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Hearing People — “How are you?” – “Fine, thank you.”

Deaf People — “How are you?” – “Three days ago…. Two days ago…. Yesterday…. A few minutes ago….”

A hearing person may say, “I’ll be right back,” while a Deaf person may say, “I’m going to the restroom because….” The difference between hearing and Deaf people’s thought processes is interesting and sometimes funny. But many hearing signers tend to NOT SHARE ENOUGH INFORMATION and leave out important signs, such as subjects, locations, and relationships. It is important to THINK the way sign language is used.

Passive Voice (Grammar) – One time I voiced, “This ministry is supported by people like you,” but I signed “This Ministry Support People Same-as You.” Instead of receiving a ministry offering, I was offering to give money to people. It is much better to sign, Subject, Verb, Direct Object – God Loves You, not “You are loved by God.”

Missing Signs – Every signed sentence should make sense by itself. Sign everything that you mean. Your thoughts and voice should not say something that is not signed. Test: Video yourself signing. Wait one week. Play the video with no voice. Do your signs make sense?

Topic / Comment – The old advice to public speakers is… Tell them what you will tell them. Then tell them. Then tell them what you told them. Always keep the topic of conversation clear. Show and sign clearly when the main character or topic changes.

Sign Slowly – A good rule is to never sign faster than 80% of your signing ability. Signing faster causes sloppy signs, loss of information, and general signing confusion. Signing fast does not mean signing well.

Always sign ALL important information! TMI – Not!

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