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Many hearing people become confused when learning ASL, as it is a visual, non-voiced language. Recently I did an experiment, teaching ASL grammar by having hearing people voice a Deaf person’s signs. Try this experiment below. Voice ONLY the words you see. Do not interpret. Do not add words. Try to phrase the words so they make sense. Add pauses and inflection. Try it!

now my home home alone alone because me wife died thirteen year ago i children 3 all marry go away but my daughter live near their walk simple walk their walk me walk there there but my two son move to ohio both their marry there far seven hours drive back and forth fine, okay i contact on vp talk with them sometime but i often go my daughter house walk walk back walk there see my grandchildren three enjoy fellowship you and me together go swim pool enjoy go back home isolate but i never lonely no god with me always but every week i go swm do print help come back home 30 minutes drive drive back enjoy but i true joy heart enjoy some time i visit drive to pennsylvania my brother sister there once a year often go go enjoy so come back home here still often visit my daughter enjoy see meet deaf fellowship go to church fellowship enjoy but alone fine no problem thank god me

Did you notice the difference between this transcribed ASL story and English? What was missing? Signs need facial grammar, placement, timing, etc. to make sense visually. Now, practice signing this story with correct placement and visual methods. Next, transcribe a video of an ASL Deaf story. View the story again. Practice signing it yourself using your transcription. You may be surprised at this helpful experiment. Sign as a Deaf person. Babies learn by imitation. So can you! Let me know your experience! – To contact Jon, click here.

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