The difference in vocabulary

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
You want to explain that? I don't see it. I communicate with the hearing people all the time and they talk to me like they talk to other people.

How's that many words you fingerspell is lost to a deaf person?

I haven't talked to a deaf person or used ASL in ages so perhaps I'm out of touch here. When I say in ages, I mean in years.

Will try...*sigh*... I do use ASL and have some friends that are deaf...there have been many times when I've been in conversation about something...and didn't know the Sign for certain words....so I fingerspelled them....got a 'blank' face there....even wrote it down, the same thing....BUT if I had of known the sign for that word, feel sure my deaf friend(s) would have understood what I was trying to say...Then again...would the word have the same meaning to a hearing person as it does to a deafie?....
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
I'm curious.

If you had to explain what you taught at the conference to someone from another country, and outside of your profession, how would you do it?

Also, it doesn't hurt to have visual aids. If you have a website or brochures describing the conference, for example, you can use them to give context to what you did.

One more point:

Not everything we do in life is fascinating to everyone else, be they hearing or deaf. :D

I was going to suggest that too, how about showing the guy some of the brochures so he can read it for himself and I was also going I bet there are some hearing people that had no idea what the OP was talking about and could find it boring . I feel the two should try to find a subject they both are interested so there will be less stress in tying to communicate to one another in ASL. I think the OP it making too much work for both of them.
Relax and have fun and keep your work at work .
 

MangaReader

Active Member
Will try...*sigh*... I do use ASL and have some friends that are deaf...there have been many times when I've been in conversation about something...and didn't know the Sign for certain words....so I fingerspelled them....got a 'blank' face there....even wrote it down, the same thing....BUT if I had of known the sign for that word, feel sure my deaf friend(s) would have understood what I was trying to say...Then again...would the word have the same meaning to a hearing person as it does to a deafie?....

You are making it sound like deaf people can't comprehend the same words as hearing people. If your deaf friend had a blank face after spelling the word out, it's obvious she/he doesn't know the word. Not every deaf person is like that. Some deaf people may have lower reading level due to their education or background. Which in this case has nothing to do with ASL and not knowing ASL.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Remember deaf people don't have full access to English like hearing people do. We cant pick it up through hearing it. We have to read it constantly and if he doesn't read the kind of vocabulary you use, he probably has no clue what they mean.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
Remember deaf people don't have full access to English like hearing people do. We cant pick it up through hearing it. We have to read it constantly and if he doesn't read the kind of vocabulary you use, he probably has no clue what they mean.

:ty:...you hit it on the nail, Shel....
 

MangaReader

Active Member
Unfortunately that's true for some deaf people. But there are a lot of us that are doing good as you can see in this forum. Couldn't tell whether some are deaf or not by their language/English.
 

goodonya

Well-Known Member
Relax and have fun and keep your work at work .

On the two way street thing. I have not had a hugely interesting career but in the course of it and dating, I cannot recall a time or even an instance where a woman I was dating showed even marginal interest in what I actually did at work. Don't try and fix it by all of a sudden caring about what he actually does just follow whatdidyousay! advice.

If it is interfering with making love then it is a real problem. He is already cutting you a huge amount of slack.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
I'm going to be blunt.
He doesn't have to work harder - YOU do.

You're complaining about how HE doesn't have as rich an English vocabulary as you do, and that his English sentence structure isn't perfect?

English is NOT his first language and only 30% of speech is even visible on the lips. Yet, despite of all the obstacles he faces, he still works hard to speechread and use YOUR language (because while it's significantly more difficult for HIM, it's EASIER for you).

By contrast, YOU know the alphabet a measly 100 words in HIS language. The signs you do know you are only able/willing or for whatever reason elect to put together not using the correct grammar for that language, but instead superimposing an entirely different language's grammar system. How eloquent exactly do you think YOU are with 100 signs haphazardly joined together ?

If anyone needs to put more effort into communicating and being understanding it's you - the one who currently has the language skills of a 1 year old and doesn't have the fluency or understanding to see all the nuances of Sign Language.

I'm sorry if this comes off as rude - but it needs to be said. You definitely need to see it and have a solid "heart to heart" with yourself about YOUR language skills (especially if you actually think using Google Translate gets you anything CLOSE to an accurate translation from one language to another ... because as someone who's partially tri-lingual, the automated translation services are often a disaster.)

