Like a dog to a bone I can not leave this one alone. A couple of deaf friends have contacted me asking for a transcript of the THAT AD – I have pasted a transcript below this paragraph. The first part is the Voice Over of the signing version provided by the young lad .. The second part is a transcript of what he speaks.
Female voice over: (Boy Signing) Not so long ago the only way a deaf person like myself could really communicate was to sign – like this. Now there is a better way, a way everyone can easily understand …
Boy: (Now speaking) We talk! Cora Barclay Centre taught me to listen and then to talk, just like they have with 100’s of other deaf people. Now mum says I talk too much, isn’t that great.
End of voice – cut to Cora Barclay graphic.
Picture this in your mind. Nice friendly looking lad with a mop of curly hair. Starts signing and then speaks. He apparently does not have any trace of a deaf accent – His speech is good and normal. I am told he has an appealing little lisp. This, apparently, adds to the lads charm.
But here is the rub – the spoken translation of the signed version only has a passing resemblance to what the lad actually signs. So things have been reversed. If I can be so bold and perhaps a little cruel, the lad signs with a “hearing accent” Given he speaks so well we should not expect perfection should we? After all sign language is a lesser and ineffectual means of communicating isn’t it?
To give the reader an understanding of what the boy actually signs I have typed a literal translation below:
Literal English translation of boys signing.
A long time ago/ Historically/ In the Past (Tick which you prefer) only way deaf person like me can communicate date sign language. Today/Now better way. Way/Give (sign not clear) we can cheek one more.
Roughly, without the choices, we can translate what the boy signs to:
Historically only way deaf person like me can communicate date sign language. Today better way, we can cheek one more.
Sadly I am not trying to be funny. This is what the lad signed to my eye. Auslan is my second language so I welcome other interpretations that contradict my own. Either way the signing is terrible and the person that trained the poor lad to sign it needs to go back and do an Auslan or even Signed English beginners class.
Apologies to the lad who unfortunately finds himself, through no fault of his own, the centre of all this. If there is one positive, it is that he is obviously intelligent, has excellent language development and is happy for it. We can not ask for more except that the Cora Barclay Centre not use children to mislead the public.