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Hi everyone, 

 

I've searched 'BSL' in the search bar, but nothing came up! I was wondering if there is anyone willing to learn/practice BSL, or if there are any congregations that hold BSL meetings or sessions that are local-ish to me, I live in Kent, UK 😊

 

I learnt a few bits from a Sister, but as she lived in Liverpool, it made some things tricky as they were different signs to what is used down here. Plus, we've parted ways since then, so it'll be nice to get to know other brothers and sisters with an interest in BSL. It's something I've loved for years. I learnt a few bits at an after school club about 5 years ago, and when the odd thing comes up locally I do what I can to attend. I don't feel like I know enough to visit the BSL assembly, but it's something I'd love to experience one day if they don't mind a hearing person attending! 😨

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Hi everyone, 
 
I've searched 'BSL' in the search bar, but nothing came up! I was wondering if there is anyone willing to learn/practice BSL, or if there are any congregations that hold BSL meetings or sessions that are local-ish to me, I live in Kent, UK 
 
I learnt a few bits from a Sister, but as she lived in Liverpool, it made some things tricky as they were different signs to what is used down here. Plus, we've parted ways since then, so it'll be nice to get to know other brothers and sisters with an interest in BSL. It's something I've loved for years. I learnt a few bits at an after school club about 5 years ago, and when the odd thing comes up locally I do what I can to attend. I don't feel like I know enough to visit the BSL assembly, but it's something I'd love to experience one day if they don't mind a hearing person attending! 

Here is a list of the BSL congregations and groups around Kent, UK.

https://apps.jw.org/ui/E/meeting-search.html#/weekly-meetings/search/BSL/Kent,%20UK/51.278708,0.521725/
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6 hours ago, moosic said:

I learnt a few bits from a Sister, but as she lived in Liverpool, it made some things tricky as they were different signs to what is used down here

Do they sign with a scouse accent? :)  Seriously this interesting because I thought the signs for BSL would be the same all over the country.  Are there local variations like we have we accents?

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Oh yes @Jonathan77, there are dialects!  Many dialects & accents! Even numbers are signed differently.

 

@moosic at the assembly we have about 800 of which about 500 are hearing, so don't worry about attending.  The circuit overseer's and Bethel representative talks are spoken with a translator, but all others are signed only.  Most try to go to a hearing assembly in order to get the spiritual food clearly. And the signing levels are from beginner to expert, so don't worry about your level

 

Try and get there; you'll really enjoy it!  August 31 - September 2 at Dudley assembly hall.  We have all our assemblies there, regional and circuit. It really is a wonderful experience.

 

 

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1 hour ago, pgwenlan said:

 @Jonathan77

@moosic at the assembly we have about 800 of which about 500 are hearing, so don't worry about attending.  The circuit overseer's and Bethel representative talks are spoken with a translator, but all others are signed only.  Most try to go to a hearing assembly in order to get the spiritual food clearly. And the signing levels are from beginner to expert, so don't worry about your level

 

Try and get there; you'll really enjoy it!  August 31 - September 2 at Dudley assembly hall.  We have all our assemblies there, regional and circuit. It really is a wonderful experience.

 

 

Pgwenlan, thanks so much for that info!! I would definitely go to my assigned assembly/convention, but I'm so tempted to come up for a day to experience it and meet new friends. I will certainly have a look at the dates (thanks thesauron for the info!) and see if I can afford to come up and have the time off work. 

 

Jonathan, I thought exactly the same before I started learning! Exactly as Pgwenlan said, similar to the spoken language, there are dialects/accents. I remember chocolate down here in our area is a cupped hand on the chin, but in her local area, it's tapped fingers down the chin a bit like you've dribbled 😂

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@moosic it would be great if you could get to an assembly, you will really enjoy it!

In the meantime, there are loads of BSL videos on jw.org:

 

https://www.jw.org/bfi/publications/

 

We have the watchtower and workbook every week, as well as the majority of publications and all the meeting videos.  They're also on jw broadcasting.

