1. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Random Sign Language Question

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Iain Aschendale, May 2, 2020.

    A question for our hearing-impaired folks that I'd put in research but it's honestly just random curiosity.

    I was watching the news the other night and the Prime Minister was giving a press conference. He and everyone in view were wearing a variety of cloth or surgical masks due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat, but the sign language interpreter was wearing a sort of a clear facial shield that didn't obscure their lips. Their hands were in full motion, but the clear mask made it readily apparent that the movement of their lips was important to the interpretation as well. I've seen this before, but I guess I always assumed it was a semi-conscious movement of the mouth and not integral to the interpretation. I know that various spoken languages have their own sign language equivalents and that at least ASL differs from spoken American English in some aspects of grammar and structure, but how important is the view of the mouth to understanding Sign?

    Tagging @Link the Writer and @Cdn Writer as you are the two members who I recall have discussed your hearing impairment on the forum, but anyone knowledgeable is welcome to chime in.
     
  2. Dogberry's Watch

    Dogberry's Watch Swaggin like a Baggins Contributor

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    I'm not officially hearing impaired, although my family is full of incredibly hard of hearing people, but one of my best friends learned ASL, and he said that facial expressions are just as important as the actual sign language. Eyes are expressive, certainly, but if you can't see someone's mouth, there's a big part of the conversation missing. I imagine there are people who also can read lips in the audience, so there's that, too.
     
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  3. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I think it's for the lip readers as well as the signers.
     
  4. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Xoic is correct, it’s for lip readers and signers. Notice how when someone signs, they still move their mouths or gesture toward their mouths.

    Also, for me, even though I can hear to an extent, I do better when I’m able to see someone’s face and watch their lips so I can match the movement with the words.

    Plus, it’s handy to move your lips (in that you’re literally talking) when you’re engaged with a deaf person and someone who can hear so all can be engaged.
     
  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I've read somewhere that even 'normally' hearing people hear better when they can see a person's mouth. This means that in movies, if they cut camera away from the speaker the actor (probably in the overdub) needs to enunciate more carefully and maybe a little slower or risks not being understood as well.
     
  6. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Now this, I had no clue. Would explain why people who speak off-scream seem to speak a bit slower and louder.
     
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  7. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    :superlaugh:
     
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  8. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Oh god :p
     
  9. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    Speaking off-scream. It's like, you're still screaming, but start talking at the same time. A transitional phase.
     

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