Video Transcript: Why I learned Mexican Sign Language

TRISH: Hi! My name is Trish, and my sign name is "T-smile"! I’m a teacher here at Rancho Sordo Mudo. It’s a free home and school for the deaf in Valle de Guadalupe, México. Now, I wanted to check out Facebook one day, and I was scrolling down… kept scrolling… and I saw a video that was really cool! A Deaf man was talking about how sign language shows so much more than words in English can. And I saw it, thought it was awesome! And so I clicked on “Ai-Media” and saw a lot of different videos; all of them about Deaf people. Or things related to Deafness. I saw one video titled “Share Your Story” and I thought, "Wow!" So many different people did that, using different sign languages. There’s a lot of ASL, and a lot of… Auslan? I think that’s how it’s spelled? Sorry, Australia! But I wanted to share with you my sign language. Because I live and work in Mexico, I use LSM – Mexican Sign Language – or “Lengua de señas Mexicana”.

It’s super different from all the other sign languages. It has a few similarities to ASL. Because it started in America and moved here - Well, no... It started in France, moved to America, and moved here to Mexico. Anyway, I want to explain how I got started here. Before I came to the ranch, I didn’t know any sign language. I’m hearing, and I grew up in the States, and I didn’t have deaf friends, deaf family, nothing. I grew up not knowing any sign at all. But I moved here, back about two and a half years ago. I moved to the ranch… And I learned it all here.

I want to encourage you, if you’re hearing and have deaf friends or family or if you’re studying ASL or another sign language, or if you just want to be involved in the Deaf community… DO IT! Don’t worry how you look. Some people say, “I want to do sign language, I want to hang out with Deaf people, but… my signing is bad. I don’t know a lot of words. I’m awkward. I can’t sign well. Maybe I don’t order my sentences correctly when I sign.” Put that away! Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t worry, don’t be scared. If you truly want to sign, and want to communicate, people are gonna help you out. They know that sign isn’t your first language.

When I came here, everyone was so patient with me. Yes, I signed wrong! I made a lot of mistakes. But people were nice and helped me, saying “Whoa, whoa, whoa… Trish… uh-uh. Sign it like this.” They gave me examples, helped me with vocabulary, taught me the sign names for things, different stuff like that. And in the future? It could be the same for you. Two and a half years ago, so not a long time, and now – well, before I didn’t know anything and now, I sign fluently and quickly. It’s a piece of cake! If you want to learn? Practice, do sign with the Deaf community. You’ll find help and become a better and better signer!

Thank you for watching me, and hopefully you all have a good day! Love ya! Bye.

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