Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Sign Language Is Confusing! (American Sign Language Vlog) // Vlogmas Day 10


[pen writing] [Pokemon game sound] Hello! Today, I’m going to talk about
how ASL can be really confusing. I’ve been learning ASL for almost 3 years now. That’s a while now. I’ve noticed a lot of ASL deaf talk about grammar which is confusing for a lot of people,
especially those new to ASL. And I get it because I’m new too. So you have American Sign Language (ASL)
and Pidgin Signed English (PSE). ASL is its own language with its own grammar. PSE has ASL vocabulary but English grammar. So I’ll see a lot of [ASL] deaf people
talk about needing to do ASL [grammar], not PSE. This conversation is why learning ASL is confusing. Now, I’m seeing a lot of signers
go more of the PSE route. I’ve asked other deaf people if so-and-so
is using more PSE and they’ll say yes. It’s strange to me as this will be a deaf person
who grew up in Deaf culture and ASL. So I’ll ask, “Wait, so why is it more PSE?”
and the other person won’t know. But still, this is a fluent signer! I’m not saying they’re wrong.
I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that this is all confusing! Which am I supposed to be using?! If my deaf friends are teaching me ASL, it actually looks like this and not this. So if I’m learning from them
and using what they teach me, am I wrong or right? I have no idea! Now I just try to use a mix of
both and hope for the best. I have conversations with my deaf
friends and deaf people I’ve just met and they seem to understand me just fine. I mean, I like to think that they do. Communication always seems to be fine. I must be doing something right. Again, I’m not saying anyone is wrong. I’m just asking… which one is it?! Do you get what I mean? I remember someone telling
me that more deaf people are starting to go the
PSE route more rather than ASL. I’m so confused! But I try my best and I think I communicate well. People seem to understand me. Probably not everyone, but
I really haven’t had any problems. Just gonna keep on learning. Wait, what’s the difference between these two? Let me know, please. I just wanted to share all that with you. I hope you enjoyed the video. If you want to follow me on social media,
all of my usernames are down here. If you want to send a letter, PO box is up here. Patreon and last video over here. Coffee/tip jar way down
there in the info box/comments. And I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye!

46 Replies to “Sign Language Is Confusing! (American Sign Language Vlog) // Vlogmas Day 10”

  • Its fine with the sound on or off. It doesn't make a difference to me. I would just use whatever people around you mostly use. Also first! Or second!

  • Maybe it's a generational thing. Hearing people speaking English are getting away from proper grammar as well. I think texting and that everyone is moving so fast, is playing a big part.

  • PSE sounds similar to SSE (sign supported English) in that it follows spoken word order rather than ASL/BSL word order. I know Jessica Kellgren-Fozard has done a video about why she uses SSE rather than BSL and I think she mentioned that she finds it easier to switch between listening to/lip reading someone and looking at an interpreter for the words she's missed if the interpreter is signing in SSE.

    Sound on or off is fine, it was nice to hear you laugh at various points though 🙂

  • Hello, Rikki. Just found your channel a month ago and I love your content!

    I became deaf at 6 months old so I learned SEE from my mom. It was what she was taught when she went to take sign language classes. Around high school, I became close friends with some people who attended a deaf institute, needless to say, I was overwhelmed with their ASLness (is that a word?). Keep in mind I was mainstream ever since I was a kid. I eventually learned how to sign PSE and it came naturally due to the english structure I learned from SEE and all I did was replace SEE signs with ASL. On my good days, I would say ASL and with specific people who makes me go into that kind of mode. Most days, I sign PSE and there's nothing wrong with that. I've noticed many ASL interpreters sign PSE and I've questioned them about that. They said that it tends to match the deaf and hard of hearing client better in most cases so take that what you will. Most of my deaf friends sign PSE and they all have mixed backgrounds (deaf families, etc).

    Just sign what you think you feel matches you the best and keep working on it. Great video!

  • I am born profoundly deaf and started off as an oral kid till I learned ASL at 6th grade. ASL is a true sign language for the deaf culture created by many deafies in generation. PSE or SEE were created by hearing cuz they believe it will teach them better English grammar. Use ASL to communicate and use English for writing or reading. Hope that clear up the picture

  • I personally use SEE (signed exact english) because my sister-in-law has bilateral cochlear implants. We speak and sign at the same time with her for the most part. It is too hard for me to use ASL grammar at the same time that I am verbalizing in English. My brain can't process two different grammar systems simultaneously so we use SEE!

