How Do You Sign God
To sign God, swipe your dominant hand in front of your head, your thumb touching your forehead, then pulling downward to your chest area. Its like one half of two praying hands. Alternatively, just doing the first part touching the thumb of a flat open hand to the forehead, is enough to sign God in ASL.
Authentic Portrayal Of Deaf Chimpanzee Sibling Throughout Entire Series
Los Angeles, California, Sept. 8 The lovable foursome Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo return to our screens once again in Madagascar: A Little Wild, this time as kids residing in their rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo. Two additional characters in this series, Dave and Pickles, however, deserve attention. Chimpanzee siblings Dave and Pickles are breaking barriers and are part of a movement changing the landscape of disability representation in childrens television and streaming content.
Monkeys That Can Do Sign Language
London – To the untrained eye it might seem like just another cheeky bit of monkey business.
But when Milly the mandrill covers her face with her hand she is actually sending a serious message to her fellow primates: Leave me alone!
Experts believe the 15-year-old female invented the gesture to warn other monkeys at Colchester Zoo to give her some space.
And, remarkably, the signal has been picked by other members of the group, who use it when they too require solitude.
Evolutionary biologist Mark Laidre believes the behaviour is evidence of social culture among the mandrills, which are the largest species of monkey and are best known for the eye-catching colouring on their faces.
Significantly, the sign language is unlikely to have been influenced by human activity because, unlike apes, dolphins and dogs, mandrills do not mimic humans.
Mr Laidre expects further research will uncover other monkeys using cultural gestures – suggesting the capacity to communicate with the hands in a meaningful way may have existed a long time before humans came on the scene.
Zookeepers first noticed Milly, a shy, low-ranking member of her group, covering her eyes – mimicking the famous see no evil gesture – in 1999, when she was three.
At first, staff thought she was plagued with poor eyesight or simply shading her eyes from the sun.
Id never seen this before – I knew it was very interesting, he said.
Recommended Reading: Hearing Aids Iphone 6
American Sign Language Phrases
A great introduction to learning ASL is studying American Sign Language phrases. While doing this, you can get a great taste of vocabulary as well as begin to understand the difference between ASL grammar and English grammar.
For all of our phrase videos, we share the English phrase as well as the ASL gloss so you can study more easily. You can view them below:
The Future Of Disability
When it comes to the future of childrens programming, Sullivan is hopeful.
Youre seeing inclusion a lot more, and not just in media, he said. For example, the 2020 American girl Doll my daughter just received, is hard of hearing, she comes with a hearing aid and an ASL chart. She was so excited to learn all about her and figure out the ASL. From my experience on the show, I was able to show her a few signs that Ive learned, which she uses with her doll.
For Starfield, representation is key and particularly representation that takes the form of characters who children can look up to, emulate, and admire.
What Id love to see modeled more often: disabled characters who are prominently featured and who a wide audience will be excited to root for because of a well-developed and memorable character, Starfield added. Our hope is that a new generation of children with disabilities will see themselves reflected in dynamic ways on the screen, and their peers will be both exposed to and hopefully interested in learning ASL and being partners in communication.
The team has a message for producers, writers and directors about creating stories with characters with disabilities.
Reach out to the community, Sullivan added. Its challenging but it can be a lot of fun and the more we learn, the better well learn how to communicate and work it into our daily lives.
Make the characters memorable and put them in the foreground, Starfield added.
Read Also: How To Sign Poop In Asl
Early Life And Popularity
Koko was born on July 4, 1971, at the San Francisco Zoo to her biological mother Jacqueline and father Bwana. Koko was the 50th gorilla born in captivity and one of the first gorillas accepted by her mother in captivity. Koko remained with her mother until the age of one when Koko was taken to the zoo’s hospital to be treated for a life-threatening illness. Patterson along with Charles Pasternak originally cared for Koko at the San Francisco Zoo as part of their doctoral research at Stanford University after Koko came to the zoo’s hospital. Koko was loaned to Patterson and Pasternak under the condition that they would spend at least four years with her. Eventually, Koko remained with Patterson, supported by The Gorilla Foundation, which Patterson founded to support gorilla research and conservation.
In 1978, Koko gained worldwide attention as she was pictured on the cover of National Geographic magazine. The cover picture was an image of Koko taking her own picture in the mirror. Koko was later featured on the cover of National Geographic in 1985 with a picture of her and her kitten, All Ball. At the preserve, Koko also met and interacted with a variety of celebrities including Robin Williams, Fred Rogers, Betty White, William Shatner, Flea, Leonardo DiCaprio, Peter Gabriel, and Sting.
Responding To Thank You
Responding to thank you is more similar to de nada in Spanish than to youre welcome in English. There are several options for responding to thank you in ASL. As with other languages, you can simply nod your head and smile. But keep in mind that this option is casual and more often used with friends and family.