 

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On 6/18/2018 at 7:22 PM, moosic said:

Hi everyone, 

 

I've searched 'BSL' in the search bar, but nothing came up! I was wondering if there is anyone willing to learn/practice BSL, or if there are any congregations that hold BSL meetings or sessions that are local-ish to me, I live in Kent, UK 😊

 

I learnt a few bits from a Sister, but as she lived in Liverpool, it made some things tricky as they were different signs to what is used down here. Plus, we've parted ways since then, so it'll be nice to get to know other brothers and sisters with an interest in BSL. It's something I've loved for years. I learnt a few bits at an after school club about 5 years ago, and when the odd thing comes up locally I do what I can to attend. I don't feel like I know enough to visit the BSL assembly, but it's something I'd love to experience one day if they don't mind a hearing person attending! 😨

Hello sister, always nice to meet someone else who is into sign language!

For BSL specifically, here's an online dictionary of signs to help you with learning it ( not sure if you already know about this learning resource, but just in case, here it is... ) http://bslsignbank.ucl.ac.uk/

 

17 hours ago, Jonathan77 said:

Do they sign with a scouse accent? :)  Seriously this interesting because I thought the signs for BSL would be the same all over the country.  Are there local variations like we have we accents?

Accents and dialects are very prevalent in sign languages, and a significant part of deaf cultures. The way I would describe these is that accent difference is how people from different areas and different families sign certain signs in a similar but distinct way from eachother, but you usually can understand what the variation is anyway, as it will usually be similar enough for you to pick up on ~ unless they sign really quickly of course. On the otherhand, dialects will have entirely different signs for the same word, using completely different hand shapes, movements, hand orientations, etc., and you will really have to be paying attention to the context of what the area talking about if you want to try to work out what the unfamiliar signs mean without asking...Thank goodness for finger spelling! Personally I find it's a good idea to learn the different dialects of the sign language you are learning, as sooner or later you are likely to come across signers of different regions.


Edited by Bjern
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On 6/18/2018 at 6:21 PM, Jonathan77 said:

Are there local variations like we have we accents?

Yes there are indeed. Nottingham has different signs to Derby for example but the general grammar is the same, facial expressions etc. Languages evolve and BSL is no different. I grew up with BSL and worked at the Notts Deaf Society before I came to Spain. Like most things that the Brits do differently, we fingerspell with both hands whilst the majority of Deaf people in the world fingerspell with just one!

 

There’s not a reason for every sign (beginners often make the mistake of asking “why is that the sign for...?”) just as there’s not a reason for every word being what it is in a spoken language. Some local words are though. I was told that the sign we use for sugar in Nottingham is like the action of using a sweetener whilst “up north” in Newcastle, it’s like a scratching motion near the eye on the temple, as the workers in sugar factory there had skin complaints many decades ago.

 

Well done for your desire to learn by the way, sis. It’s a truly wonderful, rich language with a great culture. Deaf Awareness week is always a good place to start if there’s a Deaf Society or school in your area.

 

bibisksk (the old way of saying goodbye when we used to use the “megacom” phones when chatting via text with Deaf and deaf people. And yes, there IS a difference between writing Deaf and deaf. In BSL we say “big D Deaf” and “little d deaf” but I’ll explain that I another post if anyone’s interested!)

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Noswaith dda Peter. The last two photos of yours looked like a revamped Dudley Assembly Hall. What happened to all the orange and brown decor from when I was a kid? I remember having our first BSL assemblies there. It was such a joy to have them in BSL and watch my Deaf brothers giving items instead of me having to interpret for them at hearing assemblies. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


Edited by Stoffer
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2 hours ago, Stoffer said:

And yes, there IS a difference between writing Deaf and deaf. In BSL we say “big D Deaf” and “little d deaf” but I’ll explain that I another post if anyone’s interested!)

Yes please for the explanation between deaf and Deaf!! I didn't learn this in lessons, and have picked up there is a difference over things I read on the Internet, but never researched it.


