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List – a simple series of words, concepts, people, or things

The Bible is full of lists. There are lists of good qualities, sins, people and more. Interpreters must not simply sign words, but must make these lists visually clear. But how? I’m glad you asked!

Vertical Lists (Hands) – Separate concepts by “counting” on the fingers of the non-dominate hand. If you know the number of items in the list, hold out that many fingers (if not, use a “5” hand). Start by touching the top finger (thumb or index finger) with the dominant index finger. Sign the concept/person/thing. Then repeat, touching each lower finger in succession.

Vertical Lists (Space) – Separate concepts from top to bottom. Use bent flat hands (fingertips facing each other) to show the first high location (or sign the number “one” high in your signing space), then sign the concept. Place each of the next concepts lower than the previous one. If using numbers, continue to use numbers for each concept (moving slightly down each time). Note: These can also start from the bottom and list upward, especially when the list is of increasing importance. This would be similar to a “countdown” to the most important (number one).

Horizontal Lists (Space) – Separate concepts left to right. Place the first concept in front of you and to your left. For each following concept, shift your body and the sign placement slightly to the right. The number of concepts presented is only limited by the amount of remaining space in front of you. For longer lists, when the space is exhausted, begin again on the left for a second “line” of points.

Helpful Hints:

  1. Before moving to the next concept, review by referencing the previous location. Pause slightly, then show the next concept.
  2. As the speaker references a previous point or concept, refer to the location you used for that point.

    Any number of lists can be created this way, even in the same sermon or lesson. Be creative. Experiment. Watch the eyes of the Deaf to confirm you are signing clearly. You can do lists! – jb

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