What is SSE?

Published 5th May 2011
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Have you ever wondered about sign language? Many of us don’t encounter sign language much in our everyday lives, and so don’t know much about it. Even when we do know somebody who signs, many of us don’t learn more than the basics of signing. Having grown up with deaf grandparents, I have been exposed to BSL (British Sign Language) from an early age, but know only very simple signs. My family tends to rely more on lip-reading and gesturing, rather than sign language proper. Recently, I came across something which I thought would bridge the gap between spoken English and BSL: Sign Supported English (SSE).

SSE is where BSL signs are used according to English grammar. This means that all you need to learn is a good vocabulary of signs, rather than learning the more complicated grammar of sign language. The benefits of a language like this (if it can indeed be classed as a language) are clear for those who find language learning difficult, as they would be able to communicate with their deaf friends or relatives more easily. The use of Sign Supported English would also reduce the burden of lip-reading for the deaf person too, although its use does rely on the deaf person having knowledge of English.

I think SSE is something which is not promoted enough, and I came across it only by chance. Many families and even workplaces could benefit from knowledge of SSE, and it has a wide range of applications for the disabled, as well as the deaf. I think that although using SSE is not as good as learning BSL, it is definitely a step in the right direction, and shows that you have made an effort, which is something I’m sure most deaf people will appreciate. I know that I am going to start expanding my sign vocabulary, and frankly isn’t it about time we all started to make more of an effort to communicate with one another?

If you require more information about BSL, take a look at the British Deaf Association’s website.

¿Te has preguntado alguna vez cómo funciona la lengua de signos? Muchos de nosotros casi no encontramos lengua de signos en nuestra vida cotidiana, por lo que no sabemos mucho sobre ella. Incluso si conocemos a un usuario de lengua de signos, muchos no aprendemos más que los signos básicos. Al haber crecido con abuelos sordos, he vivido cerca de la BSL (Lengua de Signos Británica) desde pequeña; sin embargo, únicamente conozco los signos más simples. Mi familia tiende a entenderse más mediante la lectura de labios y los gestos, en lugar de los signos adecuados. Hace poco me encontré con algo que pensé que podría ser la unión entre inglés hablado y la BSL: el sistema Sign Supported English (SSE).

En el SSE los signos BSL se utilizan de acuerdo a la gramática inglesa. Esto significa que sólamente necesitas aprender es un buen vocabulario de signos, en lugar de aprender la gramática del lenguaje de signos, que resulta más complicada. Las ventajas de un lenguaje como éste (si realmemte se puede denominar lenguaje) son claras para aquellos que encuentran difícil el aprendizaje de idiomas, ya que permite comunicarse con amigos o familiares sordos con mayor facilidad. El uso del SSE también reduciría la carga de la lectura de labios de la persona sorda, aunque el sistema presupone que la persona sorda tiene conocimientos de inglés.

Creo que el SSE es algo que no se promueve lo suficiente, yo misma me topé con el SSE de pura casualidad. Muchas familias y lugares de trabajo podrían beneficiarse del SSE, ya que cuenta con una amplia gama de aplicaciones para personas con discapacidad, así como para personas sordas. Creo que aunque el usi del SSE no es tan bueno como el aprendizaje de BSL, representa definitivamente un paso en la dirección correcta, y demuestra que se ha hecho un esfuerzo, algo de lo que estoy segura la mayoría de las personas sordas apreciarán. Voy a empezar a ampliar mi vocabulario de lengua de signos y, francamente, ¿no es hora de que todo el mundo comenzara a esforzarse más para comunicarse entre sí?

Si quieres más información acerca de BSL, écha un vistazo a la página web de la Asociación Británica de Sordos: British Deaf Association’s website.

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