Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hand Talking

I can not talk without moving my hands. Even if on the phone I am using my hands to express an emotion, or a movement, or an idea. I speak almost as clearly with my hands as with my words. But my hands don't even come close to conveying the messages people who speak with American Sign Language are able to .

Think about it, hand gestures only for a full conversation. It is fascinating. All of the emotions are in the hands of the speaker. The ideas are being explained just as clearly as I do with words. Joy, sorrow, anger, laughter, surprise, and everything is being with the two hands. It is mind blowing.

I worked at a company where 3 or 4 deaf people were also employed.

This one day I was coming down the hall, walking toward one of the women. She had this look on her face that made me grateful that I was not on the receiving end of what her hands were saying. She was so angry. She was walking all by herself, with her hands down at her sides, but they were flying. She was saying something bad I am sure.

I walked on past her and turned around to watch. She kept walking and her hands kept moving. Both hands. She was mad, and like us hearing people she was taking to herself. She went into her department and slammed the door behind her. I wish I could have seen the rest of her conversation.

Our faces are expressive. Our vocal tone is expressive. But HANDS are just as expressive.


  1. our hands, our eyes our body enrich language and communicate..

  2. I've never imagined deaf people talking to themselves in sign language! How interesting is that!

  3. So true! I took a sign language class as a teen. It was fun! I wish I remembered more of it!