手語 Sign language

 

精英翻譯社轉自: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0054/344881/web/

 

Sign language refers to a language in which meaning is conveyed by hand motions and movements instead of sounds, which is the more commonly used method of human communication. Sign languages are favored by deaf people around the world because these individuals are unable to hear spoken words.

手語意指以手勢與手部動作取代說話來表達意思的語言,而口語則是較常見的人類溝通方法。世界各地的聽障人士均慣用手語,因為他們無法聽見口語文字。

 

The evolution of sign language was stunted for hundreds of years because of a few irresponsible opinions that originated in ancient Greece. In the year 364 BC, the famous philosopher Aristotle incorrectly declared that deaf people could not be taught because all learning occurred through hearing. This single ridiculous statement made Europeans assume for centuries that deaf people were inherently stupid.

數百年來,手語的發展受到阻礙,原因在於古希臘所傳出的某些流言蜚語。西元前364 年,知名哲學家亞里斯多德誤稱聽障人士沒有學習能力,因為人類必須透過聽覺才能有效學習。就是這個謬論,讓數世紀以來的歐洲人認為聽障人士生來駑鈍。

 

Attitudes began to change in France in the eighteenth century, when a Catholic priest named Charles-Michel de L’Épée took an interest in two deaf street children who were able to communicate via hand signs. He went on to open a school that offered free education for deaf people. His students were encouraged to show him the signs they used at home, and L’Épée combined all these signs into a standard system. He used this system to teach his own students and educators from other countries. L’Épée eventually came to be known as the Father of the Deaf .

到了18 世紀的法國,人們看待聽障人士的態度開始轉變。天主教神父查爾斯.米歇爾.德雷貝看見兩名聽障流浪兒互以手勢溝通,覺得很有趣。他創辦一所學校,讓聽障人士免費受教育。德雷貝神父鼓勵學生們展現自己在家使用的手語,並且整合所有手語,形成一套標準系統。他以此系統教導自己的學生,以及來自其他國家的手語教師。世人因此將德雷貝神父譽為「聽障之父」。

 

Decades later, an American doctor named Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet wanted to teach his deaf neighbor how to communicate, so he traveled to Europe in search of advice. After consulting with many of L’Épée’s successors, he returned to the United States and founded the American School for the Deaf, where his neighbor became one of the school's first students.

數十載過後,一位名為湯瑪斯‧ 霍金‧ 高勒德的美國醫師希望教導其聽障鄰居如何與人溝通,因此他前往歐洲請益。與德雷貝的眾多子弟諮詢過後,他返回美國,成立美國聽障學校,他的鄰居亦成為該校的第一屆學子。

 

Nowadays, there are many different sign languages around the world. American Sign Language (ASL), which was developed by Gallaudet's school, is the most popular dialect with anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 users worldwide. ASL signs are somewhat like Chinese characters. They oftenresemble the concept they are trying to convey, but they're not a direct match.

如今,世界各地已發展出繁多不同的手語。由高勒德創辦的學校所發展出來的美式手語(簡稱ASL),是目前最廣為流傳的手語方言,全球約有25 萬至50 萬名的使用者。美式手語有點像中文字,手勢通常會與想要傳達的概念相似,但又不盡相同。

 

Also, ASL is much more than just an alphabet, which is a common misconception. Deaf people have come a long way since the days of Aristotle, and much of this progress is thanks to the sheer will of people like L’Épée, as well as the development of educational tools like sign language.

此外,美式手語不是只有單一字母的比法,這是常見的誤解。從亞里斯多德的時代至今,聽障人士已走過風風雨雨,這些改變均需歸功於為聽障人士著想的德雷貝神父若干人等,以及手語等教育工具的演進。

 

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