Friday, September 28, 2012

From Class Today...

The fall session of classes at Hana House are in full swing!  Of course this also means there are many good questions coming up and I don't always have the time/resources on hand to take care of them in class.

One of the questions today was about where to look for words which are not covered in the Baby Signing Time series but are still be helpful to know.  Since we are using American Sign Language (ASL) there are many resources available to us!

One favorite link:  Signing Savvy
While this is a membership site (you can pay for full access) it also has a number of features that you can use for free.  One of the best is an ASL video dictionary.  You can search for a word or browse through their list.  I believe there is a limit of 5 signs a day for the "free" search.
Today some of the "extra" words that people asked about included:
Coffee - movement like a handheld coffee grinder
Hospital / Clinic - fingerspell "h" and make the sign of a cross - like a red cross patch on your arm
Doctor - fingers move like taking a pulse - another variation is fingerspell "d" taking the pulse
Medicine - like you are smashing a pill in your hand

★ Please note that like any spoken language there is more than one way to "say" the same word.  Some of the signs may not be the exact same one that is used in Signing Time.  That does not mean that one is "right" and the other "wrong" - they are simply "different"!

The questions about signs for visiting the doctor lead to an interesting discussion of how in English we use "medicine" as a general term for a variety of medicines (pills, drops, lotions etc.) but in Japanese くすり is usually taken to mean the kind you swallow - which is incidentally seemingly more often in powder form in Japan than in the US.

Yes, we gather in class to learn to communicate with our children through signing but we also learn a lot of other things along the way!

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