"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

Need to change text size? Click one of these:
Small Medium Large Larger Largest

Want to read this post later? Send it to your Kindle reader:

Send to Kindle

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Study of "Dialect" with Sign Language, Portman AND Depp Signing

One of these is a more relaxed form of signing (despite a few directional inconsistencies with a sign or two and a couple wrong in both cases) and one is more "technical" and using "total communication", much like an interpreter. Can you tell the difference? I like to compare this to "dialects", "vernacular" or "accents" when describing the difference to "hearing" people learning Sign Language. I love the different styles presented here. These are variations of Sign Language. I should have pointed the distinctions out more clearly when I first posted this.

I would also like to point out how I love the intensity of Johnny Depp's gaze. So often, hearing people are unnerved by the intense gaze of deaf or hearing impaired person. We "hear" and communicate with our eyes. We are not being rude by what others deem as "staring". We are merely using all our sight to see everything you are saying. We look at your facial expressions to follow the "tone" of what you are saying, similar to hearing people use the tone of voice. We clue into the "tone of the face". Your body language speaks volumes, as well. Next time you feel you are being scrutinized, change that perception and realize maybe the person has a hearing impairment or is deaf. Don't feel uncomfortable, but instead, think of it as someone just wanting to understand what you are communicating. You may just discover they are friendly and want to "see" what you are saying.



  1. I am an ASL student, and I completely understand what you are saying. It took me a long time to make the distinction with staring and reading a face. and even longer to use my face to help say what I mean. I think it is great that you have let people know the difference. This will help hearing people nit be put off by the "stare" which is not meant to be rude, as they mostly take it as.


    1. Thank you, Shelly. I wish you much success with your ASL study! Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. :-)