Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Japanese finger-spelling

I produced and published my first Japanese Sign Language video today. I go through the Japanese syllabary. Basically just going in アイウエオ order, but I transposed the タ and ナ rows. I didn't do it on purpose, but that actually makes a nice transition going from ト to ハ because the same fingers are used but held in a different direction.

Next, but not today, I'm going to produce a series of finger-spelling videos for reading practice. Every week at the JSL Circle, we start off with practice reading 10 words spelled out. Following that format, I'm going to make each video have ten words. Reading sign language is like listening in spoken languages. It takes practice.

So if you too are working on your Japanese Sign Language skills, you ought to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I've searched YouTube several times and have never found a good series of JSL to practice reading finger-spelling.

I made my video with a digital camera, not a movie camera. I then edited it with iMovie. I was surprised to find that I cannot add text to the movie except for a title which was not very formattable. I couldn't move the placement of the text in the title to where I wanted it. Because I could not just throw text on the movie in places that I wanted to, and I could not have more than one title per clip, I did not add kana for each sign. The good things about iMovie are that it made the movie widescreen automatically by selecting the correct project type and iMovie also has transition effects. I haven't used any other movie editing software so I can't compare it with anything else.

If you watch the video on YouTube, it looks better in high resolution, so be sure to click the link for that right away.


  1. Ah, very good, very good...

    But what? Leno interviewed you? Why?


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