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BSL Bible Translation Project

bslbible.jpgThe British Sign Language Bible Translation Project now has its own website.

I'm only going to focus on BSL as a language here. Irrespective of what your religious beliefs are (even if you have them), this is an important project in terms of raising the status of BSL. Whether the Bible is translated into a particular language has been used as one benchmark in denoting the validity of a language. After all, besides legal recognition raising the status of a language takes many forms.

Wish the site would push the language model a bit more. Who said only Deaf people would like to access the Bible in BSL?

It also states:

Why do we need a Bible in BSL?

Many Deaf people find reading English difficult; it is hard to learn English without access to the sounds of the language from birth.

I hate this sentence. Please someone hit the delete button. It comes across as BSL is the failure option, even though unlikely intended by its authors. This sort of sentence isn't unique on this site, and is seen across too much literature. We don't need to devalue BSL.

In tone, it reads like this: I tried to use English - can't, couldn't, I am a failure. Therefore they had to teach me BSL instead. Sorry about this, but I need help.

Whilst Deaf people's brain might be wired up differently, and there's the exposure to language and even educational opportunity: don't make excuses for using BSL. Some people use English, some people use BSL.

If we are going to raise the status of BSL, it needs to be treated as a language, and is used in the same way as other minority languages around the globe. No apologies or excuses necessary, as it devalues BSL. Instead it has every right to be used in the same way as English, Welsh, Gaelic, or any other language globally.

I can only hope the translation will be disseminated online, and to allow embedding on various other sites. I'm thinking of making this website as a case study from a geek angle over at Noesis, over the need to move towards web 2.0 and also the whole information thing. May take a while, as I've got several thoughts that need covering and so many posts I would like to write.

Comments (3)

Good points there, A.

I'd like to ask the US readers of this blog out there: do Americans perceive ASL as a second option to English (or any of the other languages used in the USA)?

In the UK, BSL is very much considered to be a second option by the hearing community, and certainly by health professionals.

Will post on my blog about this soon, with how this mentality has affected me.

Visit See Hear, and read how stupid the debate about this project has gotten. All upset simply because it's being translated into BSL.

you make some good points here!
BSL Bible is important as it is a "language of the heart" for Deaf people not just because some can't access English.
Same as a Welsh bible is important even though most Welsh speakers are bilingual.
Hope you don't mind - I quoted a bit of your blog in an iarticle about this discussion on deafchurch.co.uk

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