Sign Language in a Mirror – with Charles Stirling
August 14, 2019
-You’re a right-handed signer aren’t you
Katherine? Is that right? -Yes. -Okay. So that is your passive hand, yes? And you’re doing most of your signs with your right hand. And so we have a member of the
audience who can’t hear what I’m saying. Mika can’t hear what I’m saying but he’s
in touch. And Katherine is able to sign to him as fast as I can speak. Now there’s a little experiment because you’re in the cradle of British
science, the crucible, so let’s do a little experiment. We’ve been talking about appearances
and right and left handedness. Can a deaf person pick up the
message of sign language when it’s reflected in a mirror? We think so far as
we know that’s a unique experiment and this is the home of unique experiments
so if you would ask Mika to come down and join us, we can do this experiment. [APPLAUSE] Hello Mika, thank you very much for joining us. Would you like just to sit, just to stand there
because it’s important for seeing the reflections. And Katherine if you’ll go round
to the mirror, thank you very much. And why not say something to us
first, right? What I’ve forgotten to ask you was just to say
something to the audience specifically in sign language, all right? So will you
say that for us, to the audience? And then tell us what you’ve said. Thank you very much! What did you say?
-Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. -You’d never have guessed it, would you?
Very good! Now, can we do the experiment of the
reflection of the sign? Now I think the result of that experiment
Katherine you’re going to have to tell me. -I said “Hello Mika, It’s nice to see you again”. -Very good and Mika could understand.
-He said “It’s nice to see you again too”. -So, this language is so effective that
even when the images are reversed, as we shall see at the very end of the lecture, communication is unaffected. Thank you very much indeed for
coming and helping us with this demo. [APPLAUSE]