress - I feel relieved
that you are starting to understand that each language has a
different grammar structure, and that there is no "exact-one-to-one"
translation for the word for "the"...

I noticed in your comment below that you mention that you meant " the
most common 100 words that are spoken"...actually that isn't even
completely accurate...

To be accurate, you mean "the most common 100 words used when
speaking English". If you were a Dane, there would be a good chance
the word "the" would not be one of your words...because in the Danish
spoken language, although two forms of formal "the" do exist, they
are rarely spoken. Most of the time in spoken Danish the "the" is not
a separate word at all - it is attached as a special ending at the
end of the nouns change depending on whether "the" is
attached or not only are signed languages different, but
spoken languages are too!

And I do repeat once need to find an expert in Irish Sign
Language, who signs well, to help you...writing Irish Sign Language
is no small job and you do need people who sign to work with you...

Why not write to a Deaf Irish man, the author of the Irish Sign
Language Dictionary in SignWriting? Perhaps Pat can help you?

Patrick Matthews

Val ;-)


> you are correct my understanding in sign language is very limited
>and I am working from a spoken perspective. The words I had organised to
>use on my system were based on the most common 100 words that are spoken. I
>didn't realise that I couldn't just translate word for word into sign
>writing. Sorry for all the confusion. I've got the signs that I could get
>from the dictionary, I was a bit afraid of using SW because I thought I
>would need to know some sign language to get any sense from it. I got in
>got the signs but counldn't prin tthem cause we are connected to at network
>printed at college but I got it sorted after a short time. Set up printer
>as postscript and printed to file and then printed them on the network, I
>even exported the files as bit maps and I'm building up my database of signs
>now, slow process but I'm getting there.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Valerie Sutton"
>Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 10:47 PM
>Subject: Re: Sign-To-Spoken Language Translations
>> Angus wrote:
>> > I'm not in complete agreement with either of you. :-) As an
>> >accredited translator (French-English), I can state with some confidence
>> >that translation is not exact. I think that the sign interpreters on
>> >list will agree with me about translation between sign languages and
>> >spoken languages. Maybe even complete agreement?
>> Ha!! This is great ;-)
>> Well - I think that the word "exact" in English has different
>> interpretations - ha!!
>> Two different meanings for the word "exact" and I agree with both of
>> you - so there! ;-)
>> Anny, I believe, was trying to explain that signed languages are as
>> rich and sophisticated as spoken languages and that in the sense that
>> the word "exact" means "precise", Anny was trying to explain that
>> signed languages are indeed "precise"...Years ago, when I lived in
>> Denmark, I remember that the word "exact" oftentimes was interpreted
>> to mean "precision"... and it had nothing to do with computer
>> translations...or "one-on-one kind of exact"...
>> Anyway, in my original statement I was talking about "exact"
>> "one-to-one" correlation...
>> Did you agree with my original statement, Angus, or is that in
>> disagreement too?! ;-)
>> Val ;-)

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