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Polyglot/multilingual


SteveG

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So, I have a question. I currently speak English and Spanish fluently. I know some European Portuguese, but not completely fluent in it yet. I started studying American sign language two years ago. So I'm at the very least bilingual striving for multilingual. Far from being considered a polyglot. Does knowing American sign language (or any country's sign language) fall into the realm of being considered multilingual or polyglot? I've been told no and yes. Non-signers tell me no. Hearing signers tell me yes. Even looking it up online seems to have a division for the same reasons. Just curious.

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Having intensely focused on learning sign for five months, and only getting part way into it, it feels very much like a complete language to me, even though the labels for each sign are in English, the same can be said for every other language, the label for a German word is also in English, at least for me, and it's in French for someone else.  The meanings for each sign are as subtlety varied as corresponding words are for each language.  A single concept in sign can mean an entire phrase and vise versa.  Could I read sign before learning it, definitely not, and can I read sign in the wild now, not very well at all just yet, but I'm learning.

Signing increases your effectiveness in communication with everyone who knows it, from not understanding to a place of understanding, and that's what's important.

  A year ago I had pretty much no exposure to sign, even though my parents have been hard of hearing for my entire life.  Last year I was exposed to an amplified sound that deafened my right side for a day and a half, during which I felt a constant pressure on my hearing hairs possibly trying to stand back up or something.

We gain so much understanding and complexity in every way we extend ourselves towards others, as the Foundation of Respect is adopting people's decisions about themselves and not imposing on them, and letting go of decisions made about others.  Any group that adopts decisions of negation made about them is diminished, and it's only our interconnectedness that washes away things like proxy, oppression and ignorance.

I think I have Meniere's, but my natural tendencies for self-care have always guided me well.  Having that label could have been useful long ago as others would have helped me figure it out.  I know myself well enough to understand, and to decide for myself, that it's the self-care that's important and not the label.  It makes sense that in learning we see the complexities that opens us up to understanding, and when we want to know where you fit, well that's for each of us to decide for ourselves.

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