P.S. The core issue isn't about simplifying or "dumbing down" your English (as a Hoh/Deaf person myself, I just find insulting.) It's about you becoming more articulate in ASL. If you think it's frustrating for you to "simplify" your English phrasing down to a few thousand words - imagine how frustrating it is for him to try to say anything at all confined to your current ASL knowledge of 100 word vocabulary with little or no grammar awareness. He's already fluent in 2 languages. You're the one who's holding up the quality of the conversation.

P.P.S. ASL is a complete language - it's used to explain complicated concepts in Sciences, Medicine, Maths, Physics, Art, Theology. WE as Hoh/Deaf people can be "blunt", but our language is one that is beautiful, eloquent, expressive and able to describe with clarity a number of things where English and Spoken language fall short. You can't see any of it yet (or maybe ever), but don't for a second believe that Signed Language is "simple" or "basic".


Greetings to all!

I have been reading over the posts in this board and this is a wonderful source of information.

Maybe someone here can give me some input or advice.

I am a hearing woman and recently starting dating a very very very wonderful man who is deaf (he can talk and read lips). When he met me, I already knew how to sign my alphabet from my childhood days but immediately starting learning to sign with his help and the many videos that are available on the internet. I still sign like a baby, but I've got about 100 words under my belt now :lol:

Here is the problem that I'm trying to figure out. I am a doctor and a writer, so my English is very rich, complex and uses a variety of vocabulary and follows a certain set of rules. I am learning that ASL has its very own set of rules/grammar syntax that are very different from English and this brings about mis-communication sometimes when I talk to the man that I am dating. I sign to him like I speak and form my sentences in English and he talks to me and forms his sentences like he signs in ASL and the translation is a bit off at times for both of us.

Any suggestions to make communication a bit easier?

Thanks!!!
 
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Jolie77

New Member
Premium Member
I'm going to be blunt.
He doesn't have to work harder - YOU do.

You're complaining about how HE doesn't have as rich an English vocabulary as you do, and that his English sentence structure isn't perfect?

English is NOT his first language and only 30% of speech is even visible on the lips. Yet, despite of all the obstacles he faces, he still works hard to speechread and use YOUR language (because while it's significantly more difficult for HIM, it's EASIER for you).

By contrast, YOU know the alphabet a measly 100 words in HIS language. The signs you do know you are only able/willing or for whatever reason elect to put together not using the correct grammar for that language, but instead superimposing an entirely different language's grammar system. How eloquent exactly do you think YOU are with 100 signs haphazardly joined together ?

If anyone needs to put more effort into communicating and being understanding it's you - the one who currently has the language skills of a 1 year old and doesn't have the fluency or understanding to see all the nuances of Sign Language.

I'm sorry if this comes off as rude - but it needs to be said you you definitely need to see it and have a solid "heart to heart" with yourself about YOUR language skills (especially if you actually think using Google Translate gets you anything CLOSE to an accurate translation from one language to another ... because as someone who's partially tri-lingual, the translations are often a disaster.)

:gpost:

There is no need to articulate every word for word. You need to be able to be flexible with your dialogue, especially when he is trying to put his effort in to understand you.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Thanks to all for the input!

So, is it your suggestion that in order for the relationship to survive that I am the one who has to be responsible for adapting to the ASL language/culture?

I guess sometimes you like to think that when two people are in a relationship that BOTH should try to meet each other halfway, but maybe for the success of the relationship...this is not one of those times. :hmm:

He's already "adapted" to YOUR language and culture. He speech reads, communicates with you in English, does "hearing culture things" with you etc.

He's already going significantly beyond "halfway" in terms of effort, skill, linguistic and cultural adaptation/flexibility, so YES it's your turn to step up to the plate and take some serious responsibility and start meeting HIM halfway. (Right now based on the data you've provided, I'd say you're doing about 10-20%)
 

AJWSmith

New Member
I found this to be an interesting thread.

Being bought up by a hearing family, having to attend a mainstream school with no support for deaf students (apart from speech therapy!) I was forced to learn English. I now realise I did this by reading lots. I couldn't follow many spoken conversations, and was never able to overhear the many more conversations that happened all the time around me. So it is through reading that I gained a good grasp of English vocab and grammar, understanding subtle and complex nuances of advanced English. And I agree that English is a rich and awesome language.

