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From:  Trevor Jenkins
Date:  Tue Apr 2, 2002  5:17 pm
Subject:  Re: [SignWriting] SignWriting in England ;-)

On Fri, 29 Mar 2002, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> What about your work with SignWriting, Trevor? How is that going?
> Weren't you writing hymns from your church? I can't quite remember
> your exact project, so please write us again about it!

Origianlly there were two reasons behind my wanting to use SignWriting.
One was as a notation scheme for courses in BSL. Thought I would be able
to use it on my recent intermediate level course. Turns out all my time
was taken up coping with the course; there wasn't any time to pick up a

My other reason is for use in church situations initially hymns, chorus,
liturgy. Ultimately I'd like to see a BSL translation of the Bible written
with SignWriting. This is a different goal to Ronald Detoff's because it
would be a translation from the original languages rather than a
paraphrase of the KJV/AV, which is not my favourite translation even in
English. (Suggest that those wanting to debate my reasoning on this
contact me off list as the issues are unrelated to SignWriting.)

There's now a tentative third use. Based on my experience and (lack of)
opportunity to make real notes in my BSL class I've been thinking about
how my Palm m505 could be used as a portable SignWriter program. Haven't
got very far yet as I only finished my course on March 20th, took my exam
on 21st and then went off for a BSL communicators weekend on the 22nd. But
now Easter festivities are over and paying projects are coming to an end
the idea will be revived again. Currently bogged-down in whether to build
the application around XML and use SVG for describing the glyphs or to use
the fixed sized GIF images available from the
web site. Discarded the idea of writing this tool in Java as an already
established design goal is as far as possible to make it available on the
entire range of Palm-based systems.

> Hillary Hittner (), just wrote to ask if there was
> anyone using SignWriting in England? ...

Hillary feel free to contact me when you're over. Whether I can provide
much more than enthusiasm for using SignWriting I can't say.

> If you know of any others, please tell us!

I'm not aware of any. :-( Doesn't look like anyone responded to my tease
about Scotland and Wales.

Regards, Trevor

British Sign Language is not inarticulate handwaving; it's a living language.
Support the campaign for formal recognition by the British government now!
Details at or


<>< Re: deemed!

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