Learning sign language? (Sorry for another new thread by me)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Sheep Man, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. After seeing Microbass's thread about learning Swedish, I'm reminded of something I saw a few weeks ago while having lunch with my girlfriend.

    About 5 minutes after we sat down, a couple came in and sat at the table next to us, and throughout their entire meal, they never spoke a word to each other. I thought this was a little odd, but didn't think too much about it since I didn't want to be a jerk and talk about them, since I had no idea what was going on between the two. My girlfriend, on the other hand, said to me, "Isn't that weird? They're not saying anything to each other! They shouldn't be out together if they're not going to talk to each other, don't you think?"

    I thought that was really rude of her, but I've realized that she's quite a callous person, so I just let it be because the last thing I wanted was for her to get pissy and become what she had just said about the other couple: an angry woman who shouldn't be out with her boyfriend if she's not going to talk to him.

    Anyway, when I was paying the check I saw that they were signing to one another, and all of a sudden it made sense. Then I had a little introspective moment and realized that I only speak English fluently, my mandarin and cantonese are both quite poor, although I can get by in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai quite well, but any rural parts of China would probably leave me confused.

    And now, since I only need to take 2 more classes next semester, I thought that it would be nice to learn a new language. I thought about Japanese, so I can understand my mother's side of the family, but I'd also like to learn some basic sign language, because you never know when it might come in handy.

    Does anybody here know of any places where I can learn sign language in the LA area? Any websites, phone numbers, or other contact information would be greatly appreciated.

    Yes, I know I can be quite verbose at times, I'm sorry.
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    From what I've gathered there are different (like "oral" languages) sign languages, too. I've heard about ASL (American Sign Language), but I'm not sure what kind of sign language is spoken in Europe or the Middle/Far East.

    Btw, don't let it fool you, signlanguage is as complicated and as rich as any other language. The study of children learning signlanguage has delivered some substantial proof for the -blueprint of grammar- theory, developed by Noam Chomsky :)
  3. ASL, American Sign Language, is the standard for the US. I know there is another specific to Quebec and different ones for other areas. ASL is a well developed complete language, even including accents! Just as with oral languages, you may not develop complete fluency as an adult. There should be several schools in the LA area. I am sure you could find something at UCLA. The Linguistics Dept. there has done lots of research on ASL. Good luck.
  4. Yeah, I know that sign language is a full language, and I don't expect to gain complete fluency, but it would be nice if I could one day give directions to a mute (is that not PC? I don't know.) or tell them how much something costs in a store.

    Even though I'm a Trojan, I suppose I can look into what UCLA has to offer... :crying:
  5. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    I know this is an old thread, but hopefully you'll see this.

    If you're still interested in learning some basic sign language, the best place to look would be to check around local colleges/universities. Community colleges usually offer them. Sometimes classes are offered at churches with deaf ministries, and by interpetting agencies.

    Sign language is not as complicated to learn as it seems, if you get proper practice. I started learning towards the end of last summer, and I'm pretty confident in what I know today. Practice is the key. Not just with learning the signs, but mastering your receptive skills. I find it very rewarding.