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Why am I learning BSL?

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I'm in my 50's and I speak several languages but the other week I was at the train station in Aberdeen and I spoke to someone to ask if I was at the correct train. It turned out that this person was deaf and I was completely unable to make myself understood other than to talk normally and hope that she could lip read. It felt really bad that I couldn't even respond when she signed and I realised that there is a whole world that I'm just not part of - what if things were reversed and she had been asking me for help? So, I decided to start learning some BSL so that if something like that ever happens again, at least I can say 'sorry for my awful signing' and I might even be able to do more than just stand there like an idiot.

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In fact, now that I have started thinking more about this, another thing that really bothers me about that meeting is that I may well have missed out on talking with someone really fantastic. All because in half a century of learning all sorts of other nonsense, I never bothered to learn a little sign language.

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