Signing In A Scottish Accent

, , , , , , | Learning | March 20, 2019

(I have Asperger’s Syndrome. I often feel like I don’t “fit in” because relating to people is challenging for me. However, I’ve started learning British Sign Language, and I love it. It is literal, logical, and has grey areas. Deaf people are very direct, too. I also have a photographic memory, which I haven’t found to be much use… until now. I learn new signs extremely fast. Even my deaf teacher struggles to keep pace. In class, we are learning about countries. This roleplay happens in front of the class, in BSL.)

Classmate #1: “Where are you going on holiday?”

Me: “New Scotland.”

Classmate #1: “What?”

Me: *slowly in BSL and English* “New Scotland, Canada: Nova Scotia.”

Classmate #1: *confused*

Teacher: “If you want to say two countries, you need to say, ‘and.’ Scotland A-N-D Canada.”

Classmate #2: *in English and BSL* “He didn’t say Scotland; I think he means New England and Canada.”

(I am extremely confused. The signs for England and Scotland are very different and unmistakable. I have no idea where she got “New England” from. As for my teacher, he didn’t have a clear view, and missed the sign “new.” He thinks I mean Scotland and Canada. I can’t get it across in BSL, so I resort to English.)

Me: “No, I signed literally, ‘New Scotland.’ That means Nova Scotia in Canada, which is Latin for ‘New Scotland.’ In most languages, including BSL, Nova Scotia is translated literally. I saw it last week from an interpreter on TV.”

Teacher: “Oh. Nothing wrong with the sign, but maybe we’ll keep it at the right level for the exam?”

(I continue to learn BSL extremely fast. One day I hope to qualify as an interpreter.)

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