April 18, 2013

BTT - language

Today's Booking Through Thursday says:  "I saw a Latin edition of “The Hobbit” last time I was at the bookstore… Do you read any foreign languages? Do you ENJOY reading in other languages?"

The last time I read a book in a foreign language was in Latin class, Julius Caesar. "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres,"   That doesn't count because it was a mandatory read in school.

One book that I recently read,  Strong Deaf,  has both English and written ASL (American Sign Language).    Actually, ASL cannot be written in pen, ink, nor typed.  ASL is a three-dimensional language that incorporates movements which depend on placement on the body, around the face, certain repetitions, and hand shapes, along with facial and eyebrow expressions, and its own grammar.  How can you write THAT?!   If I were to read a complete book in ASL, I would be viewing in on-screen.

Back from my digress,  I recently read and reviewed  Strong Deaf by Lynn McElfrish.  It is about two young sisters, one hearing and the other deaf.  I wrote:  "The story is told from both girls' perspectives.  Jade's narrative is in perfect English.  Marla's is typed as if signed in ASL.  The casual reader may find reading ASL a bit off-putting.  Even though I know ASL, I had a hard time reading it at first.  Consider Marla's narrative as a dialect told through the hands, instead of voicing."