Turning off the Voice?

JanatheShort

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Okay, this may be my most bizarre question, ever. But, here it goes.

I want to learn ASL. Normally when I try to learn a language, I immerse myself in the language. I try to even think in that language. I am having a real problem with that, however, when it comes to ASL. I try to watch ASL, and sign, but no matter how hard I try to shut it off, there is always a little voice in my head saying the word in English.

Any advice about how to shut that off so I can truly immerse myself in ASL?
 

GrendelQ

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Okay, this may be my most bizarre question, ever. But, here it goes.

I want to learn ASL. Normally when I try to learn a language, I immerse myself in the language. I try to even think in that language. I am having a real problem with that, however, when it comes to ASL. I try to watch ASL, and sign, but no matter how hard I try to shut it off, there is always a little voice in my head saying the word in English.

Any advice about how to shut that off so I can truly immerse myself in ASL?

I think it's a pretty cool question, actually. I don't think it's something you can achieve by trying to shut off the voice, I think it is a shift that naturally occurs when you reach a certain level of fluency. You translate or interpret languages for a long time up until that wonderful point when you think and dream in the language. Sort of has to be an external immersion first and then it seeps in :) .
 

soutthpaw

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It's because you are hearing and your brain is wired to think with that little voice. I think CODA's are probably the few that can do it really easily. One reason they make some of the best interpreters. Even many Deaf who had a post lingual or late onset deafness will have that voice they think in... You can try printing documents in Fingerspelling font and reading them. also you have to think in images or pictures. For example if you see the sign "bear" you either need to have a little person signing in your head instead of that little person talking or you need to see an image of a bear. Maybe you will get some interpreters or CODA's to chime in on their experiences. That is who I would ask.
 

SimonJ

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Hello, Simon! Where have you been?

(I thought it was an attempt at trolling.) :wave:

I have had a break from here, too much I don't understand but am trying to stay in touch! :)

As to the comment, you might be right, I only saw this one :)
 

JanatheShort

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It's because you are hearing and your brain is wired to think with that little voice. I think CODA's are probably the few that can do it really easily. One reason they make some of the best interpreters. Even many Deaf who had a post lingual or late onset deafness will have that voice they think in... You can try printing documents in Fingerspelling font and reading them. also you have to think in images or pictures. For example if you see the sign "bear" you either need to have a little person signing in your head instead of that little person talking or you need to see an image of a bear. Maybe you will get some interpreters or CODA's to chime in on their experiences. That is who I would ask.

Yeah, that's what I'm kinda trying to do, it's just really really REALLY hard. I'm not a visual person at all. Oh well, I think with time maybe I will learn?
 

soutthpaw

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you may do better focusing on learning the syntatic structure of ASL and focusing on applying that when signing it will help your ASL
 

JanatheShort

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Are there any websites that help with learning syntax of ASL? I have only seen some that focus more on vocabulary...
 

Nicolette730

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When I took my first sign class My teacher was heard of hearing and only used sign as her family only signed when we where in class we where not allowed to speak we where only allowed to use sign and if we didn't know a sign we where to act out what we needed to know and she would give us the sign this was very helpful in being able to take on signing
 

Bottesini

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When I took my first sign class My teacher was heard of hearing and only used sign as her family only signed when we where in class we where not allowed to speak we where only allowed to use sign and if we didn't know a sign we where to act out what we needed to know and she would give us the sign this was very helpful in being able to take on signing

Where? Where?
 

MissLady

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It's because you are hearing and your brain is wired to think with that little voice. I think CODA's are probably the few that can do it really easily. One reason they make some of the best interpreters. Even many Deaf who had a post lingual or late onset deafness will have that voice they think in... also you have to think in images or pictures. For example if you see the sign "bear" you either need to have a little person signing in your head instead of that little person talking or you need to see an image of a bear.

I never thought about it that way, but it's probably very true. The CODAs I know are very visual people (the ones I know will notice a very slight change in your everyday appearance instantly, while hearing people maybe notice a few days later [new shoes, highlighted hair, etc.]).