  • Hi Rikki! I love having the sound in the video. It's worth it, especially to hear your laughter. To hear ambient noises (like a clap of the hands) makes the video a lot more natural.

  • I work at a main stream middle school with deaf students who transition from SEE to ASL with PSE as the transition. It isn't signed exact English but you see the when teachers teach english and writing and require SVO it's easy to lose ASL grammar.

  • My guess is that, like any language, ASL & PSE are probably both evolving and maybe they'll converge with a grammar that is neither English nor ASL. Just a guess, though. And I'm not sure of the distinction between those signs either. Haven't looked at the comments yet though.

  • I have ADHD and if there is no sound at all I get completely distracted by any sounds unrelated to the video, so I have to rewatch parts over again, however it is your channel and you should do what makes you most comfortable.

  • I prefer having the sound on, just because it makes the conversation feel more real. As a hearing person, this is what I would hear in reality anyway. I don't see a reason to shy away from it.

    I always enjoy these ASL videos, btw.

  • Yeah I agree, a lot of the millennials are starting to use PSE with a mix of ASL. When I’m around my deaf friends they tend to use PSE. but then around my ASL professors they want me to use ASL. Which is fine, but I always tend to get confused between the two.

  • Perhaps this video will help. The lady from ASL Stew explains it quite clearly. It's okay if you use PSE or use ASL. Whichever you feel comfortable the most. https://youtu.be/lxxRY2VSWzM

  • I'm hard of hearing, I grew using SEE then just learned ASL 7 years ago. I sign English and ASL. Its hard to just use ASL. People understand me fine so I never had any problem with that. There is no right or wrong who prefer using PSE OR ASL. Everyone is different.

  • Ty. In ASL class the professor explained to us the two most common ways of ASL sentence structure and then said "everyone signs a little different, just like everyone speaks a little different." It can be, and is, confusing!

  • I really enjoyed this, and am super happy i'm not the only one who is equally confused with learning ASL grammar structure.

  • I like the sound on personally, it makes it feel more like a conversation between you and I rather than just a silent movie you know what I mean?

  • I notice when you sort of switch word orders but I do not think it matters cos I understand you the same. I think it is just plain stupid when other Hearing people only learn PSE or SEE for the sake of being aesthetic but not wanting to actually take the time to learn about Deaf Culture and proper ASL. It looks glamorous cos it is, but it takes effort. The point is, though, that we understand you. 😁

  • I watch thedailysign here on YouTube and she does covers of songs in PSE. Most of the sign language I know is PSE from watching her videos. I want to learn ASL and work with deaf family’s or children, and I’ve taken a few random community classes for basic ASL but I always end up signing in PSE when I practice 🤷🏻‍♀️. ASL(or just any sign language in general really) is a beautiful language that I feel is more helpful to know and learn than most languages you can take in high school and although it’s easier to sign in PSE if you’re just learning, I feel Learning ASL is worth it even if it takes longer.

  • I personally prefer the sound on but i am a hearing person and sound is often a comfort to me. I'm also dyslexic, i often use sound as a cue to be able to read the tone of the sentence etc when reading CC because i can't always read both CC and facial expression at the same time because i really have to focus on CC BUT do whatever feels comfortable for you, i will always watch your videos silent or not anyway. 🙂

  • I had no idea about PSE. That must be so strange. In Australia, the issue is more that there are two main communities of deaf people – Sydney and Brisbane (though there are deaf people everywhere) and signs differ between the communities. It's still easy to communicate, but some of the basic signs are quite different.

  • To be honest, I did not enjoy this video. Always, always aim for true ASL. PSE is a byproduct of years and years of oppression, so much that it may be viewed as a form of ‘colonialism’ (for lack of a better word). If your deaf friends are using PSE and claiming it is becoming more common, I would look closely at their home environment and place of education – it will give you the answers you’re looking for. Also, I would suggest you check where you’re learning ASL and ask questions – which ASL curriculum are they using? Also, one more thing – please don’t block your face when you finger spell.

  • So, I was mainstream with degenerative hearing loss. I learnt ASL, and most of my friends were hearing, so I ended up primarily learning PSE because that's what my translator used since I came from a hearing family with English grammar.

    In my 20s (1990s/early 00s) most of my friends were deaf, and I was aggressively informed never to use PSE, but to use ASL. I adapted to ASL.

    Then I moved to UK in mid/late 00s, and BSL is much more difficult than ASL. My friends here in UK are mostly hearing, so what little of BSL I've learned so far is actually SSE (UK equiv of PSE).