I'm now learning sign language (BSL) and in the initial stages I struggled to express complex things as I lacked the vocab & grammar skills. The additional problem for me was that you can't learn BSL from reading - it has to be done face-to-face, and with people skilled in BSL. In my first encounters with Deaf people, I was frustrated at how simple & basic our conversations were. But I knew the problem was with me, not the Deaf people or BSL. As my knowledge of sign language grammar improved, so my appreciation for the complexity and nuances of BSL has improved.

The richness of English is more in its vocabulary (my English dictionary has 270,000 words, my BSL dictionary has 2,000 signs). The richness of BSL is in its syntax & grammatical flexibility. So while it may be true that the English dictionary has words like cyan, cerulean & ultramarine while BSL dictionary only has blue, this misses the point. Two people skilled in BSL are still able to communicate all the different types of blues there are - especially as Deaf people are very visually orientated. But if I tried to communicate this with someone who didn't know any BSL grammar and only knew the sign "blue", I'd fail. The problem is not in the limitations of BSL - the problem is that the other person lacks the skill in using BSL properly.

I now have moments of frustrations with English as it lacks the precise meaning that is so easy to express in BSL. I pity people who aren't fluent in sign language as they're missing out on a rich and awesome language.
 

iscreamncake

New Member
my bf is hearing but there aren't really issues bc he knows words. though he has no grammar he knows words so ik what he is saying. though he sometimes puts random words together when he takes his time ik what he means. good for powerlifting meets where we are far across the room...=) i wish i could help him learn more ASL though, any suggestions?
i speak and readlips so theres not an issue but i want him to learn ASL
 

goodonya

Well-Known Member
The op kind of makes me smile. Even the sheer length of her handle tells me that in addition to her self description and problem that she has been a very verbal woman probably from the very beginning probably at a slightly earlier age than other girls. One of those cute kids that does not stop pointing and talking away. Now that she is all grown up all that emoting and evoking and intelligent stuff has been sending men running for the hills after a whole lot of effort on her part.

Now in one of the truly beautiful human social accidents that happen in spite of our best efforts she has met a man that can handle the action mainly because he cannot hear it. Believe me he knows exactly what is going on and is loving getting on down to the meat and potatoes with a classy smart lady. I know she wants to be valued for her intelligence(he really does) and so on but there is whole world outside her doors for that.

No malice intended at all and I am probably all wrong anyway, just the meandering thoughts of an older guy who often sees humor in quiet ways. Most of all I want to see this nice couple make it and be good for each other.
 

ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Thanks to all for the input!

So, is it your suggestion that in order for the relationship to survive that I am the one who has to be responsible for adapting to the ASL language/culture?

I guess sometimes you like to think that when two people are in a relationship that BOTH should try to meet each other halfway, but maybe for the success of the relationship...this is not one of those times. :hmm:

No........this is not one of those times.

This isn't like you met a Spanish speaking person and if you both learn a little more of each other's language you'll be fine. Those are both aural languages. He is, in the words of Phil, DEAF!!!

I remember when I was working at Mobil, a customer asked me something while I was turned away from him. I turned back "what was that?" He says slow and exaggerated "a baaaaaaaaaaag". I looked at the asshole and told him I know what a bag is. I know the English language, I just can't hear it".

Don't expect a fish to climb a tree.

His command of English is not the problem. Don't "dumb" down your English, he isn't stupid, well probably, and don't ask him to dumb down his ASL by butchering its grammar to make it easier for you to understand. Learn ASL. If you really are interested in a relationship with this man, take actual real ASL classes. Otherwise you are going to be making communication a burden that he will have to bear. We have enough communication problems already don't you think? Without having then in our most personal relationships?

FYI I don't know ASL, I'm a late deafened woman not a Deaf woman.
 

dereksbicycles

Active Member
Unfortunately that's true for some deaf people. But there are a lot of us that are doing good as you can see in this forum. Couldn't tell whether some are deaf or not by their language/English.

That's the problem I have. People are asking me whether I'm deaf or not. Sometimes I feel like my English is too rich. I don't worry about it. I know that many people understand what I'm talking about.
 

