American Sign Language
I use to be kinda’ but not really but almost sort of kinda’ alright at it.
Oh, the heck with re-learning french or German or Farsi or Malay. I’m re-teaching myself ASL. I’m starting with the basics. I have been teaching myself the alphabet done by finger signing. I’m getting pretty good at yelling at the TV news without saying a word. Ha! My right arm seems to be constantly pointed at Katie Coric….saying not very nice things. Maybe swear words and insults aren’t the best way to practice. I’m just sayin’, ya’ know.
I use to know a girl when I was in Uni back in…the plesticine era…whose native language was ASL. She taught me some. She was too too cool in that she use to forget to talk. She would sign as she spoke but some times we might have indulged in some illegal cigarettes (completely by mistake, of course) and she would forget to actually speak out loud but continue with her signing. Yea, I was a fast learner. Had to be. 🙂 She was alright. Shoot, I still remember her all these millennium later.
Hey, so I’m re-teaching myself the ASL finger alphabet and when I get good at it I’m gonna’ move on to teach myself the signs of ASL. Soon I need to find some deaf folk so I can actually use this new found language.
Where is Tara, Erika, Frank or Helene when I need them?
Many moons ago I came across a deaf person at a supermarket who was quite frustrated with the hearing folk she was encountering and I was WAY happy to help. A month ago I wouldn’t have been able to help as I did all those years ago. Well that has changed!
Being a lifelong student of language I get very frustrated not being able to communicate with folks. Last July I met a couple of baseball players from the Netherlands. While I was having a beer or two (twelve) with them I fell into using German (Deutsch). Though they appreciated it they pointed out to me that Dutch and German really are two different languages. It’s OK. Beer is Beer in all three languages. That evening the whole beer thing was as important as the Phillies.
So as I get better and better at finger spelling I shall need to learn the signs of ASL.
This I shall do!
You’ll see.


ASL — 15 Comments

  1. My kids had a few ASL words when they were babies. It helped relieve some of the frustration of not being able to say words yet. They knew “please” and “more”and “all done”.

    It’s cool you’re learning it. I know how to make rabbit shadows with my hands but that’s about it. How involved is it? How does it handle grammar?

  2. Ditto – my son didn’t speak a word for long enough to get the doctor’s knickers in a twist, but he had over 20 signs.

    I started losing my hearing somewhere in my teens and was told to learn ASL “so that you won’t be stuck without a language.” Not the greatest motivator for learning, there. But I learned some, then the hearing loss stopped at only mostly deaf, and I’ve lost a lot of it again. Maybe someday…

  3. Hello Brian!!

    GOOD FOR YOU!! I am happy that you are re-learning ASL! it is so easy to forget the signs over years when you are not around deaf people! It is allright, same for me, when i am not around my deaf friends and it is easy to forget some signs- I know its odd since I am deaf- should be able to know all signs (yea right, impossible!) smile!

    Im glad that I got to meet you during CWDS training, though it was tough training for everyone else! haha, but thank you for teaching and helping us out and putting up with our tantrums! haha! we are still having tantrums here in office with CWDS, smile, but it should be fine eventually!

    Hope everything is well with you, spending more time on bikes now after done with cwds training, i bet?? haha.. Have a wonderful holidays and keep it up with ASL!!! ASL ROCKS!


  4. sweet, we need to see a vlog on ur progress now 😉 im not confident enough to vlog my ISL the problem with teaching urself is that ull pick up bad habits, but hey id rather have bad habits than not have it at all! 🙂 best of luck dude keep it up and post a progress post id love to see how ur doin 🙂

  5. im soooo happy for u cuz i learned asl in 4th grade and forgot it over the years. i want to learn it again and you inspired me to . thanks again

  6. My best friends cousin is deaf and Monica my BFF taught me sign language now I can talk to any deaf person I see in sign language