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Category Archive for 'American Sign Language'

FYI: Holland Center and Morse are right next to each other on Van Buren St.


Advanced Arabic             3:00- 3:50 pm      Holland Center

Conversational Arabic       4:00- 4:50 pm      Holland Center

Beginning Spanish          5:00-5:50 pm        Morse B207

Intermediate Japanese        5:00- 5:50pm     Morse B107

Intermediate Chinese          6:00- 6:50 pm    Morse A201



All Levels Farsi            12:00- 12:50 pm      Morse A200

Beginning German           4:00- 4:50 pm      Morse B108

Beginning Japanese          6:00- 6:50 pm      Morse A201



Beginning Arabic        4:00- 4:50 pm       Morse A2o2

Advanced Chinese       4:00- 4:50 pm      Morse A200

Intermediate Spanish        5:00- 5:50 pm  Morse B107

Intermediate Korean        5:00- 5:50 pm     Morse A202

All Levels Hebrew        6:00- 6:50 pm      Morse B107

All Levels Tagalog        6:00- 6:50 pm      Morse A201

Beginning Kazakh        6:30- 7:20 pm     Morse A202

Beginning Korean        7:00-  7:50 pm    Morse A201

Intermediate Arabic        7:00- 7:50 pm   Morse A101



Intermediate French      4:00- 4:50    Morse A200

Conversational  French  4:00-4:50    TBA



Beginning Chinese      9:00- 9:50 am      Morse A200

American Sign Language    2:00-2:50 pm      Morse A200

Intermediate Russian     4:00- 4:50 pm    Morse A200

All Levels Cantonese       5:00- 5:50 pm    Morse B107



Beginning French    11:00- 11:50 am   Morse B107

Super interesting article in the Washington Post about ASL interpreters at Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi concerts! Would also probably be interesting to all you T&I students out there…


Signing to Sing

Yesterday, in our American Sign Language class, we were introduced to the language by watching a video of a man named Stephen Torrence sign along to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA.” Even if you’re not a Miley fan, Stephen’s performance is so animated that it’s definitely worth taking a look: http://www.youtube.com/user/CaptainValor#p/u/21/QmKnQjBf8wM

Two important things to keep in mind while watching the video are 1. Stephen is hearing, not deaf, and 2. this is a signed performance of a song, which means he is particularly animated and energetic.

After you watch the video through once, press the “CC” button on the bottom to turn on the captions. Both the English lyrics will come up, as well as the translation in ASL (the second line of words in all caps is the ASL translation). While you’re watching, here are a few things to notice:

  • The order of the words, or syntax, in ASL. Imagine if you translated something into Spanish, and then had to translate it back into English word-for-word without fixing the word order. So, “Me llamo Becky” would be something like “Me call Becky.” That is essentially what is represented on the second line of the captions – a word-for-word translation of what Stephen is signing.
  • Stephen’s expressions. Notice particularly with the phrase “Am I gonna fit in?” or “PEOPLE ACCEPT ME?” At this point, Stephen’s eyebrows are raised as if he’s asking a question. Expression is embedded in the grammar of ASL. The only difference between the statement “People accept me.” and the question “Will people accept me?” is the expression on your face.
  • The use of fingerspelling. You’ll notice that he fingerspells “LAX,” “Jay-Z,” “Britney.” In ASL, fingerspelling is mostly used for proper nouns, and only when they don’t have a sign of their own. The first time you introduce yourself to someone, you will generally fingerspell your name, but you’ll also present your “name sign” so that you don’t have to fingerspell your name every time.

If you’re interested in more signed songs, check out Stephen’s other videos on his youtube channel. One of my favorites is “The Lighthouse’s Tale”! And if you’re still interested, be sure to come out to ASL class on Fridays at 12:00 in room B207. See you there!

Sites DOT MIISThe Middlebury Institute site network.