Filipino Sign Language, anyone?
Introducing, Filipino Sign Language or FSL for short! What makes our sign language unique? What makes it similar? How is it related to other sign languages? What are other languages’ degree of influence to FSL? Let’s say, if I were an American man-about-town deaf person and I want to woo a gorgeous Filipina Deaf lady, how would I communicate with her?
Good thing for most of my worldwide readers, FSL is very much related to American Sign Language. hmmm… I might attract dissenting reactions from some of my friends here who are FSL militants. (I’m a hearing person by the way.).
Anyway, it’s true that FSL is uniquely Filipino. But no one can discount the very strong influence the Americans gave on the language. In fact, the oldest school for the deaf in the Philippines that is still existing up to now was established in 1907 by American teacher named Delight Rice. She was invited by my country to spearhead a pioneering school for the handicapped here and our Asian neighbors. I created a Wikipedia entry about this truly remarkable language in order to tell the world that FSL is here. It’s alive and it’s growing.
Watch this sample FSL idiom of the English phrase “not an important person” or “you are worth nothing.” The short video was wonderfully executed by a Deaf lady using the YouTube name LearnFSL. Notice some familiar signs? I’ve added a notation below in order for you to understand it.
The FSL sign CODE is “SEE-WORTHLESS“. In the example, I WANT TO GO TO YOUR HOME. YOU PROMISED THAT YOU WILL INVITE ME TO YOUR HOUSE. BUT YOU GAVE AN EXCUSE OF NOT WANTING TO INVITE ME. YOU WILL SAY, SORRY. IN RESPONSE, I WILL USE THE SIGN “SEE-WORTHLESS”.
Sign “SEE” but point to yourself starting on face then goes down. Then, sign “HATE” using both hands.