If Deaf never had sign language, would you hearing still want to know us??

Discussion in 'Our World, Our Culture' started by deafgam, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. cdaigle430

    cdaigle430 Member

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    99% of the people I know do not know sign language including myself. 5% I know are deaf so the answer for me is yes.
     
  2. Cdodd

    Cdodd New Member

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    You might not see it this way, but I'll give my input as a "hearie." Speaking to other people in any different language is intimidating, especially when you're speaking a secondary language to someone who's fluent and impatient with "hearies." From my own personal experience, I'm slow to join in on conversations because I know just enough to learn, but I don't want to say or do anything that'd embarrass me or offend you. Then I come on here and all I see is how impatient you guys are with "hearies" and how we annoy you.

    Don't be so hard on us. It's intimidating, it puts us off, and it makes us want to distance ourselves. One of the presidents of the LDS church said something that's pretty applicable to this.

    "It happens too often that we argue, belittle, and condemn. When we become angry, rude, or hurtful with people, the last thing they want is to learn more about us."

    Think about it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  3. Mieke

    Mieke Belgian ASL noob Premium Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  4. Flighty

    Flighty New Member

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    I'd like to think so.

    People are more than a language.
     
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  5. Tetracyclone

    Tetracyclone Active Member

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    I agree- when ASL first burst on the national culture scene with translators being used in concerts, translators were chosen for the visual beauty and full-body presentation of the lyrics. It showed off ASL as an art form, which any language can be used as. Troops of hearing people went off the beginner ASL classes and soon learned that the artistic expression aspect would be denied to the for many years while they acquired ASL skills slowly. So most quit.

    The idea of hearing people "loving" the deaf seems silly to me. Individuals have a commitment to inclusion, or not. Individuals have good manners (take the extra time to communicate with deaf people), or they do not. As for love- as with any language an individual is going to learn it quickly if they fall 'in love' with a person who speaks it. I got fluent in Spanish through a compelling need to communicate with one individual. Being in love focuses one's energy enormously.

    My own experience as profound HOH is that 90% of people are unwilling or unable to change their their own speak velocity to allow me to understand, and they will write down only the minimum necessary to communicate the bare bones of an idea. So that is my conclusion. 90% of hearing people will not be bothered with deaf people unless it is their job to communicate with them or legal guidelines require it.

    I'm not attacking hearing people, after all, I was one for half my life, and to my credit, I did adjust my speech for HOH people. I did not encounter any deaf in my social world, but oh(!), if there had bee a handsome hunk signing on the periphery you can bet I would have been studying my ASL manual frantically. Not attacking, but describing the reality.
     
  6. DOD

    DOD Active Member

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    It would be extremely shallow for anyone to feel that way. While I can't speak for everyone I can say there is nobody that I know that feels that way.
     
  7. Ondreea

    Ondreea Member

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    Thats horrible :(((( i am so sorry this happened to you!
    Ik this response was written a long time ago, but i enjoy seeing wat ppl think and how they see things....and serious this is so very sad to me! Im hearing, and a beginner of ASL, but this makes me wanna cry that this is how ppl treat others. Im begining to understand why deaf ppl can be a little cautious of hearing ppl. :(
     
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  8. Dai Johnson

    Dai Johnson New Member

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    What i know form my husband and what he tells me is that being partially deaf did not stop him from marrying me. I know for a fact that hearing people always seem to expect Deaf people to be sad about it or to be in a continual state of angst...which is not true. If i wasn't deaf..i would still be very interested in learning sign language because it's beautiful!
     
  9. rockin'robin

    rockin'robin Well-Known Member

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    (Know this is an old thread)...but recently, here is what happened to me ....My apt. complex (which I'm moving out next month)...began to let people move in under some government program they have...(rent and elec. free to them)...Some were Homeless....2 Ladies that were under this program and lived close by...came over one day to say Hello...(mouthing their words)....So they knew I was deaf....One Lady started talking about her EBT Card...and asked if I had one?...I said No...She then said..."But...you're deaf!"...then asked if I lived there "free" on the government program?....I said NO...I pay full rent and buy my own Food....Again, she said..."But you're deaf!"....
    I was getting more pissed off by the minute...so I replied "What does being deaf have to do with it?".....?????
    So...hearing people "assume and assume"....Pisses me off too...they seemed to "think" not only that I was deaf but dumb too....Even coming back several days later, asking me if I would take $50 in food stamps for $25 dollars?"....She needed cigarettes....Even asking me for rides...and when I say Sorry, I'm busy...and saying..."well, you don't know what it's like to be without a Car and having to walk everywhere!"....
    Seriously!....sick of it!
     
  10. Tetracyclone

    Tetracyclone Active Member

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    How lovely you are moving out next month. Some folks on the dole are lovely people just down on their luck. Others are professional hustlers. I don't think they 'assumed' you were dumb so much as they make a systematic practice of hitting on every neighbor who will speak to them. They know someone will be dumb enough to become a steady source of favors.
     
