Sunday, March 8, 2009

ASLSJ

I needed to write ASL down on paper.  I'm a computer programmer, and I know well that reading on the screen for any duration strains my eyes.  Funny how that doesn't bother me when I'm programming... the words are read from my mind!  I found out that trying to watch "non-poetry quality" ASL made me feel about same way.

My website-in-progress, www.ASLSJ.com, is about my form of written American Sign Language - which was made only by me, for me, and without any actual Deaf person's involvement.  Not that I didn't want help.  Its just the way it turned out.


Since the only **REAL** way to capture ASL is to put it on video, I call my coding system Sign Jotting.  I felt this word, jotting, more accurately described my way of - for lack of a better similie - sounding out sign words.  Jotting means "to write down briefly or hastily."

This is just what I was trying to do.  I had ASL videos which had no meaning to me, and yet I wanted to write down how the signs were made so I could ask someone in the ASL group later.  Being that I learn computer language and spacial patterns quickly, I was able to note the commonalities in how many of the signs were made.  Even that was only possible because I related it back to the ASL alphabet I learned when I was a kid.

I've gathered many patterns and made many trade-offs in creating an English keyboard-typeable code for ASL. Lessons, workbooks, entertainment books, and much more will need to be available if other people would learn ASL word spelling, or ASL orthography. I'm hoping this website will elicit the eyes of those whose language I have been trying to learn - and possibly their involvement.

T. Stone

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