    I've lost most of my hearing now, but my primary circles are hearing people who are learning bits of sign (ASL and BSL) to communicate with me and make things a bit easier on me.

    Weirdly, I've noticed the few deaf people I do know (and those I follow on twitter and here on youtube) use SSE not BSL. (cannot recommend https://www.youtube.com/user/MissJessicaKH high enough, she's so awesome). I use SSE because I mostly talk to hearing people?

    I'm now trying to learn BSL properly, but everyone seems to be using SSE, so… you're not the only one who is confused!

    Like others mentioned here, most signing I've seen seems to be hybrid — yeah — BSL people, tell me which way to learn because I'm seeing mostly SSE and I find it easier when I'm lip reading to follow along, but… yeah. open for advice on this one!

  • As a hearing person who's studying sign, I prefer the sound on in videos like this because, as someone else said, it matches more what it's like for me when I actually sign with someone; I can hear their hands touch or certain non-manual markers (I think that's the term) or them laugh or so on. But of course, it's your channel, so you should do what you want.

  • As someone just learning ASL, especially because I'm learning it to be able to communicate more efficiently being HoH, I am often confused by people using ASL and PSE with me and it's difficult to know how to respond. I think part of it is kind of feeling out the situation and see what the people around you are using. Like with my Sign teacher and class I use strictly ASL, but at silent suppers and other deaf events I switch between ASL and PSE depending on who I'm talking to. I really like your videos because I can sign slow enough that I can understand it. I'm still not fluent and my receptive skills are slow lol

  • I grew up being taught BSL (British Sign Language) but find that I mostly talk SSE (Sign Supported English which I think is like PSE) or SEE as that's what most other people my age talk when I'm with others who sign. I think it's because we grew up with technology and reading English so only having to do one grammar is easier than two. I can still use BSL it's just I mostly don't as very few people my age do unless they're just out of classes. Those who grew up with it speak a mix like you're talking about.

  • I work at a Deaf residential school. I'm hearing and learning ASL. I asked my coworkers, even ones who grew up signing, why they sign PSE. Many have told me they switch over because I'm still learning. I've asked them to sign ASL grammar but they don't even realize they switch over to PSE. Some say it's because they have been taught growing up to " modify" for hearing people, new signers, etc. It"s now second nature. I find it helps to try and reply in ASL to them, and then they at times switch back over to ASL.

  • I am so happy I'm not the only person who has this struggle lol. I want to be an interpreter, so I do my best to match the signing style of the Deaf person I am communicating with. But, I am still working on my ASL grammar, so sometimes my friends who use more ASL will correct me and help me. I feel like I am kind of in the middle of both right now.

  • I relate to this! I've been learning ASL for about a year so I really should start practicing sentences and phrases, but I'm torn between taking the ASL or the PSE grammar route. I'm a native English speaker so PSE would be less mental work, but I find the word order and more compact grammar of ASL physically easier to sign. I think as long as people get what you're saying, you're doing great! It's a relief to know that there is freedom for signers to use whichever of ASL, PSE, or a hybrid is most comfortable.

  • I was learning from my deaf friend and I asked her the same thing because she switches between asl and pse she told me that older generations of the deaf culture prefer asl but the younger gen prefer pse because it goes with how they write in English. She taught me asl signs but we always signed in pse. It makes it easier for hearing people learning to communicate using a grammar and syntax they understand. My deaf customers haven’t said anything about me using pse and they understand me. I think that’s all that matters really is that their is a good communication but I’m glad im not the only one confused about this lol

  • About a year ago I stumbled apon one of your videos and now I'm hooked! I've been learning how to sign and it's so cool!

  • It might have something to do with more equal access to education, or it might be because of technology. With social media, it becomes beneficial to be proficient in English grammar. So maybe because of the daily use with texting and other social media posts, it becomes easier to understand English grammar in a signed setting, so it is becoming more commonplace.

  • Thumbs together hands moved forward means continue
    Open hands one over the other means on and on and on

    Like the English language they are different words with different definitions, yet mean the same thing.

  • I was born hearing I lost my hearing when I was 18 which was like not even a year ago so I sign PSL instead of ASL and I think I'm fine with it and if a deaf person has a problem with it they have to understand that there's no way I can sign perfectly I have a full conversation with you in ASL because I do not know the language that well I know just started and most deaf people understand PSL and almost late deaf people speak PSL instead of ASL but the goal of Eternity is asl

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