Using ASL Unexpectedly

Jazzberry

Member
I worked yesterday for the Board of Elections as a poll worker. I mostly do that to help monitor how the new style machines are working. *

It turned out that one of the voters was deaf, I asked her if she signed and I was able to have a short conversation with her. She was stunned, she was not expecting that at all. Neither was I quite frankly -- and I was surprised that I knew enough sign that we could both understand each other. :)

One other thing I was surprised about was that, AFAICT, she used the sign for "now", to mean here. Is that sign ever used that way? At one point she asked me where I lived and when I started to explain she got impatient and asked me (as I understood it), if I lived here, or in the neighborhood. I'm wondering if I understood her correctly. Maybe she was actually saying she wanted me answer now, :lol: !

Anybody else have any stories where they ending up signing unexpectedly?



* Not well, unfortunately. For example, the votes for the various people who ran in the election district added up to more than the votes caste. :( Luckily in NY City we lobbied very hard for the scanner type machines. That means that if people care enough about the voting process, the votes can be recounted by hand.
 

society's_child

New Member
I've been signing so long now (5 years-- long for ME, anyway) that every blue moon, I'll start signing while I talk. I don't often notice till someone points it out. It's kinda like reflexes, lol. :giggle:
 
One other thing I was surprised about was that, AFAICT, she used the sign for "now", to mean here. Is that sign ever used that way? At one point she asked me where I lived and when I started to explain she got impatient and asked me (as I understood it), if I lived here, or in the neighborhood. I'm wondering if I understood her correctly. Maybe she was actually saying she wanted me answer now, :lol: !
She may have been using it to emphasize that she wanted to know where you lived now, but that's just a guess. It's also possible that she simply used one sign when she intended another, a "slip of the tongue" as we hearing people would call it.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
Anybody else have any stories where they ending up signing unexpectedly?
just about everywhere I went with a group of deaf friends. Boston. New York City. New Orleans. Florida. Seattle. Philadelphia. Atlantic City. etc.
 

Jazzberry

Member
She may have been using it to emphasize that she wanted to know where you lived now, but that's just a guess. It's also possible that she simply used one sign when she intended another, a "slip of the tongue" as we hearing people would call it.
So, sort of a "slip of sign"? :) I like that.

I suspect that I will be doing that a lot. I just realized today, that instead of signing "good night" to the deaf voter, I signed "good enter". Arrrrgggghhhh! Even though I'm not dyslexic when it comes to reading, I think I tend to be dyslexic when it comes to learning sign. For whatever reason I tend to see the sign or remember the sign upside down or in reverse order from what it actually is.

Oh well, hopefully I'll get there.

She really was a good sport, God bless her. Either that or its also possible that she is new to signing also -- but I would say she was still a good sport.

I do think despite my at least one major mistake that she was happy to see me. She was not making much headway with the other poll workers.
 

Jazzberry

Member
I've been signing so long now (5 years-- long for ME, anyway) that every blue moon, I'll start signing while I talk. I don't often notice till someone points it out. It's kinda like reflexes, lol. :giggle:
That's encouraging. I really would like to be fluent in sign. Hopefully one day signing will be like reflexes to me also. I just read your blog entries also and I found those to be encouraging too. :)
 

Jazzberry

Member
just about everywhere I went with a group of deaf friends. Boston. New York City. New Orleans. Florida. Seattle. Philadelphia. Atlantic City. etc.
Great! I'm hoping that the more signs I know, the more opportunities I will see to sign. :)
 
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She really was a good sport, God bless her. Either that or its also possible that she is new to signing also -- but I would say she was still a good sport.
It has been my experience that most Deaf people are thrilled to find a hearing person who has taken the time to learn their language and are very tolerant as we stumble our way through a conversation. I suppose, too, that it's cathartic to see a hearing person struggling to communicate for a change. They're also not inclined to play teacher and are just happy to converse. Think of a conversation you might have with somebody who is learning English. You'll happily talk to them without correcting their mistakes because you can usually figure out what they're trying to say and because offering correction could come across as condescending.

Just keep at it and keep interacting and your signing will eventually become second nature.
 

Jazzberry

Member
It has been my experience that most Deaf people are thrilled to find a hearing person who has taken the time to learn their language and are very tolerant as we stumble our way through a conversation. I suppose, too, that it's cathartic to see a hearing person struggling to communicate for a change. They're also not inclined to play teacher and are just happy to converse. Think of a conversation you might have with somebody who is learning English. You'll happily talk to them without correcting their mistakes because you can usually figure out what they're trying to say and because offering correction could come across as condescending.
That makes sense. :)

I am HH, but that probably makes sense for a HH person too. ETA: As you can see, you inspired me to add my audigram numbers to my signature. :)

Just keep at it and keep interacting and your signing will eventually become second nature.
Sure do hope so.
 