Nothingless

New Member
Ambrosia's fish quote is great.
The headaches and the frustration of trying to figure out the 30% you get from lip reading is not fun. I used to get so upset just trying to talk or listen. He didn't end up signing by accident. Miscommunication is a part of relationships and an old friend to many deaf. Your humor or personality isn't lost on him, for this to succeed you should let yourself love him for how he is, that means empathizing which is hard to do when you have different senses/ perception. Take a sign class with deaf teacher/ deaf culture class. Signing without correct grammar (do it right if you're gonna do it), but he needs to understand you're new and learning. What's he gonna do to meet you more halfway? Grow another ear? Short of that nothing can make him change his upbringing or the way he percieves language. Ugh, it's like telling a dude in a wheelchair, stand up if you love me! , and then he tries cause he does, but he falls in the dirt.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using AllDeaf App mobile app
 

Lady_Libra

New Member
thanks to all for the input!

So, is it your suggestion that in order for the relationship to survive that i am the one who has to be responsible for adapting to the asl language/culture?

I guess sometimes you like to think that when two people are in a relationship that both should try to meet each other halfway, but maybe for the success of the relationship...this is not one of those times. :hmm:

there are specific asl signs for everything you just said you can't communicate.

by this i mean it isn't even something you would fingerspell.

So even though you can't see it, obviously a lot of the communication problem is on your end.

I agree with Bottesini here. I mean, I understand what you're trying to say, HearingWomanDatingDeafMan, but the bottom line is that you need to put forth some more effort in your communication to him. I'm pretty sure everyone has made that clear to you...

One thing that has helped me have a good 'descriptive' conversation is the good ole 'if you don't know the word then act/draw it out and spell it out' method. Sometimes you're going to have to explain things to him and he's going to have to do the same for you. It's bound to happen when you get into something new.

At this point, for you, communication is such a small barrier to break. Pay for a few good apps for your phone. They aren't expensive--maybe $1 - $4. Hell, go and take an ASL class. They're super fun and you'll realize that you can express all those "rich and complex" vocabulary with incredible and natural ease. A lot of it has to do with gestures and facial expressions.

The bottom line is if you think he's worth it...you'll do everything in your power to understand his language. Don't make him work harder to accommodate to you--he's been doing that forever and a day now. :)
 

Amber22

New Member
Yep, it's definitely it's own language. You cannot translate word for word. It doesn't work like that. "What's your name?" In English is signed "your name is what?" In ASL. "The beautiful girl" in English is translated as "the girl beautiful" in Spanish. They are different languages and thus have different grammar and sentence structure.

I would enroll in some ASL classes in a school near you

Think of it like you are learning a new language, not a way to speak English with your hands :) hope this helps!!




Sent from my iPhone using AllDeaf
 

sphenix

New Member
HearingWomanDatingDeafMan -

The man you are dating has already met more than halfway with you in communication. He speaks, he lip-reads, and he participates in activities that are considered as part of the hearing culture. Go ahead and use plugs and muffs for your ears, as to ensure that you cannot hear anything at all, then try and see for yourself how you can lip-read someone else. I think that not only you will find it mentally and physically exhausting, you will also realize how impossible it is to have a high level of accuracy.

As I was born profoundly deaf and never used hearing aids or cochlear implants, I took speech therapy for ten consecutive years. I had to first memorize the teeth and tongue positions and the use of the voice for each letter, for each word, for each phrase and then each sentence. I then had to apply that to lip reading, of which I can only catch 30% at best. You can recognize only so much with the lip shapes, the tongue, and the teeth positions. Speech therapy is not, and never is, easy for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. And this is not even considering their efforts made in reading comprehension and written composition for English. I had to work my ass off over the course of several years just to gain proficiency in English.

If you think he is not doing his part, get real. The breakdown in communication between the two of you has nothing to do with the level or diversity of his vocabulary in English. It is the fact that you have limited knowledge of ASL. English is auditory and ASL is visual--two entirely different mediums of communication. It's on you to gain proficiency in ASL for the relationship to work out.

Most of us, myself included, have spent much of our childhood, adolescence and/or early adulthood being forced to/having to accommodate the other hearing persons in our lives at their own levels... just to make it easier on them, not us. I am not saying that all hearing individuals oppress the deaf. What I am saying is that if I am to have a hearing boyfriend, I do not think it would be too much for me to ask that he learn to become proficient in ASL.


Sent from my iPhone using AllDeaf. Please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors.
 
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