Author Topic: Correcting strangers - deaf community  (Read 4588 times)

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DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 01:45:17 PM »
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I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong.  It could be correct.

And, as I said above, she really shouldn't be eavesdropping on someone else's conversation.  Just because the words were in sign language doesn't mean it wasn't a conversation; it was just in another language - just as it would have been had they been speaking Russian or French or German.


Dalek

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 01:55:43 PM »
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I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. 

The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.
The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.
For example, say I had taken one Intro to Spanish course. Next week, I decided to eat in a Mexican restaurant and after I order, the waiter corrects my pronunciation  of a meal. Chances are, the waiter is correct because he works there and presumably knows how to pronounce  the restaurant's entrees.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 01:58:09 PM by Dalek »
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DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 01:57:24 PM »
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The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.

Well, yeah.  We know that and the OP's husband knows that.  But the woman doesn't know that at all.

And, I don't think the Mexican food illustration applies, because this wasn't in the woman's area of ownership or in the same kind of area in which she would be the one to correct someone.  She was there as a bystander, and that's different.
 
And, I have to say, if a waiter started correcting me like it sounds like you're saying, someone's tip is going to go down some.  If he can understand what I'm wanting to eat, he doesn't need to correct my pronunciation of it.
 
 
 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 01:59:42 PM by DottyG »

sourwolf

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 01:59:56 PM »
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The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.

Well, yeah.  We know that and the OP's husband knows that.  But the woman doesn't know that at all.

If she teaches sign language/uses it at work I'm sure it was fairly obvious to her that the OP's husband had little experience with sign language.

DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2013, 02:01:20 PM »
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The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.

She could be.  But it's still not her place to interject into a conversation she's not a part of.


Zilla

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2013, 02:03:06 PM »
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The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.

Well, yeah.  We know that and the OP's husband knows that.  But the woman doesn't know that at all.
As stated, I grew up using ASL. You can see a difference from a sign that is completely different from a cow or slightly off.  Or a finger is down instead of up.  It sounds like he was just a bit off in the OP.  It was others pointing out what ifs scenarios but the original scenario was that he was doing it incorrectly and the OP wanted to know if it was corrected/approached because he was considered an inferior parent.  So my opinion still stands, in that exact setting the OP describes, the lady being a teacher for the HI, I didn't see it as offensive.
 

sourwolf

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2013, 02:04:52 PM »
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The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.

She could be.  But it's still not her place to interject into a conversation she's not a part of.

That's your opinion.  Other posters (myself included) have said they would like to be told if they are using a language incorrectly.

DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2013, 02:05:36 PM »
Zilla, I think part of the problem is that we're getting hung up on the deaf aspect.

Let me rephrase the OP's question a bit, because I wonder if this might be more on track of what we're really talking about (the proverbial "red herring" thing, you know! ;) ).

"In public, is it considered polite to interrupt two strangers' conversation to correct an incorrect word?"

The answer to that is, well, yes.  If you're interjecting yourself into someone else's conversation to correct them - even if you think you're right - you're being rude.  You don't do that.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2013, 02:06:24 PM »
I was just thinking that due to the fact your DH was using sign language that this woman was really "eavesdropping" by actively watching his hand movements.  Instead of looking at the animals she was staring at his hands.  That's a bit intrusive for my tastes.  Maybe she just caught the error at the right moment? 

In any event, even if your DH was "wrong", I don't think it's a critical need to interrupt a private conversation to tell someone they used the wrong sign for "goat". It's not like he was signing anything that would put the child in danger.  In all likelihood the mistake would eventually get sorted out with no harm done.  Hey, 30 seconds later you or DH could have said, "D'oh! I forgot, the sign for goat is actually this" and all would have been settled.

snowdragon

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2013, 02:06:56 PM »
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I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. 

The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.
The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.
For example, say I had taken one Intro to Spanish course. Next week, I decided to eat in a Mexican restaurant and after I order, the waiter corrects my pronunciation  of a meal. Chances are, the waiter is correct because he works there and presumably knows how to pronounce  the restaurant's entrees.

She also said that her DH speak English with an accent - so how is nosy woman to know that that sign was not correct in the area where the DH is from? She doesn't.  She had no business inserting herself into a conversation that had nothing to do with her. the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you, this woman was a passer by to the conversation - she had nothing to do with anyone involved -she just stuck her nose into a private conversation because she thought she knew better than the parent. She  was very rude.

CuriousParty

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2013, 02:08:08 PM »
I have a Deaf sibling, and spent much of my time growing up around d/Deaf individuals.

There are absolutely different social boundaries and rules surrounding sign language conversations.  It is actually both common and acceptable for an individual to simply enter a conversation that in hearing culture would be considered "private" in a way that, again, hearing culture would see as "intrusive" or "eavesdropping."  It is not considered to be either in sign language conversations - in fact, it's expected behavior.  As a hearing person I do find it to be uncomfortable, and strange, but that's me being hearing.  I would never call someone out on that behavior, as then I would be the one acting strangely.

I think it has a lot to do with the natural differences between the languages - it is simply not possible to have a spoken conversation with five people across a gymnasium-size space.  It's entirely possible, even normal, to do so in sign language (I have in fact been hit on across such a space while my sibling was visiting colleges. That was very strange indeed.)

