The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Can an adult learn sign language easily?  (Read 4464 times)

abbey

  • Guest
Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« on: 15/12/2010 10:30:03 »
abbey  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I know that, when you hit the age of about 13, it becomes a lot harder to learn a language because the language part of the brain closes off or something.

Does that apply to sign language as well, even though its not a verbal language?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/12/2010 10:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« Reply #1 on: 15/12/2010 11:07:47 »
I think the term 'language' here is a little misleading. You would be using the same 'language', but a different alphabet. So instead of A,B,C you will use But the words and their meanings remain the same, as would the grammatical order remain the same, unlike a translation from English to French where the grammatical order may be reversed and words may not translate literally.

But there those signs which are complete words in a single action. Some of these might be the type of action anyone might use when playing charades, others might be a little less obvious to the untrained.

On the whole, I would think learning sign language is more a case of memory than translation.
 

SteveFish

  • Guest
Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« Reply #2 on: 15/12/2010 19:00:03 »
There are some adults that seem to be able to pick up a new languages seemingly effortlessly, as if they were a youngster. But for the rest of us, we have to translate from the new language to our native language to communicate. Some get pretty good at this, but it isn't the same thing. I would bet that learning sign language would be the same for an adult who already had a spoken language. A few would find it easy, and the rest of us would translate.
 

Offline Variola

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1063
  • Everyone should beware of The Pox...
    • View Profile
Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« Reply #3 on: 17/12/2010 23:30:34 »
abbey  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I know that, when you hit the age of about 13, it becomes a lot harder to learn a language because the language part of the brain closes off or something.

Does that apply to sign language as well, even though its not a verbal language?

What do you think?

As Steve has pointed out, some find it easier than others, the same as other languages like French or Spanish. I learnt BSL (British Sign Language) about 10 years ago, and I found I picked it up fine, just needs lots of practise. I had an excellent teacher though which helps tremendously.
In regard to the brain and communication, babies pick up sign language and use it quicker than they do speech, this is because the understanding comes way before speech does, and it could be the same for us as adults.
One thing I will pick up on, is that Don has posted up the alphabet for ASL, American sign language, This is fine if you happen to be in USA or want to study ASL, but BSL is very different to ASL! Also be aware that like any normal language, signing has it's 'accents', deaf people from one part of the country will typically use a different variation of a sign than those from another part.
 

Offline shanecantrell

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« Reply #4 on: 20/12/2010 11:49:33 »
I think so. It really needs perseverance and patients.
 

Offline MysteryGuitarMan

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • How great it is when Science solve your problems!
    • View Profile
Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« Reply #5 on: 28/12/2010 10:57:16 »
Can a child learn sign language more easily than an adult then?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Can an adult learn sign language easily?
« Reply #5 on: 28/12/2010 10:57:16 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums