Sign Language Saturdays No. 4

This week: a focus on Japanese Sign Language! In addition to French and American Sign Language, I have been interested in Japanese culture and (spoken) language for a while, but I never explored Japanese Sign Language, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the the Japan Society posted two videos specifically about Japanese Sign Language.

Check out the two videos #withcaptions below, courtesy of the Japan Society.

The history of the Deaf experience in Japan appears to be a hard-won one, as, according to Karen Nakamura’s¬†Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity (which I have heard very good things about but have not read):

“Up through the end of the 1970s, deaf people in Japan had few legal rights and little social recognition. They were classified as legal minors or mentally deficient. They were unable to obtain driver’s licenses, sign contracts, or write wills.”

They only recently obtained the right to drive, and even now must affix a special sticker to their car…

deaf in japan book cover

Anyway, it was great to find these informative videos on the Japan Society YouTube page. To read about some of the fun that I had at the Japan Society a while back, check out my blog post Japan Cuts/Japan Cats: An Informal Photo Essay.

And just for fun, here is the trailer #withcaptions for the movie I saw back then, Neko Samurai:

 

 

Sign Language Saturdays No. 1

Inspired by my Saturday-night ASL practice sessions and outings with Deaf Night Out, I’m starting a new feature: Sign Language Saturdays.

Every week, I’ll post a link to an interesting word or phrase in American Sign Language (ASL). These could be words or phrases I’ve learned recently or have known for a while and just think are worth sharing. And occasionally, just for fun, I may even post about a foreign sign language like New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) or French Sign Language (LSF).

A disclaimer: I’m not Deaf and am simply sharing to share knowledge and awareness of the overall awesomeness of signed languages, though I am nowhere near an expert on them. (Though If anyone is interested I could point you to Deaf experts on signed languages and linguistics, and Deaf history and culture, as well as the literature available on these topics).

So, without further ado, this week’s word in ASL is a variation of “introspect,” to analyze oneself, myself, or self, to look inside one’s own thoughts or feelings.

Check out the video below:



As we start the new year, some introspection could help us start off on the right “hand”!

French Fridays No. 1

Inspired by my Friday afternoon French conversation group at UT, I’m starting a new feature on this blog: French Fridays.

Every Friday, I’ll post a word or phrase en fran√ßais that I think is interesting. It could be a new word I encountered while attempting to study for the DALF C1, or it could be something I came across randomly or even something I’ve known for a while and just want to share.

As a disclaimer, I am not French but love the French language, and so I am simply sharing that love with my readers here.

This is something (along with its companion feature, Sign Language Saturdays) that I’ve been wanting to do for a while but was hesitating to do, as it seemed outside the scope and theme of this blog. But this blog is as much about language as it is about writing and the arts, and so, without any further hesitation, I have chosen to add this aspect to my blog as we start the new year.

So, without further ado, this week’s French word is √©poustouflant. It’s an adjective that means “mind-blowing,” “mind-boggling,” or “breathtaking.”

What a word with which to start off the year!

Bonne année !