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Idioms and ASL (3)
Also see: Idioms
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In a message dated 8/6/2011 5:19:35 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Mian writes:
Hey Dr Bill;
I am starting my fifth semester in an ASL Bach program at ____ State.
You and your site has been a real blessing to me (you added signs addict
and serenity for me).
Anyway. Can you think of an ASL sign or group that doesn't translate to
English? I hope you get my meaning.
EVERY sign or group of signs translates into English. Some translations
might take a sentence or a paragraph, and some translations might require
additional context to pinpoint the specific nuances in meaning, but all can be
"translated." The main question is whether an interpreter is knowledgeable,
skilled, and familiar enough to do the translating.
Even the classic "GULP" sign (which some people say doesn't have an English
translation) has a fairly direct interpretation as: GULP = "chagrined" =
abashed: "Feeling or caused to feel uneasy and self-conscious; as in "felt
abashed at the extravagant praise." [dictionary.com]
Another consideration is that "translation" can occur without communication
and without the recipient's understanding. Translation is not the same as
communication. For example, suppose an interpreter perfectly translates the
sentence, "It tastes like wine" into the language of a person who has never
taken a sip of wine. Even though the translation was perfect, the
recipient is still unable to "relate to" the meaning. The lack of
appreciation experienced by the recipient of the message is not due to
faulty translation but rather to a differences in experiences.
because an interpreter translates a concept "perfectly" doesn't mean that
someone from a different culture can relate to, understand, or make
meaningful decisions based on that translation.
-- Dr. Bill
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