To say there is no worth in learning a language that isn’t economically useful is like saying there’s no point in being friends with somebody unless they’re going to help you get a better job. It’s a spectacular, cynical miss of the point.

Rhona NicDhùghaill, “Don’t Neglect the UK’s Indigenous Languages

The whole article is great, but this quote is especially stellar. 

Tips for learning a sign language
  • Sign languages aren’t a weird choice, regardless of what some people might tell you. Don’t feel bad for learning it.
  • Youtube has many videos that teach you a lot of stuff, use YT when you look for tutorials.
  • There are a handful of apps that can teach you basic stuff. Check them out.
  • Try to watch more videos when you learn a sign language since you can’t see clearly the movement in books.
  • Facial expressions determine the mood of the conversation. Pay attention to it.
  • Real life situations will help you learn faster, try to make a friend who knows or learns the same sign language.
  • If no one near you learns a sign language, find someone online and talk on skype.
  • Practice daily, remember that if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
  • Try to find a dictionary online.
  • If you’re lucky, buy a book with stories from a bookstore.
  • When you practice fingerspelling, practice with sentences, not individual letters.
  • Learn how to pause properly. 
  • Practice in the mirror so you can analyze your movements.
  • When you walk around, fingerspell what you see. In this way your hand gets used to the spelling of the words.
  • Review what you have studied daily.
  • Decide what hand you should use, don’t switch them unless it’s necessary.
  • If you don’t know something, ask someone who knows.
  • Learn and use basic signs. If you learn the first 100-300 basic signs you will be able to communicate with others.
  • Master your hand position. You don’t want to swear at someone instead of saying “Hello”.
  • Take a class. Sign languages require more human interaction than when you try to learn French, Spanish etc. These languages can be taught online without a teacher but not sign languages. 
  • Don’t give up if you have a hard time. Give yourself time.
  • When you don’t know the sign for a word, fingerspell it.
  • If you just started learning, don’t rush. Take your time to sign/spell everything. Some people might be able to sign fast, but they have experience.
  • Challenge yourself. After you have mastered the basics, try some advanced vocab.
  • Pay attention to what videos you choose. Many beginners make videos so mistakes may appear in them. Choose a channel that’s recommended by many people.
  • Try to attend some events where you can talk to deaf people. The more you talk, the more things you’ll learn.
  • When you watch videos, try to copy-cat what those people say; practice in front of a mirror and correct your movements if necessary.
  • Don’t get lazy or you’ll forget everything.
  • Try to convince a friend to learn with you so you will have with who to practice if you don’t have around anyone who knows a sign language.

12 Reasons To Learn (American) Sign Language

1. Easily communicate UNDERWATER

2. You can talk when your MOUTH is FULL

3. Understand and help end AUDISM

4. Speak right through a CLOSED WINDOW and still be understood.

5. Talk across a CROWDED ROOM without yelling

6. Quietly chat at the MOVIES without being rude

7. Learn a language that’s UNIQUE VISUAL SPATIAL & GESTURAL

8. COUNT to TEN and HIGHER on just ONE hand

9 It’s a 3D language - 3D GLASSES NOT NEEDED

10. Satisfy your FOREIGN LANGUAGE requirement 

11 It will never be TOO LOUD or TOO QUIET to sign to someone

12 Get to know some wonderful people in the DEAF COMMUNITY (Possibly the best reason of all!)

Langblr Never Have I Ever Challenge

Hey! It’s Shanice :) This is a little game I thought would be pretty fun. Most of you are probably familiar with it.

I’ve compiled 30 questions that come in 5 rounds. You start off with 5 fingers (I’m being generous haha), and for everything you’ve done you have to put down a finger.

But the twist in the game is whoever has the most fingers up… is the loser! (dun dun dun) Just kidding! But it means that you should go back and study some more that way you can come back swinging :D

(You start with 5 fingers every round btw.)

Okay! Here we go ~

Never have I ever:

Round 1

  1. Visited a country who’s official or dominant language is my target language
  2. Traveled outside of my own country
  3. Had a conversation with a native speaker verbally (if your target language is a signed one, then signed) or in person
  4. Had a conversation with a native speaker through writing (text messages, passing notes)
  5. Been mistaken for a native speaker

Round 2

  1. Completed an entire short story (10 page minimum) in my target language
  2. Completed an entire novel (200 page minimum) in my target language
  3. Read a page in a newspaper, a page in a magazine, or an online article in my target language
  4. Read a poem in my target language
  5. Read a menu or brochure in my target language

Round 3

  1. Watched a tv show in my target language and understood it completely
  2. Watched a movie in my target language and understood it completely
  3. Watched a tv show or a movie in my target language and understood nothing (come on, we’ve all been there before xD )
  4. Listened to a podcast in my target language
  5. Subscribed to and watched a Youtuber regularly who speaks my target language (and I mean in almost all their videos! Not just one language accent tag lol)

Round 4

  1. Used a language exchange app or website like italki, hellotalk, or hinative
  2. Completed an entire duolingo tree or memrise course series
  3. Used a “big name” language learning software program like rosetta stone or pimsleur
  4. Completed an entire class in my target language
  5. Completed an entire classroom or online course in my target language other than a course actually learning it (for example, a business class in Spanish)

Round 5

  1. Completed an entire textbook for language learning
  2. Used physical notecards or a flashcard app like quizlet
  3. Filled an entire physical notebook with language notes
  4. Used an online system like google docs or an app to store my notes
  5. Told myself I would write something down later and then forgot it

Bonus Round

  1. Spent an entire day speaking/living in my target language
  2. Fallen in love with a foreign language
  3. Given up on a language
  4. Held onto learning a language that I knew wasn’t for me
  5. Been a part of an online community like langblr!