  11. rockin'robin

    rockin'robin Well-Known Member

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    It's not the ONLY reason I'm moving out...this was a very nice complex, gated...beautiful homes right across the street. Since "that program" started, there has been a big spike in drugs and prostitution here also...garbage thrown into the yards, beer/alcohol/cigarette butts everywhere...What "used" to be...is no more...Sad as it is...and Pit Bulls too....(supposedly not allowed here)...and when I reported it...to find that dog belonged to one of the maintenance workers...Yep....
    'enuf said....
     
  12. Reba

    Reba Retired Terp Premium Member

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    :(
     
  13. Kari

    Kari New Member

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    I understand the push back and the skepticism. Speaking as a minority elsewhere, I know that it is the overcoming of struggles that create the richness of the culture. That complex history makes it something worth fighting for, preserving and therefore, something worth taking an interest in. Culture is something bigger than yourself and I think a lot of people just want to be a part of that. Language creates a strong foundation for culture, it's crucial, but it's not everything.

    For me, it's more about community, expanding your world and connecting with people. I don't think we'll ever stop being ignorant and shallow (people in general, not everyone ofcourse) if we don't expose ourselves to other people. I'm hearing, so I don't know what it is like to be hard of hearing or deaf...but I can learn and connect with the community in other ways. One of those ways is through language. So it may come off as me just trying to learn a language but I learn it to forge something more. In this world, life is all about connections. And I think we're beginning to master our own networks but failing to connect to one anothers', which really just leaves us stuck in our ways.
     
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  14. Lysander

    Lysander Member Premium Member

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    There are so many things wrong with this post. It either assumes that all hearing people are assholes. Or that all deaf people have so little worth that the only thing they have to offer is a language. A language, mind you, that if hearing really only cared about the language they could learn it and just use it with other hearing people.

    ASL is just a tool. Just like English is a tool. They're methods that we use to learn more about other people and communicate ideas and instructions and feelings. Saying that people are only interested in a language paints people as really shallow. In my case, I don't care about ASL as anything other than the tool I need to communicate with others. Is it beautiful? I suppose it can be. It's certainly interesting. But it's also a little annoying too. I can't imagine someone would go through all the trouble of learning a second language without ever having any type of interest in the people who use it.
     
  15. seb

    seb Well-Known Member

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    Having done rental maintenance I can offer this from what has happened to you in you once happy community. Right now the owners like the fact that the government will send them the rent money every month on time and they don't have to worry about evicting someone or chasing them down to pay the rent. They will however quickly tire of the increased maintenance costs that comes with subsidized housing and the endless government inspections of their property and being told that they won't be receiving the rent on the units that need repair until they are repaired and pass inspection. They will repair the units pass inspection and then the tenant will trash the unit again. I've seen it happen time after time and they will opt out of the program the first chance they get. I hope you find a place that was as nice as this place once was. Good luck!
     
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  16. Beowulf

    Beowulf Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Great. Now we got a slumlord in here.


    Just kidding. Just letting off steam. Please please forgive me. ;)
     
  17. nnsrhndhjGER

    nnsrhndhjGER New Member

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    Yes i would still love to get to know deaf ppl. I personally am not concerned with being deaf, neither is someone i know. But i just want to be able to communicate with everyone. And even if sign language wouldnt exist, I would find a way to communicate :)
     
  18. rockin'robin

    rockin'robin Well-Known Member

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    Love ur response!...spot on!! I've already moved out of there, no regrets at all...
     
  19. Lysander

    Lysander Member Premium Member

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    I have to say as a learner, the Deaf need to understand how very intimidating you can be. ASL students, myself included, get very nervous about signifying with people. There's a lack of trust with strangers. I have a few deaf friends and I'm much more comfortable looking like an idiot making mistakes in front of them. To do this thing I don't understand yet, with someone who is fluent, whom I don't know, in public. That's asking a lot of self confidence and willingness to fail and be embarrassed of someone. Some people don't know enough to even tell you they don't know. And fluent signers sign sooooo fast. It's like having 20 tennis balls repeatedly thrown at your face. You can barely have time to recover from the first ball before the next one is coming. There's just not enough time to translate before the next sign is there to translate, and then the next. It's hard. Maybe you should take a chance and grab one of them and slowly ask them things a new signer should know. Like what's your name, where are you taking ASL class, who's your teacher, offer to show them a sign you use a lot that might benefit them.

    I've learned French and Spanish, and ASL is proving to be very difficult. Not only because learning a new language is hard, but sometimes the Deaf can be really hard on the hearing.
     
  20. spring howl

    spring howl New Member

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    It's hard to find Deaf congregations in my area, so I don't know many Deaf people, but I'd like to and it's my main motivation for learning the language.

    There's a book I love called Logic of Action, about deaf 3s and 4s learning at an open school in the slums during the 70s. That's what sparked my interest in deafness prior to ASL. None of the children knew signs. Nothing about Deaf culture in the book. Still very interesting.
     

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