Other signs to respond to thank you include no problem, it was nothing, and all-good. A less common option is to sign thank you back to the person who thanked you. See a few of the optional responses here:
Also Check: Clearflex Hearing Aids
Collaborating To Achieve Success
We set out to make an inclusive show, and along with representing many different communities comes the responsibility to represent accurately, said Starfield, who said that trio of ASL consultants breathed life into Pickles and Dave.
Supervising Director TJ Sullivan, who worked closely with the trio for each episode, called them great collaborators.
Theyre very open to discussing ideas, coming up with suggestions of how we can better portray our characters as individuals, with their own personalities, and trying to figure out the best way to convey an idea, to simplify the signs for the story/animation teams that will most effectively get the idea or humor across, he said.
Not only do they translate our scenes with Pickles and Dave for our boards, they also weigh in on episodes from the script stage, right through final animation, Stein added. They provide us with extensive notes on the scenes that feature Pickles and Dave, and flag moments that might be problematic for instance, pointing out when the staging of a scene doesnt work because Pickles back is to Dave, and therefore he wouldnt be able to see what she is signing to him.
I also vividly remember how excited I got when I realized that chimps because they have prehensile feet have 2 sets of signing hands and what a fun, additive element that could be to the show, Stein added.
Sign Language Modifications And Modulations
Gorillas Koko and Michael occasionally have modified the basic ASL signs they were taught for two reasons: 1) some ASL signs are either difficult or inconvenient for a gorilla because of differences in physical anatomy between gorillas and humans , and 2) modulating a sign seems to be a natural way of expressing changes in emphasis, feeling, or differences in meaning. Human ASL signers modulate signs in similar ways, and understand most of the gorillas sign modifications. Nevertheless, all of Koko and Michaels signs have been catalogued in multimedia formats with differences between Gorilla Sign Language and conventional ASL noted and demonstrated.
Koko: Gorilla Death Coverage Rekindles Language Debate
Koko, the celebrated western lowland gorilla, died at the age of 46 this week. Many people paid tributes to her by praising her signing skills. She’s famous for her signing skills, but all is not what it seems.
Her death resonated with many people, with videos showing her communicating with her trainers being shared widely on social media.
In many obituaries, it was claimed that she “mastered” American Sign Language, using over 1,000 signs, but some experts said the headlines praising her sign language skills were rather inaccurate.
Koko the gorilla, who is said to have been able to communicate by using more than 1,000 hand signs, has died in California at the age of 46. Here she is on BBC News in 1985, with her kitten friend.
When she was about 12 months old, animal psychologist Francine “Penny” Patterson started to train her to use a version of American Sign Language. Her instructors said Koko used it to convey thoughts and feelings.
Ms Patterson and her researchers documented that the gorilla understood some 2,000 words of spoken English. The abilities of the gorilla apparently to understand spoken English were documented by Ms Patterson and her researchers.
However, sceptical linguists and scientists questioned Patterson’s methods. They also debated how much of Koko’s communication actually came from herself or how much we projected ourselves onto her.
Can Primates Learn Signs And Acquire Language
In August 1969, Allen and Beatrice Gardner of the University of Nevada published an article in the journal Science claiming to have communicated with a chimpanzee called Washoe.
She had been brought up since 1966 in the Gardners trailer and could use 100 signs. She was intelligent enough to sign water bird when she saw a swan. By the time of her death in 2007, she used 250 signs.
She could ask for things, though not with perfect grammar: Gimme sweet, come open.
Before this, people had tried to teach primates to talk like parrots, a bizarre choice as primates have thin tongues and high voice boxes making pronunciation very hard. No chimp had been able to pronounce more than three words . The Gardners decided to use signs instead and it proved much more suitable. And they didnt use isolated signs but full American Sign Language.
Washoe adopted a 10 month old chimp called Loulis. He became the first primate to learn signing from a chimp instead of a human, showing that signing could be introduced into primate culture. To ensure that it was Washoe who taught Loulis, her carers made sure they only used seven signs when they were with Loulis. He made his first sign after eight days.
She would mould his hand to sign food. She would sign come, approach him and pick him up. Eventually, she only had to sign for him to follow her. She would place a chair next to him and sign chair.
She explained how their upbringing affected their signing:
Read Also: How To Pair Compilot With Hearing Aids
Can Gorillas Understand Spoken English
As Koko and Michael were learning American Sign Language, Dr. Patterson always spoke to the gorillas simultaneously while signing to them. Thus, both gorillas learned to comprehend a great deal of spoken English . This is often surprising to people who first meet Koko, and think they can make private side comments to Penny Koko usually keeps up with the conversation and responds accordingly.
Why Teach American Sign Language To A Gorilla
American Sign Language was selected by Dr. Penny Patterson as the primary language to teach Koko because of the success that other researchers had with chimpanzees. It turned out to be a good choice, as Koko learned it quickly. Within just a few weeks the gorillas were using sign combinations. Much later, observations by other researchers at zoos revealed that gorillas seem to have a natural gestural language of their own, using dozens of gestures consistently to communicate with one another . This may explain why Koko and Michael learned ASL so quickly its built on their intrinsic capabilities.
