Friday, February 14, 2014

Learning a new language

I started a new course this week, one with an exam at the end and recognised qualification.  I think learning to drive was the last time I learnt something that was then tested!


I’m learning BSL – British Sign Language  (other English speaking countries have their own distinct sign language)


including finger spelling

strange contradiction I just noticed – to indicate  ‘finger spelling’ you use a sign and so say ‘BSL’ (which is largely made up of signs) you finger spell it.

There are 12 of us in the class.  From next week we are not allowed to use our voice during class and must sign everything (or write it on the board). So far we know the alphabet and a few phrases such as asking names and boy / man, girl / woman, dog, tree, bridge, stand, bite.  Which does not lead to a great deal of useful conversation.  It’s all about practice and feeling confident with signing and reading signs.

I’ve been interested in signing languages for a long time but never  had the time or opportunity to learn before.  It appeals to me much more than learning any other language.

Anyone else know a sign language?


alexa said...

Apart from smiling a lot and miming, I don't, Helens! Wishing you every success. This sounds such a worthwhile thing to do. That must be a lovely quiet classroom!

Sian said...

I don't, but I have a friend who started learning years ago, then got a job working for a deaf charity, then went back (to Edinburgh) to retrain as a therapist and now has a brilliant job working out of one of the hospitals here.

Every success wishes from me too

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

This is so cool, Helena. I've always been fascinated by sign-language, and I had no idea that it would be different in the UK than it is here. I suppose it makes sense though, and I smiled to myself thinking of you signing in a British accent. ;o) I hope you'll share more about your progress as the class continues.

Cheri said...

When I was doing scrapbooking as a business, I learned a few basic signs (hello, thank you) because there was a group of deaf scrappers at a crop I attended regularly. Otherwise, I haven't learned, but would love to!

Miriam said...

What a great thing for you to do. Wishing you huge success.

Missus Wookie said...

There are BSL song videos by KAOS (who signed/sang God Save the Queen at the Olympic's Opening Ceremony) that are good to practice with. Princess learned for several years.

I learned some ASL and then was miffed to discover that in the UK I had to relearn, I've learned to finger spell and some signs.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Our grandsons used sign language as babies - and our families still us it from time to time - good to keep in practice.

debs14 said...

My niece takes her two children to 'sing and sign' classes which teach them from age 2. They love it! It's a lovely skill to have.

Prairie Jill said...

Oh, how exciting! I've always wanted to learn to sign. Good luck with your class!

Jimjams said...

I did a taster class once - where we were shown the basics over 2 hours. A great skill to have - good luck!

Kirsty.A said...

Well done you. I can sign 'Jingle Bells' in Makaton!