Now there are "rules" about privacy, but they are different than most of the posters here are expecting.  Two individuals having a conversation in a corner, facing each other and backs to the group, signing close to the body - THAT is a private conversation and you are not supposed to intrude.  Watching a conversation due to nosiness/curiosity and not intending (or being able to) engage, THAT is rude.  Two people talking to each other in the open in a farm?  Clearly exchanging signs in what appears to be a teaching/practicing exercise? Nope, totally okay to enter that interaction - in fact, expected, especially if an error comes up.

As for the questions about "correcting" and is that okay given the variation in signs - yes, it is okay, expected, and in some cases very, VERY important.  I moved across country in adulthood and was chatting with a Deaf colleague who looked horrified and quickly corrected my sign for "work."  In that area (within the same country I grew up in), my sign for "work" was....um, the sign for scrabble-related activities.  My sign for the...activities....in question involved a similar wrist motion but different finger placements.  The idea is to learn the signs that are appropriate for the area you are in, so that you don't wind up telling people that you are going to "Work" when you mean "work"  ;D

Lastly, in thinking about this I do have to say that I think it would be likely that I might have this type of interaction even in a spoken language.  If I noticed someone nearby who was clearly not a native speaker of English, and teaching his/her child the English word for an animal but making an error in pronunciation (not just an accent or something) I would likely offer the correct pronunciation.  Just because...well, I know it, and they clearly seem to want to know it, so why not help out?  I don't think I'd be more or less likely to do this with a man than a woman, though I'd be more likely to do it if their pronunciation was skating close to a word with a different meaning. 

DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2013, 02:09:40 PM »
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I was just thinking that due to the fact your DH was using sign language that this woman was really "eavesdropping" by actively watching his hand movements.  Instead of looking at the animals she was staring at his hands.

Exactly what I've been saying.  One of the most important lessons we were taught in class is that sign language is no different from any other language.  Yes, it's visual rather than oral.  But it's a language just like any other one a person would speak.  And to "listen in" by watching it is the same as eavesdropping on anyone's conversation that you'd be hearing.  Eavesdropping is that - regardless of the language it's being heard in.

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Hey, 30 seconds later you or DH could have said, "D'oh! I forgot, the sign for goat is actually this" and all would have been settled.

Exactly.
 
ETA:  CP, you were posting at the same time I was, and I overlapped you.  What I've found is different than what you're describing and much different than I was taught.  But when around deaf people, the last thing I want to do is appear to be listening in their conversations.
 

 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 02:12:34 PM by DottyG »

Zilla

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2013, 02:11:41 PM »
Zilla, I think part of the problem is that we're getting hung up on the deaf aspect.

Let me rephrase the OP's question a bit, because I wonder if this might be more on track of what we're really talking about (the proverbial "red herring" thing, you know! ;) ).

"In public, is it considered polite to interrupt two strangers' conversation to correct an incorrect word?"

The answer to that is, well, yes.  If you're interjecting yourself into someone else's conversation to correct them - even if you think you're right - you're being rude.  You don't do that.
I differ there.  I have people comment all the time in the exact scenario the OP described.  Out in the open, looking at displays, commenting etc.  It's an open atmostphere.  Much different than let's say in a restaurant sitting at the table.  But we all differ in how we look at things.
 
OP- What did your husband think?  Was the teacher rude? Obnoxious in loudly correcting him?  Was the sign slightly off?

Dalek

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2013, 02:15:01 PM »
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I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something wrong.

But, again, how is she the person to deem something "wrong"?  As we've just talked about, the sign might not be the one she's used to, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. 

The OP mentioned that her DH had little experience with sign language.
The woman could be wrong but then again she could be right.
For example, say I had taken one Intro to Spanish course. Next week, I decided to eat in a Mexican restaurant and after I order, the waiter corrects my pronunciation  of a meal. Chances are, the waiter is correct because he works there and presumably knows how to pronounce  the restaurant's entrees.

She also said that her DH speak English with an accent - so how is nosy woman to know that that sign was not correct in the area where the DH is from? She doesn't.  She had no business inserting herself into a conversation that had nothing to do with her. the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you, this woman was a passer by to the conversation - she had nothing to do with anyone involved -she just stuck her nose into a private conversation because she thought she knew better than the parent. She  was very rude.

We don't know that she thought she was better than the parent. She could have thought she was doing a good deed.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 02:22:35 PM by Dalek »
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DottyG

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Re: Correcting strangers - deaf community
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2013, 02:18:16 PM »
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the difference between the scenario in the OP and yours is that the waiter has something to do with the conversation - he's serving you and taking orders from you

Snowdragon, somehow I missed this part of your post when I read it the first time.

But (and this is a total tangent to the story in the OP, by the way), but I still maintain that, if a waiter understands what I'm asking for but decides to correct me on the way I ordered it, his tip just went down.  I'm there to have a meal, not to be criticized on the way I ordered it.  I'd be irritated with a waiter who felt the need to do that.
 
If I'm struggling to the point that I can't get my order across to him, I can see a simple, "Oh, you want the Red Wing Bluefish tonight" comment.  Or, if I actually asked him for the correct way of saying it, fine.  But if he's being condescending about correcting me (I'm not sure that that's the tone you mean, so if it's not, disregard), you'd better believe I'm going to be miffed!
 
Edited to fix the name I was replying to (due to some kind of glitch in the forum) to at least make my reply make sense
 
 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 03:41:49 PM by DottyG »