Soo…. How’d you do? :) 

My scores for how many fingers I had left up were: 2 - 1 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 2

Note: I was mistaken for a native speaker before, but not for the reason you think! If you’d like to hear that story see my other post (How I was Mistaken for a “Native Speaker”) xD Thanks for playing!

Date a demisexual person who is hearing, but still wants to learn their country’s national Sign Language, because no one should have to feel isolated because of society’s insistence on only using spoken languages and treating Deaf people as stupid for not being able to participate on those terms

Why do I love Pit Bulls? Maybe it’s that big, beautiful head, just begging to be rubbed. Maybe it’s those soulful eyes, leading me straight into a wounded heart. Maybe it’s that childlike spirit… full of innocence and hope… despite the harsh realities of the world. Maybe it’s that joyful smile, saying to the critics: “I know you think I’m mean. I know you don’t trust me. But even though you hate me… I still love you.”

Maybe it’s the loyalty… the unwavering devotion in the face of cruelty, neglect, and abuse. Maybe it’s the fact that this very loyalty… this precious gift of allegiance…
is exploited every day by evil humans with sadistic motivations.

Maybe it’s the undying will to please their master, the drive for praise at any cost, or the endless desire for compassion of any kind. Maybe that’s what makes them so special…

Maybe it’s the love… the love that waits… often for an entire lifetime… to be given. The love that dies… in the dogfighting ring… on the end of a chain… or at the pound. The love wasted, the lives forsaken, the beauty forgotten… Maybe that’s what I see in them…

Maybe it’s because the media has inaccurately and wrongfully demonized one of the most loving, loyal, and incredible breeds on Earth—the Pit Bull. Maybe it’s because the public believes these mistruths and joins in the bashing. Maybe it’s because Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has enacted laws banning these amazing creatures… laws that seek to destroy every last living, breathing Pit Bull in America. Maybe it’s because, for the lucky few Pit Bulls in loving homes, BSL rips them away from their families and sentences them to death. Maybe it’s because these precious souls can’t understand why this is happening to them… as they cry out for their families, just before they are killed…
Maybe that’s why I fight for them…

Maybe it’s because Pit Bulls are the most abused breed in existence… and the most highly euthanized breed in shelters. Maybe it’s because, in many American shelters, strict policies prohibit the adoption of bully breeds, eliminating all hope for these dogs. Maybe it’s because, even when given the chance for a family, no one wants to adopt them. Maybe it’s the heartbreak of knowing, that after a lifetime of suffering… and then being dumped at the pound, their only way out… their only chance for mercy… is death. Maybe that’s why I care so much…

Maybe it’s because, even in no-kill shelters, Pit Bulls often spend their entire lives waiting for someone to take them home. Maybe it’s because, for so many, that adoption day will never come. Maybe it’s because, while waiting on that unlikely chance for a family, many of these dogs will slowly lose their minds living in a tiny shelter kennel. Maybe it’s because, due to the stress of shelter confinement and the lack of socialization, their already small chances of adoption are soon reduced to no chance at all of ever getting out. Maybe it’s because, for bully breeds, the never-ending dream of having a family of their own… is only a dream…

After weeks, months, and years of waiting in a shelter for a family who will never come for them, all hope turns to despair… all desire turns to depression… all joy turns to anguish. Across the country, millions of these beautiful, amazing dogs are simply living each day… waiting to die.

So why do I rescue Pit Bulls? Maybe my drive to save them is because I’ve never known a breed more deserving of life. Maybe my will to help them is because they have no other hope. Maybe my advocacy for the breed stems from my desire to fight injustice… to right the wrongs and stand up for the victims.

Maybe it’s the fact that 2 of the most incredible dogs I have ever known are my children, Rudy and Riley (below), both Pit Bulls. Maybe it’s because many of my amazing rescue babies are Pit Bulls. Maybe it’s because I would do anything for my children, because my children would do anything for me. Maybe it’s because they have no reason to trust me, or anyone for that matter, and yet… they do. Maybe it’s because they have no reason to forgive, and yet, they have.

Maybe my love for them is a reflection of their love for me… unconditional, unwavering, and infinite. Maybe I want to change the world for them… to end the unspeakable suffering… to tell them that they matter… and to return the love they so freely and unselfishly give. Maybe it’s because I realize that I possess the power to do all of these things. Maybe it’s because I know that can use my life to fix this for them.

And maybe, just maybe, you will join me…

By Ashley Owen Hill,
Founder of Lucky Dog Rescue