Also Check: Sign Language For Hungry
The Chimp That Learned Sign Language
When Nim Chimpsky arrived at her house in 1973, Jenny Lee says that “it was probably love at first sight.” Harry Bensonhide caption
When Nim Chimpsky arrived at her house in 1973, Jenny Lee says that “it was probably love at first sight.”
Nim helps with the dishes in the house he lived in after leaving Stephanie LaFarge’s home. Herbert Terracehide caption
Nim helps with the dishes in the house he lived in after leaving Stephanie LaFarge’s home.
Nim in a “family photo” with Columbia University psychologist Herbert Terrace and Stephanie LaFarge, Nim’s surrogate mother. Harry Bensonhide caption
Nim in a “family photo” with Columbia University psychologist Herbert Terrace and Stephanie LaFarge, Nim’s surrogate mother.
Institute for Primate Studies researcher Bob Ingersoll with Nim and another chimp. Ingersoll remembers Nim as a chimp with an “unbelievable personality.” Bob Ingersollhide caption
Institute for Primate Studies researcher Bob Ingersoll with Nim and another chimp. Ingersoll remembers Nim as a chimp with an “unbelievable personality.”
Can Gorillas Invent New Signs
Koko and Michael did not always know the sign for a word they heard spoken, or for an object or activity they wanted. In such cases, the gorillas would often invent a sign for the word by compounding two or more signs for words they already knew. For example, Koko compounded the sign for SCRATCH with the sign for COMB to mean, brush . It wasnt always obvious at first what the gorillas were trying to say. For example, it took a while for the caregivers to realize that when Koko placed the sign for the letter s at her brow she was making up a sign for browse, a word the caregivers often use for greens and flowers they gather for the gorillas as a snack.
Recommended Reading: Can You Teach Yourself Sign Language
Does Gorilla Sign Language Have Grammatical Structure
People often ask if gorillas are really using sign symbolically or are mimicking individual signs to get rewards. Our research shows that gorillas Koko and Michael have used American Sign Language in sophisticated ways, with sign phrase lengths of over 8 signs, and consistent grammatical structure. We have published some early papers on the subject and are now in the process of digitizing and analyzing four decades of data to shed more light on these linguistic questions. Our primary focus, however, is on cognitive questions such as: what can we learn about gorilla thought processes and emotions through two-way communication?
Dave And Pickles Have Meaningful Story Arc And Are Not Defined By Disability
Dave, who is Deaf, and his sister, Pickles, communicate using American Sign Language . They are not defined by this, however. Most importantly, they have meaningful and substantive relationships with the other characters in the show. Additionally, they each have a three-dimensional personality. Dave, for example, has a quirky, unpredictable personality.
Dave and Pickles are super funny and add so much to our habitat, said Dana Starfield, co-executive producer and story editor. We wanted to first and foremost create funny, exciting characters who also happen to communicate using ASL. So, theyre there every episode because their hilarity and mischief add dimension and challenge for our main characters. But it has the added benefit of modeling ASL and a form of communication that many of our audience members might not be familiar with. More importantly, we want all kids to see themselves represented on TV in multi-dimensional ways, and we love that Dave represents a Deaf character whose chief personality trait is his wit.
Message repetition is important, and Dave and Pickles are unique in not being one-offs.
And Dave and Pickles certainly have an arc beyond their disability. While the siblings are supporting characters, they bookend nearly every episode, playing a critical role in the action.
Recommended Reading: Sign Language Hungry
To Further Improve Your Sign Language Skills We Suggest You Do The Following:
- Learn the alphabet:: this is the basic and the building blocks to signing like a pro.
- Practice with native signers:: hanging out with Deaf people is a good away to practice as it is going to force you to use the signlanguage.
- Subscribe to 1 or more Sign Language teaching channels on Youtube:Check outSigned With Heart andASL Rochelle channelsto name just a few.
Have You Each Worked On Animation Projects Prior To This Show
Delbert: I have over two decades of experience working on animated feature films, beginning my career on the business affairs side of the animation industry, and eventually, as executive producer, so animation is an area that I know very very well. My familiarity with the animation production workflow, and how animators work, was very useful in helping to ensure that the ASL dialogue performed in this show is optimized for both dramatic impact and production efficiency.
Jevon: This is my first time working on an animation project. However, I worked on several children storytelling video projects many years ago as an educator. My experience with creating and using basic ASL for very young audiences was very helpful for my work with Dreamworks Animation. Given the target demographics for this show, we were fully aware that we needed to use signs that are user-friendly and age-appropriate for young viewers, both deaf and hearing, so they can follow the ASL used in the show and perhaps even learn some signs.
You May Like: How To Clean Cane Corso Ears