Why are deaf people against those with hearing learning asl?

#1
I recently began learning ASL because my baby brother was born deaf and I want to be able to interact with him on his level and encourage him to embrace himself, but whenever I bring up that I'm learning ASL to a deaf person they seem to get angry at me and act as if I shouldn't even dare try to learn ASL. Why is this? Is it a coping mechanism they use or do they just tend to think ASL belongs to them?
 
#2
:dunno2: I had not heard of that problem, but then I'm a newbie. People of any category can act like donkeys. Ignore them and move on. You will find folks with manners if you continue putting yourself out there. It won't be too long before your baby brother passes you by but also adores you and teaches you all manner of signing. Some of it will be his own invention, hehe. Always beware of brothers!

Also, there are some good songs done with ASL on youtube. For me learning songs was always a great way to learn a language.
 
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LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
#3
Do you tell them why you're learning ASL?

When Swiched at Birth was a popular show there were many hearing people showing up on AllDeaf asking for help and saying how cool they thought sign language was, etc. That was annoying because the deaf here (I'm late-deafened) knew it was just a fad for those posters.

You have a "valid" reason to learn ASL.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
#4
Most deaf people I know are thrilled to know that hearing family members want to learn ASL for communication with a deaf family member, and are very encouraging.

What is annoying is young people who love SAB TV, or people who are overly solicitous ("I want to help the deaf"), or kids who just want to be "cool." It's also annoying for a hearing person to be on the search for meeting deaf people to use as guinea pigs for deaf-related product development, unpaid ASL tutors, or ASL homework doers, instead of making genuine friendships.

I don't know if you just met the wrong people, or there was something in your demeanor that was a turn off, or it was a full moon.

Don't get discouraged.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
#5
:dunno2: I had not heard of that problem, but then I'm a newbie. People of any category can act like donkeys. Ignore them and move on. You will find folks with manners if you continue putting yourself out there. It won't be too long before your baby brother passes you by but also adores you and teaches you all manner of signing. Some of it will be his own invention, hehe. Always beware of brothers!

Also, there are some good songs done with ASL on youtube. For me learning songs was always a great way to learn a language.
If a hearing person enjoys watching and practicing songs signed in ASL, that's OK for your own enjoyment. However, I wouldn't use them as a teaching tool for ASL. Deaf people usually prefer story telling in ASL to "singing" in sign language. That's a skill all signing students should practice.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
#8
I like to know hearing people are learning ASL - provided they're actually learning ASL and understanding that it's a language, and not some odd novelty or party trick.

For some reason, people want to take ASL grammar and make it "like English" - which is about as logical as taking Mandarin and restructuring it to "be like English". ASL is different than English, they're two separate languages.

One little tip - "I want to be able to interact with him on his level" - Instead, rethink this to be that you want to communicate with him in a language he has full access to. Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Pilots, Musicians, Retail workers, Parents, Students - our "level" is just the same as anyone else... we merely thrive using a language that is visual versus spoken.

Think of it as a perfect opportunity to become Bilingual (or multilingual), that other language just happens to be a Signed one.
 
#9
By "his level" I meant his communication level. He won't be on equal ground for english, but he will be excellent at ASL and I want to be able to communicate at his level of fluency
 

DeafDucky

Well-Known Member
#10
When he has a grasp of and becomes fluent in ASL- English won't be far behind. Encourage both. I know a few Deaf who communicate primarily in ASL but their English is on par or even better than mine (as a deaf person who grew up oral, later embracing ASL).
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
#11
By "his level" I meant his communication level. He won't be on equal ground for english, but he will be excellent at ASL and I want to be able to communicate at his level of fluency
I use both daily. He can certainly be on equal ground in written English, but it's also important that he learns ASL as it's intended (meaning ASL grammar etc, as a language separate from English).

It's really a matter of early, intentional literacy. Encouraging pre-reading long before they would read, connecting signs to written word, connecting children's story books to signed stories etc. is very important.
 
#12
I use both daily. He can certainly be on equal ground in written English, but it's also important that he learns ASL as it's intended (meaning ASL grammar etc, as a language separate from English).

It's really a matter of early, intentional literacy. Encouraging pre-reading long before they would read, connecting signs to written word, connecting children's story books to signed stories etc. is very important.
If you are only fluent in written English then you ARE NOT on the same level of English aa someone with hearing who fluently speaks, hears and reads it. That's why fluency means-you can understand and fully communicate in all aspects of the language
 
#13
For some reason, people want to take ASL grammar and make it "like English" - which is about as logical as taking Mandarin and restructuring it to "be like English".
Most people learning a new language will do exactly that- learn vocabulary and substitute in the grammar of their first language. If you want to understand grammar of Mandarin talk to a Mandarin speaker in English.:dunno:
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
#14
Most people learning a new language will do exactly that- learn vocabulary and substitute in the grammar of their first language. If you want to understand grammar of Mandarin talk to a Mandarin speaker in English.:dunno:
I live in Canada, where we learn both English and French in school ... we learn proper grammar from the start and it's never an issue.
Do people learning a second language make grammar mistakes occasionally because they flip languages? Yes - but it's certainly not how it's taught, nor learned.
 
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authentic

Well-Known Member
#15
Hearing person: Hi, my name is Ana...wait let me think of next letter....oh yes I remember now, stasia.
Me: zzzzzzzz, oh sorry, my name is ______.
Hearing person: (laughing awkwardly), sorry, please spell slowly.

Me: darn, this subway train just left, have to wait another 15 mins (me thinking oh shit, I will be stuck with this hearing person for another 15 mins)
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#16
LOL...(at authentic)....went to BK the other day, ordered the Whopper special (2 for $10)...good deal!..Told the girl at the register I was deaf and she signed "OK, my mother is deaf"...not fluent, but I could understand her...anyway, she left to get my food...came back and sort of "winked" at me and smiled....Got home to find I didn't have 2 Whoppers, she gave me 1 Cheese & Bacon Burger and 1 Whopper w/cheese....2 fries and 2 Cokes...More than my $$'s worth...LOL...(maybe I should go back more often).
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
#18
I had already bitten into the burger and was chewing it up when I realized it didn't taste like a Whopper...crunchy bacon...I looked at the other burger and it was indeed a Whopper...Sooo...yeah, I went ahead and ate the Bacon Cheese Burger and it was pretty good....
 

authentic

Well-Known Member
#20
LOL...(at authentic)....went to BK the other day, ordered the Whopper special (2 for $10)...good deal!..Told the girl at the register I was deaf and she signed "OK, my mother is deaf"...not fluent, but I could understand her...anyway, she left to get my food...came back and sort of "winked" at me and smiled....Got home to find I didn't have 2 Whoppers, she gave me 1 Cheese & Bacon Burger and 1 Whopper w/cheese....2 fries and 2 Cokes...More than my $$'s worth...LOL...(maybe I should go back more often).
You used your Deaf card. Tsk tsk! lol
 

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