That being said, I remember a study I read about in college. It was talking about how to figure out what kind of learner you were by counting to 30 in your head. Some people saw the numbers on a ticker, others heard the numbers going off. I would guess that the people who saw the numbers were visual, the people hearing that little voice more auditory learners.

Also makes sense why kids pick up sign quicker. Young children (toddlers) who haven't learned English I would imagine think in pictures, and probably don't hear the voices in their heads like adults do. Studies show before literacy became more widespread, the majority of the population thought in images (which is why ancient art was so prolific and beautiful). This is all coming together for me lol.

I also remember having a discussion with a group of Deaf guys and asking them if they heard the voice in their head. They all responded no, they thought in sign. I've found that now I am starting to think in sign too. (yay) And I dream in sign more often than in English, which is my native language. All positive for me.

I would say the only thing to shut off the voice is to stop thinking of it as word=sign. Like I said in other posts, this came for me at about Intermediate 2 level. Once I stopped thinking of it as word-word-word in English = sign-sign-sign in ASL, I developed a better flow and was able to create better concept-pictures.

Really go for the concept or what it would look like rather than thinking word-word-word. Go figurative, not literal. Just keep practicing, hopefully you'll experience the same transition sooner rather than later. Good luck! :)
 

GrayEagle

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I think it's a pretty cool question, actually. I don't think it's something you can achieve by trying to shut off the voice, I think it is a shift that naturally occurs when you reach a certain level of fluency. You translate or interpret languages for a long time up until that wonderful point when you think and dream in the language. Sort of has to be an external immersion first and then it seeps in :) .

That's what I keep telling myself, as a beginner ASL student. Keeps me from getting too frustrated w/ myself. I don't use ASL every day, which would probably help. My husband is taking classes w/ me and we need to start using what signs we do know, just to practice, when we are having a conversation. It's hard to remember to do that, as we've always related through speech and hearing (until my hearing began to drop). Last night in class, I realized *some* of what I had been learning in the series of classes last fall, and now this new series of classes we are in, has sunk into my memory. :laugh2: The teacher was going around the room to each student, asking if each one was Deaf, HOH, or hearing (there are hearing family members who also come). And I just automatically answered her without actually thinking about it. I recognized her sign and question, and just answered. She gave me this huge smile (she had taught us last fall as well) and then I realized what I had done. :cool2: Now, it doesn't happen all the time, and it can be hard to recognize finger spelling of letters and put it all together or be part of a conversation without the "lesson" framework from class, even with some beginning level vocabulary. So, I am not "there" by any means at all, but still it gave me a boost last night in class. :P So, just keep practicing and it will come, I guess. :hmm:
 

JanatheShort

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I never thought about it that way, but it's probably very true. The CODAs I know are very visual people (the ones I know will notice a very slight change in your everyday appearance instantly, while hearing people maybe notice a few days later [new shoes, highlighted hair, etc.]).

That being said, I remember a study I read about in college. It was talking about how to figure out what kind of learner you were by counting to 30 in your head. Some people saw the numbers on a ticker, others heard the numbers going off. I would guess that the people who saw the numbers were visual, the people hearing that little voice more auditory learners.

Also makes sense why kids pick up sign quicker. Young children (toddlers) who haven't learned English I would imagine think in pictures, and probably don't hear the voices in their heads like adults do. Studies show before literacy became more widespread, the majority of the population thought in images (which is why ancient art was so prolific and beautiful). This is all coming together for me lol.

I also remember having a discussion with a group of Deaf guys and asking them if they heard the voice in their head. They all responded no, they thought in sign. I've found that now I am starting to think in sign too. (yay) And I dream in sign more often than in English, which is my native language. All positive for me.

I would say the only thing to shut off the voice is to stop thinking of it as word=sign. Like I said in other posts, this came for me at about Intermediate 2 level. Once I stopped thinking of it as word-word-word in English = sign-sign-sign in ASL, I developed a better flow and was able to create better concept-pictures.

Really go for the concept or what it would look like rather than thinking word-word-word. Go figurative, not literal. Just keep practicing, hopefully you'll experience the same transition sooner rather than later. Good luck! :)

LOL I am a completely auditory learner. Actually LOOKING at things around me is really challening for me... it will be interesting to see how learning a visual language will change that.
 
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