Sign Language Bible: “Dutch is not the mother tongue of the deaf”
In 2019, the Bible could be read in at least 692 different languages. In 2020, 46 languages have been added, why ASL, or American Sign Language. These additions enabled 13 million people to read the Bible in their native language for the first time, according to figures from the United Bible Societes.
Sign language Bible creators have spent more than 38 years translating all of the passages. The Bible can be downloaded as a video.
According to Ono Krasborn, professor of Dutch Sign Language, the Sign Language Bible is not a bad idea. “For deaf people, Dutch is not their mother tongue. They speak Dutch Sign Language,” he told EditieNL. “All the deaf people learned to read Dutch in school, and some of them spoke fluently, and some spoke a little, but it was still a difficult language.”
This means that they must read the Bible in a language that is foreign to them. “This is similar to Dutch and German. We all learned a little bit of German in school, everyone’s level is different of course, but it remains a foreign language for many people.” Krasborne says Dutch is not an easy language to learn. “In addition, the Bible also contains difficult texts, which are difficult for the deaf and hard of hearing who are not born in the Dutch language.”
Krasborn believes there will be a whole process before the Bible is translated into sign language. Question: “What is the purpose of this text?” “What does the author want with this and how are we going to represent it in the right way?” We will spend a lot of time with that. “
American Sign Language
In the United States, a sign language version of the Bible already exists, but this is incomprehensible to deaf and hard-of-hearing Dutch. “Because it is a different language. American is a different language than Dutch, and American Sign Language is also a different language from Dutch Sign Language.”
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