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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Sign language ~ 'A World without barriers - our Dream'

Being pleasant itself is a virtue ~ how long would you change yourself to make others happy ?

Often may wonder, how important is language skills ! and whether knowing language is a knowledge or skill.  Human beings communicate with each other ~ Communication (from Latin "communis", meaning to share) is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior.Language is the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

Life has moved a long way from the few hours of Doordarshan [Band 1 channel 4] which had its quota of 15 mins of English news.  In  1982, Doordarshan as a National Broadcaster came into existence. Krishi Darshan was the first program telecast on Doordarshan.  Viewers will for sure remember that on Sundays Doordarshan used to show news for ‘deaf and dumb’. From the days of ‘washing powder nirma …. And I love you Rasna….. Goldspot, the zing thing…’ – commercials have grown by leaps and slowly some of main features also were stopped.  Can you imagine that people waited patiently to see 6 or less songs in a programme called ‘Oliyum Oliyum’ [sound and light]…. telecast on Fridays.  This news for ‘hearing impaired’ people was a good attempt to take DD to those who cannot practically hear ………..

When Nelson Mandela passed away, there was furore in his  memorial service  that the official sign language interpreter was a fraud who was "signing rubbish". The Deaf Federation of South Africa told the BBC the man's signs were "arbitrary" and "did not make sense".  When World leaders paid tribute to  Mandela, a man,  suited and wearing a pass around his neck, stood next to key speakers such as US President Barack Obama and Mr Mandela's grandchildren translating their eulogies,  During the broadcast, Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, South Africa's first deaf female MP, tweeted: "ANC-linked interpreter on the stage with dep president of ANC is signing rubbish. He cannot sign. Please get him off.  The outcry was  loud that the man did not use South African sign language, known to the deaf community or other interpreters in South Africa". South African sign language has its own structure and is not linked to any spoken language like Afrikaans, Xhosa or English, another informed person  told the BBC's Newsday programme.  Another sign language user, said the man's signing seemed to have no grammatical base and kept repeating sign patterns when it was clear that the speaker was not using repetitive words.

Away from this MailOnline reports of a deaf man moved to tears after discovering his entire neighbourhood has learned sign language so they can talk to him  !   It is a video filmed for ad to promote message: 'A world without barriers is our dream'

Deaf man Muharrem sets out for the day with his sister unaware he is being filmed for an advert in which he will encounter a host of strangers.  Muharrem was unwittingly placed at the centre of an elaborate stunt in which he was secretly filmed encountering a host of strangers in a series of staged meetings through Istanbul.  The footage begins with him setting out for the day with his sister Ozlem, who is in on the set-up. Before long, Muharrem is taken aback when he encounters a stranger who signs 'good morning' to him. 

The stunt, which took a month to prepare, saw the volunteers learn sign language phrases for their chosen roles. On a visit to his food store in Istanbul, the shopkeeper unexpectedly advertises his wares with hand signals; his surprise only intensifies when, on a visit to his local food store, the shopkeeper offers him 'hot bagels' through hand signals. Another encounter involves a stranger dropping a bag of fruit.  He barely has time to take it in when a woman bumps into him accidentally on purpose before signing: 'Sorry, my mistake.' Later, the shock is clear on Muharrem's face when a taxi driver welcomes him into the car with sign language.

In a final flourish, Samsung, which organised the commercial, arranges for an electronic advertising board to communicate with him, offering the heartwarming message: 'A world without barriers is our dream as well'. A friend finally points out one of the dozens of cameras set up around the area to reveal the stunt, moving Muharrem to tears.  The stunt, which took a month to prepare, was organised by mobile phone company Samsung to promote its call centre for the hearing impaired. The video has been viewed more than three million times over just the last few days since being posted on YouTube.

Nice to read indeed !
With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Mar 2015.

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