(8:02) English summary: Hello. Recently someone I worked in Boston, MA during the mid-1970′s contacted me. In Boston, as a recent Gallaudet graduate, I worked at the Northeastern University at Dr. Harlan Lane’s newly-established ASL research lab with people like Marie Philip, Dr. Francois Grosjean and naturally, Dr. Lane, himself. While in Boston, I also worked with other researchers such as Dr. Ronnie Wilbur (currently at Purdue University in Indiana) and Dr. Judy Kegl (I believe, now at University of Southern Maine).

It was Ronnie Wilbur who contacted me not long ago, and shared a few very old videos that she found, which was nostaglic. I will share a couple parts which shows myself and Marie Philip singing songs, believe it or not. Will share a few words after I show the clips.

Clip 1: except from video with Marie Philip and Ella Mae Lentz “We Like Men” song created by Eric Malzkuhn for his original musical “Moments Preserved” (1960′s)
Clip 2: Ella Mae Lentz and Marie Philip “Three Blind Mice” inspired by the National Theatre of the Deaf production “My Third Eye” (early 1970′s)

Done with laughing with disbelief? Now, lets’ do a bit of analysis.

Yes, those clips show us signing in strong English word order, and rhythm being very important. However, we could see some ASL influences, especially in the sign vocabulary choices. For examples:

• use of classifiers to describe the size and thickness of a steak, fancy hats, fancy shoes and long-haired cats
• to sign “menu”, a sign phrase was used (2h)altEAT+LIST
• “Don’t look!” translated to !WAVE-NO! LOOK-AT-me (inflection verb modified for “to me”)
• part in 3 Blind Mice “Have you seen such a thing in life..?” – “Have” used with sign “FINISH”, “such a” used with sign “THAT-ONE”. Also, yes-no question facial expression was superimposed even tho quite slightly.

Those clips showed examples of how performance pieces in ASL exhibited attempts to apply ASL principles in translations especially during that decade, when the Deaf Resurgence was only recently started after scientific discoveries that ASL is an actually a language with its own phonology, syntax, etc. but we didn’t yet know enough how to identify the ASL principles. It was the time of early ASL research.

As a result, translations were “incomplete.”

Nowadays, there’s a lot of differences. Better in many ways. For me, the best is seeing ORIGINAL ASL songs/poems. Second best would be GOOD ASL TRANSLATIONS of English text.

I continue to work hard at how best and appropriately translate from English to ASL (and vice versa) as well as better strategies to create original ASL works. I expect you all to do the same, not to stop reaching for the best in ASL, and to continue raising the bar for ASL presentations.

Interesting article that we found while researching for a grammar note in the upcoming publication of Signing Naturally Units 7-12 that deals with errors in ASL used by ASL students noticed by us while teaching our classes.

http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/iej/articles/v1n1/bhela/bhela.pdf

(7:24) This video is in response to Joey Baer’s video “Exclusive Video: ASL in Classrooms” which included a short clip of me from 1977 in Silent Perspectives. It triggered some memories from those days – the early days of discovering ASL and sharing it….and my journey into Deafhood for a broader perspective of our Deaf life, history, culture, journey towards an appropriate framework.

“Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But the best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will all say we have done it ourselves.”

Lao Tzu, 604 B.C.

Another cool wise commentary on what good leadership is about, especially for an oppressed group like Deaf people.

Reflections:
1) What would “Going to Deaf people” mean? “Live with them”? Does that mean seeing first handed everyday their glories as well as their misery?
2) “Learn from Deaf people” and “Love Deaf people” – meaning what? Seeing them as true equals? And caring about them as you care about yourself and your own? What does that mean in terms of how we express our thoughts and ideas and in which language(s)?
3) “Start with what Deaf people know” and “Build with what they have”? What do Deaf people uniquely know? What do they have to build with? Knowledge of being Deaf, what it’s like to use ASL 24/7, our networking expertise, our storytelling, arts, high expertise on eyeing? Build what? curriculums? Programs? Foundations to sustain our future generations? Art projects for the whole world to learn and enjoy from?
4) Who will be the “best of leaders”? We will know when the WHOLE Deaf community says “WE ALL HAVE DONE IT TOGETHER!”. Right?

YOur thoughts?

What is healthy “diversity” in the Deaf community? Any oppression towards the Deaf community where organic DeafMutes and Signed Languages are born creates not diversity but diversions creating divisions among Deaf people. What are we to do about that?

A quote by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” How does this apply to the recent tension in Deaf B/Vlogsphere?

Ella shares her recent translation of this poem by Amos G. Draper, Class of 1872, that was published in the Buff and Blue in 1907. That year is significant because the poem appears to reflect the havoc on the Deaf world by Oralism following the infamous 1880 Milan Conference and the harbor Gallaudet was to Deaf people. Nowadays, the poem is more significant with the increasing awareness of realities of neo-Oralism, especially its tentacles on Gallaudet.

Ella discusses the differences between Oralism/oralists and speaking/speech skills and explains why we need to work hard to rid of Oralism and the audism that is the key attitude behind Oralism. But to rid of speech skills/speaking…or hearing people…is well…ridiculous. They are NOT the problem.

Congratulating the B.C. Deaf community and the ICED 2010 Planning committee for coming up with such inspiring document, New Era – a Statement of Principle and an Accord for the Future, Ella then goes on to critically examine AGBell’s response found in their 7/23/10 Update. She quotes Veditz from his precious 1913 film “The Preservation of Sign Language.”

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