This past weekend I was talking with my family about the different dialects of Sign Language. It is a common misconception that Sign Language is universal while the gestural components of Sign Language appear to be the same to onlookers it is quite the contrary. Every country has their own dialects of Sign Language. Cat in American Sign Language is different than cat in British Sign Language(refer to the pictures below for the differential).
While talking about different dialects I came across the website Life and Deaf this website isBritish Sign Language based which is a different dialect from ASL (American Sign Language).
I thought it would be interesting to include a poem that I found which describes what it feels like to be deaf from a child’s perspective. Not only does this website have deaf poetry, but they have a world renowned video featuring their Deaf Poetry Slam. I would encourage you to check out the website. Reading many of those poems took my breath away; particularly this one. Enjoy.
By: Pedro, Thomas Tallis secondary school, Year 8
I WHEN GO HOME
MUM AND DAD SAY “HEARING AIDS ON”.
I DON’T LIKE HEARING AIDS
PEOPLE TALK, TALK, TALK.
I HAVE A HEADACHE LIKE BANGING IN
LIKE THE PIPS AT SCHOOL,
WHEN HEARING AIDS OFF I FEEL
PEACEFUL, CALM AND RELAXED.
HEARING AIDS ANNOY ME
FEEL WET AND STICKY LIKE A SNAIL WHEN
I PLAY FOOTBALL.
I LIKE SIGN AND SPEAK
SIGN LOOK LIKE BEAUTIFUL DANCE
I LIKE SIGN AND SPEAK.
I LIKE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
WHEN SLOWLY, SLOWLY, SLOWLY I UNDERSTAND.
I DON’T LIKE FAST SPEAKING
I DON’T UNDERSTAND
SOUNDS LIKE MIXED UP WORDS,
LIKE THE ALPHABET.
I LIKE SIGNING, I CAN SEE THE WORDS.