Haha! Is Sign Language the same as English?

This comic made me laugh. 🙂

My fave comic strip!

Sign Languages have the advantage of space; people use their bodies to make pictures in a way that the linear way spoken languages work cannot allow. (And, of course, it has (other) grammatical differences, but that’s not the point of this comic strip.) What a cool way to express that concept!

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5 Responses to Haha! Is Sign Language the same as English?

  1. read.robin says:

    That is cool. Does JSL look different in your head than English? Does Japanese?

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    • kenliano says:

      Yup; they both do. That’s why I can’t sign and talk at the same time for long; the two languages don’t mesh well together, especially when the sentences get too long. And oh, Japanese. These two languages continue to teach me that when you try to formulate a sentence in English and then translate it in your brain, it’s bound to cause problems. My JSL teacher used to say, “Think about the concepts you want to express, not the words.” Very important!

      But to more directly answer your question, it’s hard to express the brain-images I have of the three different languages. The JSL idea of body-pictures works well, though, but it’s not the full picture. The general structure is important, too, in my brain-images, as well as the culture that’s associated with the languages. And we could have entire blog entries devoted to various aspects of each of those.

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  2. read.robin says:

    I want a blog entry comparing the brain-images of English and JSL. Does JSL have connotations to its words, like English does? Or is meaning only implied from context? Do people sign original poems and stories?

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    • kenliano says:

      Haha, I’ll think about it and see if I can come up with something concrete to express here.

      Yes, there are signs with connotative meanings. Haha, all the examples I can think of are dirty, but once, someone told me he was “hungry”, and wished there were a girl to help him get over his “hunger”.

      Yes, there are sign poems! Remember the one I posted here in the blog post “Language Arts”? I should probably try to translate that…

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  3. read.robin says:

    I’ll have to look back at that entry, but I do remember it. You should translate! And make subtitles ^_^

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