“Signs Are To Eyes What Words Are To Ears”

Tonight I learned Sign language. Since my sister and her friend are half-deaf, they communicate through signs. That is the cutest and most fun language I’ve ever learned so far. According to them, there’s a universal language for signs. Each sign means a certain word in all languages. However, what differs is the letters signs.

Some words and sentences I learned were: “I’m free”, “you’re snobbish”, “I want to learn”, “you’re lying” and their negative forms, as well as “to block”, “cow”, “raindeer” etc.
Did you know that “learn” has two sign moves: one means “learning with a teacher” and the other means “learning by yourself”.

Plus, these are the cutest people ever. They teach you their language through such funny mimics to accompany the signs, you’d think you’re watching a comedy show. They’re actually right next to me now talking and I can understand almost every move they’re making.

On a complete other note, we were completely worried about my sister not fitting in and having problems memorising the signs. That was seven years ago and God were we wrong at the time.
Something always compensates for the lack of something else. Her absolutely marvelous memory, intelligence and talent compensated for her lack of speech, eventhough she’s getting much better in pronunciation.

Never underestimate the power of someone just because they’re not “perfect” to you. Whatever “perfect” means to you anyway.
Learning signs tonight, for the first time in seven years, has made me realise how beautiful this language is. It beats each and every single spoken language.
Just like some words soothe your soul, to others it’s the signs that do so…

As Ken Glickman, a deaf proverbs book writer, says: “Signs are to eyes what words are to ears”!!!

Good night.
JoΓ«lle

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12 thoughts on ““Signs Are To Eyes What Words Are To Ears”

    1. I’m really glad you liked it and thanks for reading!
      I hope you find a way to learn this amazingly beautiful language I started learning tonight. It’s absolutely marvellous! Will you let me know if you start learning it? And thank you again! πŸ˜€

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  1. I’ve actually been interested in signing for a while now. I did my undergrad thesis on Trinidad and Tobago sign, and I did ASL on my own while I was waiting for the results of my research to tell me if I graduated (I got a B so, yay) But I agree with you, signing is a lot more attractive than spoken languages, although I have to admit, sometimes the convenience of spoken languages come through in the end 😁

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    1. Of course it does. Spoken languages have their advantages, but sign language amazes me. It’s just so beautiful. I honestly contemplate my sister talking to her friends sometimes. It amazes me so much!
      I’m really glad you graduated! This is amazing! Did you find ASL hard or was it easy? I think learning sign language is hard at first, but then you get used to it and it becomes easy. All it takes, just like anything else, is practice.

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  2. Mistake! But yeah it’s easier because even though TTSL is a language with meaningful patterns and signs, compared to ASL, which is less chaotic looking (?) Yea ASL was pretty easy. TTSL is way more body and facial dependant it seems.

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      1. I still have some of my research papers on it, and although I’m not sure if it’s the “intellectual property of the University of the West Indies” but I still have my paper if you want to read it.

        But what about you? I’d imagine you’re hearing, so what was the adjustment like after finding out your sister was half-deaf? Was there any adjustment to be made at all? Or am I getting to pushy?

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    1. Sorry, it won’t let me reply to the comment you left below so I’m going to repy on this one instead to make sure it gets to you.
      I’d be more than glad if you send me your papers, I’d love to read them!
      And don’t worry you’re not being pushy!
      It took a while for us to realise that my sister was getting deaf with time. Now she can talk, but her pronunciation was wrong most of the time. It’s getting better with time though. She has a sort of machine which I completely forgot its name that help her hear us and when they’re turned off she turns completely deaf. The only adjustment we had to make is to never ever make her feel like there’s something wrong with her. Till now it’s working perfectly and hopefully it will continue so. She already has health problems including a battery implant for her heart. She’s a survivor and a hero to me with all she’s been through! They told us at her school that people like her tend to be extremely violent if demeaned. Not only towards others but also towards themselves. This is very true and they are always to be talked to and you should always make sure that they’re not down. What’s good and wonderful is that they have something that compensates for their lack of hearing. In my sister’s case it’s drawing, cooking, intelligence and a fantastic memory. She’s simply amazing! I hope I didn’t talk too much!
      I can send you my email address if it’s easier for you to send your papers.

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      1. No that’s great! Honestly y’all are doing a good job. She sounds so cool though!

        And sure, I could send it to you. It’s just the phonological aspect – the sounds, if you will, of the language. I tried to compare it with ASL so hopefully it’ll be helpful to you. And if you don’t mind my ranting, since TTSL is almost endangered, and arguably had been since it’s conception, it’ll be totally cool if you want to learn it! There’s a dictionary ” A Melting Pot of Signs” and I could probably get in touch with my old supervisor if you want to know more. He’s well into the local Deaf community.

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