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member
It has been my experience that most Deaf people are thrilled to find a hearing person who has taken the time to learn their language and are very tolerant as we stumble our way through a conversation. I suppose, too, that it's cathartic to see a hearing person struggling to communicate for a change. They're also not inclined to play teacher and are just happy to converse. Think of a conversation you might have with somebody who is learning English. You'll happily talk to them without correcting their mistakes because you can usually figure out what they're trying to say and because offering correction could come across as condescending.

Just keep at it and keep interacting and your signing will eventually become second nature.
I sign like a toddler, but anyone I've signed with has been very welcoming of my attempts. They have pleasantly taught me new signs if I ask for help or updated signs I originally learned back in the 70s as a kid.
 

Jazzberry

Member
I sign like a toddler, but anyone I've signed with has been very welcoming of my attempts. They have pleasantly taught me new signs if I ask for help or updated signs I originally learned back in the 70s as a kid.
You remember signs you learned in the '70s? :bowdown:

BTW, I just finished my 10th lesson at lifeprint.com So as of now, I know fingerspelling, numbers, and about 200 signs.

Anybody want to have a conversation about immediate family, home, school, whether someone is feeling happy or sad, and a small group of colors, animals or food ... I can do that. I think.

Guess I got about a 1000 more signs to go at least! lol!
 

rivenoak

New Member
Premium Member
:confused:
You remember signs you learned in the '70s? :bowdown:

BTW, I just finished my 10th lesson at lifeprint.com So as of now, I know fingerspelling, numbers, and about 200 signs.

Anybody want to have a conversation about immediate family, home, school, whether someone is feeling happy or sad, and a small group of colors, animals or food ... I can do that. I think.

Guess I got about a 1000 more signs to go at least! lol!
I have a really odd memory.

I can remember my childhood ph#, but moved from that house in 1980. I know my old Michigan driver's license #, but left there in 1996.

I cannot remember how to do chisanbop, despite having learned it in childhood. Chisanbop - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I couldn't tell you what my AZ driver's license # is.

:confused:

I'm probably at the same ASL level as you. I need to start LifePrint. I've looked at his site many times over the years. Just have a love-hate relationship with my laptop and keep putting online things off.
 

Daredevel7

Adrenaline Junky
Premium Member
A couple of years ago, I was in Greece and eating dinner with my friend when this deaf guy comes around and left trinkets along with a card that said something like "I am deaf and I am selling these items for so and so euros. Let me know if you want one of those items."

I wanted to see if he really was deaf and started signing with him. Turns out that he knew a little bit of ASL (I think he normally signs in whatever SL Greece uses) and we ended up chatting for a while. Learned that he and his wife makes a living by doing this and he hangs out with quite a few other deaf people in Mykonos. It was just cool that I could communicate with him.
 

Jiro

If You Know What I Mean
Premium Member
Great! I'm hoping that the more signs I know, the more opportunities I will see to sign. :)
actually.... the more you come to deaf social events, the more signs you will learn and the faster you'll learn.
 

Jazzberry

Member
actually.... the more you come to deaf social events, the more signs you will learn and the faster you'll learn.
Good idea. :) I think I'll start with the Deaf Expo this Saturday.

I know that NYC has an ASL meetup group, anybody know about any local NYC social events? I'll ask at the first meetup meeting I'll go to also.
 

LDNanna

New Member
Premium Member
Jazz, skyping or any online video service can help you meet and sign with lots of other people. I did learn that there are regional "accents" in ASL. Some folks sign a little differently depending on where they came from.

It was really nice that you had this event! I was recently in a fast food place and the server could sign, and I shop at a pet store where one of the staff is fluent in ASL. I am trying to say that it makes me sooo happy when someone knows my language. I am not great at ASL since I'm late deaf, but it is all I understand without resorting to paper and pen, since lip reading is hard. You are so cool to do what you did! Way to go.
 

FadedRose

New Member
heh, I got one :). I was at a store and couldn't find a cable I needed for my computer and the person who assisted me was just very rude to me. She couldn't understand a word I was saying and when I get ticked off I finger spell what I'm asking for using my voice as well being in general a real B***.
 
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