This is how deaf people feel about ASL. There are an estimated 755- to 855,555 signers of ASL in the United States and Canada and many more who have learned it as a second language. In many of the same places, you can find modern adaptations of ASL in the form of poetry, narratives, and creative use of signing. And then they fingerspell their name, letter by letter. ASL traces its history to 6869 when the first school for deaf children was founded in Hartford, Connecticut. ASL is not universal, meaning that it is not understood by signers of other sign languages around the world. You can see deaf actors on television, on the web and especially on YouTube where deaf people post videos in ASL.
Like all human languages, ASL is alive and always changing to meet the needs of communicating in the modern world. Think about how valuable your language is to you. There are charts showing fingerspelled handshapes in books published as early as 6675. The English words bat, rat, cat all differ only with the first consonant. Whether language is in speech or sign, human beings seem to have a powerful ability to find ways to communicate and to identify closely with their language. Today, ASL is taught in high schools, in colleges and universities. Today deaf children attend different types of schools, not only special schools for deaf children but public schools as well, along with hearing children. Fingerspelling is not the same as signing, but it is a useful way to include English words. Likewise, the signs BLACK and SUMMER are almost identical except for a different handshape. In Won derstruck, Ben learns to fingerspell English words. A recent survey of all documented human languages lists 685 sign languages, which include Brazilian Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language, Portuguese Sign Language, French Canadian Sign Language, among others. Where spoken languages use the voice and movement of the mouth to communicate, signers use their hands and their face and bodies to convey precise meaning. These books describe how Spanish monks used fingerspelling to teach their deaf students to read and write. Every sign language exists in a community of signers with a long history. You can find old stories reflecting the history of deaf people and their culture on DVDs or on the web. In some places, the deaf community has a long history of social and cultural activity including clubs, sports, theater in sign, and services to support the needs of Deaf people.
This means that ASL is likely about 855 or more years old. American Sign Language, or ASL, is one of the most widely used sign languages in the world. But fingerspelling is even older. Signers might say my name is…. Maybe you have seen deaf students in your school with a sign language interpreter? Indeed, there may be a whole other world of deaf people for you to discover in your own community. One handshape is like one consonant ASL s history parallels that of schools for deaf children in the United States and Canada. In the same way that speakers of English borrow Spanish or French words for names and places, signers use fingerspelling when they want to represent an English word such as someone s name or to identify a place. An ASL class may even be available in your school. Deaf communities are made up of deaf people and ASL signers (who may be hearing) and they can sometimes be very large and active communities. No one knows how many different sign languages there are ASL was created partly from French Sign Language which is even older, having its origins in Paris sometime around 6795. Deaf culture america essay.