Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Attempt to Understand BSL

Getting lost in a deaf conversation when you are deaf is definitely not funny!. Tonight, I was at deaf meeting in Brighton, England. It was my first time that I go to such meeting. Since I came in the UK a week ago, I did not have much opportunity to meet with the local deaf. I was excited about going to the meeting tonight and I was hoping I would be able to understand them; because  I thought, it should be easy to understand BSL since English is their  main language . However, I have realized that American sign language which I use  and British sign language are very different. For instance, some ASL signs are driven from written language like “Family” where you sign both hands together with F. But in the BSL, they have different signs. Both hands are used for finger spelling in the BSL and most of it, you can not relate to spoken words;  while ASL you only use one hand and a lot of words can be related to spoken language.  

After arriving at the meeting, I met few people and I was introduced to the meeting leader who knew some American  sign language. I was able to have some chat with him. However, the presenters and most of the meeting attendees were using British sign language. So, here, I have gotten lost in a deaf meeting. The good thing is that, I was with my professor who knew ASL  who interpreted for me  because there were BSL speech interpreter. I hope I will be able to learn some BSL while I am  in England. I just learned how spell my name in BSL :).