Translating ASL into Engrish

I spend a lot of time around the deaf and I have noticed a severe difference between people taught ASL only and those taught English and ASL. Maybe you think there is no difference, but take these two posts from my deaf friends and see if you can tell which one was taught using ASL only and the one who was taught English (both are completely deaf):

example A

i feel make piss off you bs no time enough full up over over please stop!! and my hard hurt cousfed not. i won,t give you say no money only first my baby buy pamper thing dumb than nothing ! my face out away from me leave me alone !!! who fault did daddybaby that period peace.

example B

Fear is Faith pointed in the wrong direction, when you believe that good things cannot happen to you, its the same thing as believing that bad things will happen instead. So since you already BELIEVE choose to believe in the BEST for your life, Point your FAITH in the right direction.

Can you guess which is which?

The problem with ASL only education is that it not only is confusing to the hearing in a world where the deaf use English, it’s also very confusing to other deaf people who use ASL and English. If you are around them at all, you know they text like maniacs. They love Facebook as much as any hearing person. People say that a good interpreter can make out what ASL only people are saying in examples like A, but I’ve had as many deaf people come and ask what example A was really saying as any hearing people – and the truth is, I don’t know. I often have miscommunications with the ASL only speakers. They often have miscommunications with each other (this is why ‘misunderstood’ is such a well used sign, imo).

The deaf that were ‘mainstreamed’ seem to have a serious advantage in this world of high tech, even in such a low level as just posting a Facebook post.

While there are these serious problems with ASL only, one thing the deaf have learned from it that we could probably all benefit from, is to just accept the miscommunications and move on after they have been cleared up. Can you imagine how much better our world would be if only politicians could learn this?

Good To See You!… Well… Not Really

My husband and I went shopping this morning for snacks and drinks to give to the ASL Missionaries when they come over and help with a project. We have the LDS Missionaries (specifically the ASL speaking ones) over a lot to help with things that the Hobbit is not able to do because of his vision loss.

So we are at Randalls, just finishing up our shopping trip, getting into the car with our goodies, when someone pulls up alongside us. He waves and I recognize him. I roll down the window and say “Hi!” He waves back and my husband asks who it is, because even though he’s only really a door’s length away from us, my Hobbit can’t see him. I tell my Hobbit that it’s Brother So and So from our Ward (he’s also our Home Teacher) My Hobbit brightens, turns and waves. “Hello!” he says. “We are just buying snacks for the missionaries!” We nod and small talk for a few moments and then it’s time to go so the Hobbit says “It’s good to see you!” and I start pulling away when he says: “Well, not really.”

It’s funny because even though he can’t see him, he’ll still use those idioms. What’s funnier is when we’re at home and I’m talking to him in ASL and he says he can’t hear me…

Ah, the life of a Hobbit.

Beta Reading

I am writing a novel. It is a fantasy/urban novel and it involves deaf/hard of hearing people in the main characters. I was wondering if any of my hearing impaired friends would like to beta read for accuracy/feedback? Right now I’m mostly using my husband as my truth standard, and it’s hard to use hearing people because they keep telling me to be careful and not use stereotypes, and it’s not politically correct to do this or that. So I thought it would be better just to get more input from hearing impaired. Anyone interested can email me their email address to be sent the work in progress at swampfaye at yahoo dot com, or reply below. I appreciate the help!

Where is the Hollywood Fundraiser?

I’m having a hard time understanding why the press isn’t making a big deal about Sandy like they did for Katrina. Every day after Katrina I saw horrible pictures and the looters in the flood zones (this is specifically why everyone in Houston panicked about Rita later that year), but they don’t seem to be reporting NJ looting and stuff all that much. I am hearing about looters from bloggers posting from their phones because they still don’t have electricity. I heard there were people stranded on Staten Island from a commentator on an internet show whose parents were still there. I wouldn’t have know that and I listen to the news all the time at work every day.

Why is this happening? Is it the proximity to the election? Is it the news coverage or is it that Hollywood isn’t making it a big deal? Or maybe it’s like some ‘Jersey Shore’ effect?–Our reaction to the reality show.

My opinion is torn. I think maybe its because the majority of the charity came from the heartland for Katrina, because they felt New Orleans was ‘one of us’ but New Jersey or New York. They are not one of us. I am not sure, but I think it’s because easterners are always making fun of the south and the heartland. But that doesn’t explain why Hollywood isn’t supporting them, or the rest of the East Coast isn’t supporting them. That is curious to me.

By the weeks end, the Red Cross had raised over a billion dollars for Katrina and ended up with 4 billion in private charitable contributions (this doesn’t include what survivors got from FEMA or the city of Houston/Dallas/San Antonio/Austin in special benefits, etc). New Jersey is at about 11 million.

The Hobbit and I will be donating through our church, because it seems clear the Red Cross is having some problems of their own (probably with the bureaucrazy) in the East. But I’m still interested what you think is causing this, even if you have donated.

Edited to add: I found a telethon on E! (online) for Sandy victims. You might want to support them, even though they make you listen to crappy music by P!nk.