American Sign Language (ASL)
ASL University |
Deaf Culture (7)
Culture 1 |
2 | 3 |
| 9 | 10 |
11 | 12 |
Also see: Study Guide
In a message dated 1/14/2006 11:53:06 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
The way you describe it, culturally Deaf people tend
to exchange a *lot* more information, early in making each other's
acquaintance, than hearing English-speakers do. So I would imagine
hearing people learning sign tend to be more reticent than their
counterparts, often not offering the kind of 'locating' information
family, history, schooling, etc. - which would be considered normal
polite among Deaf acquaintances. So...what kind of impression does
tend to make on the Deaf person? Does someone who doesn't volunteer
expected information seem shy? Arrogant? Bumbling? I can imagine
mismatch, and I can imagine some plausible reactions on the part of
hearing person ("Why is s/he telling me all this?" "How nosey!"
I don't know what to imagine the other side of the impressions would
I, for instance, don't usually talk about my family. Will that be
Again, I do understand about your having a life outside of answering
questions from strangers. No rush. :)
Deaf people tend to share their backgrounds during introductions or
shortly after because there is a strong chance that they have common
acquaintances and thus can "catch up on" the doings of their old friends
by exchanging information with the new friend.
When Deaf meet Deaf it is different than when Deaf meet Hearing.
Hearing people often lack connections to the Deaf community other than
If you (as a hearing person) don't talk about your family or educational
background much when you meet a Deaf person it is no big deal. Why?
Because we recognize you are a Hearing person and so there is no
compelling reason for us to want to find out what school you went to
because it probably wasn't a school that we would recognize. There are
thousands and thousands of Hearing schools, but only a few dozen
residential schools for the Deaf.
As a Hearing person, something you should bring up when meeting Deaf
people is your motivation for learning sign language. This doesn't have
to be a big thing. We are just curious if you have a Deaf aunt or
sibling that we might have already met or that might be on our list of
friends. If all of your relatives are Hearing and have no connection to
the Deaf community there is no point in telling us about them (until
much, much later in the relationship).
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