My name is Father Akakios. I am an Orthodox Christian monk at Saint
Anthony's monastery in Florence, AZ. I have been learning sign
language through lifeprint.com and am up to lesson 15. ...
One question that I have been meaning to ask is that when two people
are communication using ASL and one person does not know how to sign
something but wants to try to mime it is there a way to let the
other person know that "I am now trying to communicate with you by
miming because I do not know how to sign what I want to tell you". I
remember in one of your earlier lessons when you were talking about
eating pop corn and you liked it so much that you made gestures of
taking the pop corn of the person next to you and eating there's
too. I remember clearly understanding what you were communicating
but I was wondering if you were signing or miming?
Please forgive me for troubling you if you have already answered
this question somewhere on you site.
Also, I hope you would like to know that some signs make a beautiful
impression on me. For example in the sign for remember there seems
to be an element of reconnecting/bringing to separate pieces
together...like re-member. The motion also starts from the mind and
moves down to the heart area. After the fall the mind "broke away
from the heart" and away from God and like the repentant thief on
the cross we ask Christ to re-member us (broken by sin) in His
With warm regards,
In Christ's Love,
- Father Akakios
Dear Father Akakios,
Skilled signers do not typically "announce" that the next few signs
are going to be "mime." To other skilled signers it is
Also, often we are using what some of us call: "classifiers." See:
Think of signing as being on a "spectrum" from arbitrary symbols to
highly iconic mime-like descriptions or depictions. Thus "signing"
and "miming" are on the same spectrum. One is just more arbitrary
and condensed -- the other is more iconic and expansive.
- Dr. Bill
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