Sign of the times

Last Christmas, I posted a video of the choir of St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls (Dublin) performing Fix You by Coldplay. So many people enjoyed their lovely, eloquent interpretation. (Watch it again here.) This year, by request, I’m posting another video of my favourite choir. Here the girls are joined by friends from St. Joseph’s School for Deaf Boys, as well as hearing peers from two neighbouring schools. The result is a loose, joyful version of Fairytale of New York. Enjoy, and a happy Christmas to all!



Words in the Air

I started to study sign language before I knew there was more than one.  I learned the alphabet for British Sign Language when I was about ten. I still remember it, even though I never had a chance to use it. (There wasn’t much call for British Sign Language in Dublin. Besides, I didn’t know any D/deaf people.)

When I lived in America, I took classes in American Sign Language. By then I knew at least one (very small) deaf person. I loved the classes, but failed to make much progress.

Undaunted, I started studying Irish Sign Language when I came back to Ireland. Years later, I can just about say hello, but don’t ask me to interpret what other people are saying. People sign fast in the real world–way faster than in the classroom.

Still, I’m a great lover of sign. It’s a language of beauty and grace; of meaning made visible. I still hope to become fluent, but have years more study ahead of me. Meanwhile, I offer a little Christmas treat. Here is the choir of St. Mary’s School for Deaf Girls (Dublin) performing Fix You by Coldplay.

Happy Christmas everyone!