Yesterday and today, I spent the entire day using JSL. I don’t think I can even remember when last I did that, if I ever did.
As part of my job, I have to work for a while with a young man (Deaf, of course) who, with his JCS-JSL-BSL-ASL arsenal, is multilingual in his own right. To be honest, I was nervous and apprehensive leading up to yesterday, because I’m not very confident in my JSL. But, I’m glad for this chance. I have learnt a few words, and I do believe I’m a bit more comfortable with signing JSL.
Today, in the midst of spending an hour with my Japanese sensei and with the memory of my new friend’s telling me my signing is good still fresh in my mind, I’ve come to realise (anew?): I am multilingual.
I do not have perfect fluency. I often have to ask what a particular word means. I frequently have to ask for the speaker/signer to repeat. I even have to stop and think (often for long, embarrassing seconds) to figure out what to say.
But I can have conversation. And that counts for something.
(And as I type this blog post, I’m having an online conversation with my friend Jeff in Japanese. ありがとう、和君。)