Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Today was the first of three classes in Japanese Sign Language. First we heard from the deaf people. They cannot talk but the volunteers translated. We heard about the difficulties they face. Then we learned to sign Good Morning, Good Day, Good Evening, Nice to meet you, Thank you, and Please. Then in smaller groups we learned to introduce ourselves. My name is... Nice to meet you. Next week they will teach the hand signs and What is your name?



  1. Hi Keith,
    So, you like James Bond then ;-)
    I am not learning Japanese but I am passionate about languages. I speak French, Catalan and a bit of German.
    Anyway, I thought you might be interested in my Free website/application.
    The site has an app to download which is basically a language learning notebook (but with audio too). But you can load projects into the notebook.
    The projects are available on the site for download and anyone can make their own projects in the app and upload them.
    There are already some decent Japnese projects on the site in Katakana and Hiragana.
    Anyway, I hope you like it.
    All the best,
    Jim Morrison

  2. Jim, it looks like a good app. When will the Mac version be out? ;)

    About the Japanese project, the punctuation characters are incorrect. The comma in Japanese is not ゝ
    That characters means that the previous hiragana should be repeated.
    The correct comma is 、

    And the period in Japanese is not at the top but instead at the bottom.
    Not ゜but 。

    And finally, hiragana and katakana should be mixed. But I suppose it could be ok to write all in hiragana for beginners.

    So this is the way the second sentence in the screen shot should be properly written:

    Yes, in a sentence like that, I would put Kei's name in katakana so that it stands out.

    Here is the same sentence with Kanji, hiragana, and katakana.

    But seriously, when will the Mac version be out? :-)

  3. Interesting. I don't know anything about shuwa but I have a friend over here in Shizuoka-ken who received a grant to cover the production of a English-to-shuwa video dictionary on DVD-ROM, with demonstrations of each word done by students of the local hearing-impaired school. Should be interesting when she is done.

  4. Bryan, that sounds like a first. There certainly are English speakers or ASL speakers who would like to learn Japanese Sign Language.

    I wish I could give some input before the format is finalized. For one thing, I hope they would include the Japanese words that each sign corresponds to, along with furigana for the Kanji. I'm just afraid they will leave that information out, but I believe most users of their product would want it since they would most likely also be Japanese language students as well.

  5. Hi Keith,
    Thanks a lot for the feedback. Thats interesting about the mistakes. I will ask Kei about these. She is native Japanese/English so she should be pretty good, but I suppose everyone can make mistakes. Maybe the way she writes is more informal than the standard?
    About the Mac version, I would like to do it and it is definitely on my agenda but the problem is that I don't have a Mac. I think I would need a lot of access to one in order to develop and test a Mac version. A lot of people have asked about this so I will look into it.


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