>> Thursday, February 11, 2010
Fingerspelling is basically spelling the English alphabet using your fingers. The Deaf master this one really well and just like voice, fingerspelling by different people will have its nuances and differences. For a hearing person just mastering it, it can be quite a challenge 'reading' the spelling. Plus, sme can really spell fast!!!
I have a problem with A, S and T. I also have a problem with K and V. And I always confuse making D and F. Hehe.
Now, why is fingerspelling so important?
First, not many sign the same words the same way. FSL may be derived largely from ASL but it incorporated cultural gestures and local color into it. And there are deaf people who did not officially study FSL, some deaf people only know SEE, some only know gestural signs their family has made up for them. Here is where spelling helps. At least you can communicate the exact word you meant to use.
Secondly, even with the Deaf, there are occasions when people are much farther apart or they are preoccupied doing or carrying something. What if something you want to say requires both hands? You might just confuse the one you're conversing with. So just spell an abbreviation, for example, and easily direct or answer a person.
Now, it's also important to know how to fingerspell with BOTH hands. If you're right-handed and using your right hand to write, then you can still use your left hand to spell. Plus, for the Deaf, it is critical because they can injure one of their hands. Knowing how to fingerspell using both hands will at least not compromise their communication abilities.