Learning new languages can be an overwhelming task. This is particularly true when you are trying to learn spoken languages for instance German, Spanish or French. For you to learn such languages you not only have to know the words, but you will also want to know the dialect and inflection of the languages. This is however, not the case when you are attempting to learn sign language. Here is how to Learn Sign Language!
|SEE ALSO: Types of Learning Disabilities|
Learning sign language is as simple as learning how to say different words in a certain language using the hands. Although it takes practice to fully learn how to do it, doing so has certain advantages that will last a lifetime.
The best way to learn sign language is to learn a word at a time.
The first step that someone trying to learn sign language ought to do is to find out how to finger spell. Although this is not a common practice, it can greatly assist you when you don’t know it all. Finger spelling is a good way as well when it comes to helping you communicate ideas and thought in which a sign might not be readily available. Most people are rather familiar with signing using alphabetical letters and it’s a very useful resource when you’re learning the language.
The next step you will have to learn are some basic signs for various words. Most words have specific signs and most of them are really easy to connect with the word.
- One good example of such would be the word ‘think’. For you to say ‘think’ in sign language, the index finger makes a small circle on the forehead.
- Another good example is the word ‘right’, where you have to finger spell letter R and move the hand towards the right side.
Not all words are as easily associated as the given examples but this simply gives you an idea of what you should be expecting. Once you’re familiar with most of the words you will have to learn how to well communicate them.
Sign language isn’t a word for word language. Not every word is signed in the sentence so as to communicate the thought to the listeners. What you would however do, is to identify the major points of a sentence and sign them to pass your point across.
This can certainly take practice, and the ideal way to practice is to start signing immediately. Despite the fact that this may seem like an awesome task to beginners, most people who use sign language are simply happy that you’re taking the initiative to want to learn.
They will probably fill the gaps and assist you where necessary. By learning the language one word at a time, you will not only be able to retain it but to do it easily in a short time.
There is also American Sign Language, or ASL. ASL is not simply spelling words with signals. American Sign Language is a unique language, which is complete with its grammatical rules and sentence structure (syntax). It is entirely as subtle, precise, and versatile as English.
ASL has been in U.S.A for as long as there have been people who are deaf. The first formal teaching began 1820s at the first school for deaf people in the U.S. Students from the school afterward spread the use of American Sign Language to all parts of Canada and U.S.
Nowadays, most deaf people in Canada and U.S. speak ASL. It is as well spoken by friends, family members, employees, co-workers, merchants, employers and others who often interact with the deaf. Experts say that American Sign Language is the third most-spoken language in U.S.
Why Do We Have to Learn Sign Language?
Perhaps it may be because you want to learn American Sign Language so that you can communicate with a friend or a family member who is deaf or maybe you just want to communicate with those who are deaf in general. It may also be because you have encountered or have worked with deaf people or you may be a police officer, a firefighter who would like to communicate with those who are deaf in emergencies.
It may be because you want to advance in your profession as well, by being able to communicate in sign language.
For whatsoever reason, most people find it easy to learn sign language fast since it’s not expensive or difficult to learn such a unique way of communication. It is really exciting!
You can clearly communicate with sign language at distances. Undersea divers actually use sign language while communicating with one another, in a surroundings where speaking is usually impossible.
A small microphone can get and eavesdrop on spoken conversations, even when whispered. However microphones are useless at recording any sign language.
Yes, it’s actually true that a video pickup can record it, though the recording would be continuous and in well positioned line of sight. A video camera however, would not be useful if the person speaking the sign language had his back behind the camera or was behind something.
The Importance of Sign Language
Sign language is used and expressed in various ways. Facial expressions are used as well to communicate ideas or thoughts. The language is turning out to be more popular and there are certainly lots of reasons why we should learn sign language online or offline.
- Communicate with the deaf
Among the reasons is to have good communication with those who are deaf. If you don’t understand the language, you won’t be able to communicate with such people. They are an important part of the world and if you can’t communicate with them, you’re not doing any justice to the people.
- Sign of early communication
Signs can be expressed using the face as well, body and head movement as a sign of early communication. Once you learn the basic movements, you can continue with the advanced movements.
- Development of different codes of languages
Different codes of languages have now been developed for instance Signed English and Language (SEL). These languages ought not to be confused with languages. Oral signed code of oral language is just a signed form of the language.
- People understand the deaf
We can trace sign language’s history back in the 2nd century, stipulated for commercial transactions purpose. Those people who were deaf used to hold display signatures back then. The language constantly improved and with time people could understand and communicate with the deaf. Currently, most people understand those who are deaf and have developed a logical understanding of the sign language.
Signs are a common way of passing a message across to somebody when you are sad or happy. You’ll be able to express yourself in a recognized way when you are in a wedding or when mourning.
- The deaf can socialize
Signs have helped most people in the world. People have found it easy to socialize and communicate. The deaf too have been gotten married to each other regardless of their disability.
- Society has come up with school for disabled
The society had to come up with schools for the disabled individuals so that they are taught by the use of Braille.
However, many people have discriminated the deaf people since they are disabled. In some regions, such people don’t even enjoy basic human rights. Such discrimination has led to psychological problems with these disabled people and has eventually lost their trust on their talents in the society.
The societies showing the people who are deaf how to learn sign language fast and socialize so as to become part of the society is moving forward really quick.
If there is someone in your neighborhood or in your family who is deaf, perhaps you may be saying to yourself ‘I want to learn sign language.’ Well, this is the time! Make sure you start learning American Sign Language or general sign language.
You ought to communicate with the person and make him feel at ease. This will not only assist your family and the society to look at that person positively but will give him confidence to move up in life as well. You can easily find online courses to teach you sign language in just a few weeks. You can as well find local schools teaching sign language. Perhaps you may be asking yourself ‘how long does it take to learn sign language?’ or you may be eager to know how to learn American Sign Language. Keep in mind that it takes very little time to learn sign language and you can learn it online or offline.