jackandahat: (Default)
Jack ([personal profile] jackandahat) wrote in [community profile] deaf2011-04-12 05:34 pm

Learning sign language.

Those of you who can sign, how did you learn? I'm hard of hearing and I'm starting to try and learn BSL. At the moment I'm going from videos and a book - classes are expensive, and they don't start until September anyway. It made me curious how everyone else learned.
rising: a coyote (the cadre: happy coyote)

[personal profile] rising 2011-04-12 04:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I was raised with a small amount of ASL, which I retained, so I'm pretty sure that's not useful -- BUT. When I decided that I wanted to more thoroughly learn ASL, there were some youtube videos and such that were 'lesson'-y and watching them was really good for my comprehension and such. Additionally, books, and going to signing events, once I was able to explain that my sign wasn't great but I'm learning. I did eventually take ASL 1 through 3, but having the actual signing environment was probably the most important.
rising: a woodcut-style image of a knife held in a hand. (Default)

[personal profile] rising 2011-04-12 05:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Right.

One thing that I really like is that most of the sign nights here (usually held at Starbucks or similar venue one night a month, varying ones around the region) are really, really friendly to people learning sign. If you ask someone to sign slower, they will, ask someone to explain a sign, they'll try and use other signs until you can grasp what the more complicated sign was.

I'm actually really sad right now because one of the biggest problems for me at the moment is that I'm working Friday through Sunday and therefore no longer able to go to the Starbucks sign nights that I'd been going to during the off season from work. Though there are people who sign at my work, and that's good practise too.

The other thing that really helped me was practising signing in front of a mirror as I learned new signs. It feels silly, and sounds funny as far as things to do, but you see yourself making the sign differently when you're in front of a mirror than you do when simply watching your own hands.

Also, although I'm not sure about BSL, one of the things that helped me communicate a lot more efficiently in ASL was learning some of the very basic classifiers, because then even when my sign vocabulary wasn't sufficient for something I wanted to say, I had the resources to describe it, in gesture and sign. For example, the ASL classifier for a person is the single index finger, and so even if I couldn't remember the sign for walk, I could gesture to ME and then HERE and then move the little classifier to indicate movement to THERE.

(Sorry if I go on or anything. If it stops being useful, just tell me to stop. :D)
agnosticnixie: (Default)

[personal profile] agnosticnixie 2011-04-16 07:24 am (UTC)(link)
I learned pretty much entirely with deaf friends, through contact with them. Immersion, basically - I went deaf gradually growing up so my parents didn't see the issue and I was mainstreamed.