Edited by moosic

Mistype
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yes as @Thesauron mentioned, jw.org says there is a British Sign Language group associated with Riverside Park congregation, located in Rainham/Medway, which meets Thursday 7pm and Sunday 4pm at the Kingdom Hall on Bloors Lane in Gillingham.

 

Hopefully this is not too far from you. Let us know how it goes if you decide to visit them!

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4 hours ago, Brandon said:

yes as @Thesauron mentioned, jw.org says there is a British Sign Language group associated with Riverside Park congregation, located in Rainham/Medway, which meets Thursday 7pm and Sunday 4pm at the Kingdom Hall on Bloors Lane in Gillingham.

 

Hopefully this is not too far from you. Let us know how it goes if you decide to visit them!

Thank you for this info, it wasn't coming up when I tried to search a BSL meeting, and I knew there was a congregation in Kent-ish area! It's about an hour from me, but I would like to visit at some point. ☺️

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8 hours ago, moosic said:

Yes please for the explanation between deaf and Deaf!

“Little d deaf” (similar sign for the normal D but you make a lowercase d with your fingers) is for deaf people who consider it a disability, basically and who usually don’t sign or are not part of the Deaf BSL community.

 

”Big D Deaf” is for Deaf people who identify themselves with the Deaf community. For them it is their identity, culture, language. They are proud to be Deaf as defines who they are and the community they belong to.

 

Hope that makes sense, sis!

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12 hours ago, Stoffer said:

Noswaith dda Peter. The last two photos of yours looked like a revamped Dudley Assembly Hall. What happened to all the orange and brown decor from when I was a kid? I remember having our first BSL assemblies there. It was such a joy to have them in BSL and watch my Deaf brothers giving items instead of me having to interpret for them at hearing assemblies. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Yes, that's Dudley assembly hall - except for the second photo which is Bowes Road, North London. We had a regional convention there 2 years ago whilst Dudley was having some work done.  All the assemblies are back at Dudley now.

3 hours ago, moosic said:

Thank you for this info, it wasn't coming up when I tried to search a BSL meeting, and I knew there was a congregation in Kent-ish area! It's about an hour from me, but I would like to visit at some point. ☺️

Yes, you need to enter "British Sign Language", not "BSL"!

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6 hours ago, pgwenlan said:

Yes, you need to enter "British Sign Language", not "BSL"!

Haha, yes i did do that, I'm just a lazy typer! 😆

 

Maybe I didn't see it because it's not easy to nagivate that part of the website on my phone

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If ever you take a trip to the Lake District and West Cumbria we have a BSL teacher and class in our congregation. There is only 1 actual deaf person in our congregation, but quite a few have learned the language for the MInistry and to befriend him. There are 3 sets of rows in our congregation meetings and they sit together on the right front section taking turns to sign the meeting. They have their own congregation Bible study in our 2nd school room. 

 

We are meeting at Workington Kingdom Hall at the moment because our old Hall is being sold and we are currently looking for a new site for a Hall in our home town. Some manage go to Dudley conventions for the deaf.

 

The elder/BSL tutor and his wife are presently teaching BSL at Wigton Kingdom Hall on Sunday afternoons with more brothers and sisters who are learning it.

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1 hour ago, retroHelen said:

If ever you take a trip to the Lake District and West Cumbria we have a BSL teacher and class in our congregation. 

It's a bit of a trip for me, but if I was single and not trying to save to get married, I would absolutely be up for travelling around visiting other brothers and sisters! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/18/2018 at 5:21 PM, Jonathan77 said:

Do they sign with a scouse accent? :)  Seriously this interesting because I thought the signs for BSL would be the same all over the country.  Are there local variations like we have we accents?

We have a BSL congregation sharing with two hearing congregations.. I'm told they really do have localised 'accents' or idioms.

 

OT. they really do like it when we cross paths at the hall.. i doubt the OP going to the BSL assembly would bother anyone... even just for the association.

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