Irish Deaf News in ISL

I first started learning Irish Sign Language (ISL) more than 15 years ago while at college and have used it sporadically since then, but I’m still not as fluent as I would like to be. This is mainly because I only have a few deaf friends and don’t see them very often (partly due to my own laziness, it has to be said, but also because of where I live now).

This is unfortunate because the only way to become fluent in any language is practise, practise, practise. Nonetheless, I’m constantly fascinated by it and try to get as much exposure as I can.

Now, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) has created a new video ‘news channel’ on YouTube, which contains all kinds of short videos in ISL.

The main service on the channel is a weekly round-up in ISL of all the news stories that dominated the headlines during the week. It’s presented by members of the IDS staff, and is sent out on Fridays. Watching it is great practice.

It looks at first a bit like the RTE New for the Deaf, but there is a big difference. The most obvious one is that there are no subtitles, but the another big difference is that the news is delivered in ISL.

Now, you might assume that the sign language on RTE’s service is in ISL too, but it seems that as far as most people in the deaf community in Ireland are concerned it’s not. This includes most ISL linguistic experts.

This is a bit of a controversial issue, but in a nutshell, the view is that the RTE deaf news is more like Signed English than ISL. In other words, the signs are based more on the English language structure rather that of ISL, which is completely different.

The ISL on the IDS Deaf news certainly looks and feels more authentic, even in the eyes of this less-than-fluent user.

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  1. Richard
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    How about a link to the ISL news page please?

  2. admin
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, good idea. overlooked that.

    Here it is.

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